Beet Kvass with “WHEY… Less Salt” Recipe

‘Google’ the word “Beet Kvass” and you will find hundreds of very salty recipes.

People often comment that our Beet Kvass tastes better than the one they made at home.

So now we will share our secret-  USE LESS SALT!

Use good quality salt as well.  Himalayan salt crystals (above right) are mineral rich, and packed with healing benefits, unlike refined table salt which is mildly toxic to the body.

Salt is traditionally used in ferments and pickles as a preservative to help inhibit growth bad bacteria.   This allows the lactobacilli to grow and acidify the ferment, excluding contaminating bacteria.  The trick in making a low salt kvass is adding fresh shredded ginger and more whey to the mix.  Please don’t try this at home unless you can remember, “MORE WHEY, LESS SALT!”  The extra whey will give your kvass a jump-start so that the cultures grow and produce lactic acid faster.  It is very important, whenever you are fermenting anything, to be as sterile as possible… especially if you are using less salt!  You will want to clean your jars well and use sanitizer such as hydrogen peroxide or GSE, or a dishwasher is best if you have one.

freshly made kefir whey

 Whey is a powerful source of concentrated probiotic cultures.  This is not the same thing as whey protein that people put in their smoothies to beef up their workout.  Whey has been made for generations, and mostly comes as a byproduct of the cheese industry, but not all whey is the same.  Cheese whey has specific cultures and your kvass could taste very cheesy and even “bloom” on top with floating chunks depending on what type of cheese whey you are using.

Yogurt whey made from non-homogenized yogurt makes pretty good kvass as well, but the mother ship of all kvass comes from kefir whey, which has a more diverse array of beneficial microrganisms.  The easiest method of making kefir whey is to buy the kefir from the store and pass it through a coffee filter.  The clear liquid that drips from the bottom is the whey, and left in the filter is yummy probiotic cream cheese!  We like to use Green Valley Organics, or Redwood Hill Farm kefir for this.

passing kefir through a coffee filter to make the clear whey that drips to the bottom of the jar

Whey from homemade kefir is really the best and some strains of kefir cultures contain a symbiosis of beneficial yeast and bacteria that are perfect for human gut health.  I once taught a workshop on kvass and kefir making and I promoted the cultures from the Caucasus mountains of Russia.   One of the attendees was a woman who had been struggling with candida for years and she could not get rid of her candida overgrowth even though she had been on the candida diet (ate absolutely no sugar [not even fruit] for two years).

There is a particular culture of dairy kefir, the same one that I was making kefir with, once considered sacred by the inhabitants of the Caucasus Mountains of Russia.  It has the power to crowd out candida and other non-beneficial yeasts and fungus, etc.  that make a home in our gut, and thus, restores intestinal health.

these brain-like, sacred kefir grains can be purchased from multiple sources on the internet, or locally through Organic Pastures raw dai

So she gave it a try and in a few months her test showed her candida was stabilized without having to be on a sugar free diet!  A few companies like Organic Pastures sell this healing strain of kefir culture, and you can mail-order right from their website to produce your own amazing probiotic dairy kefir at a very low cost in comparison to what is in the store.


Low Salt Beet Kvass Recipe

the sweeter the beet, the better the kvass

1. Clean, peel and chop up 3-4 medium sized beets into 1/2 inch cubes and fill the bottom of a half gallon mason jar with the beets.

2.  Add 2-4 tablespoons fresh shredded ginger.

3.  Add 1/2 cup whey and 1 tsp. salt (see photo above with the red coffee filter basket)

4.  Fill jar with purified water, leaving an inch of space at the top.

5.  Ferment in a dark cabinet for 3-5 days, until rich an tingly!

TIP:  Beet Kvass tastes better the longer it ages in the fridge!  Wash and peel extremely well and never use a cutting board that may contain mold.  This will prevent any mysterious stuff that can tend to float at the top.

peeling the beets helps reduce the tendency for mold growth

adding whey and salt
(note that this is a quart jar so the recipe above has been halved)Oh yes, and please comment and let us know how it went!

adding fresh herbs is a Creative Culture’s tradition


We would love to hear from you and know how it went!

Feel free to comment on this blog and to ask questions!

Written by

Hi! I'm a mother, teacher, and natural chef, and founder of Creative Cultures, a probiotic & detox beverage company that I was inspired to start after I helped heal my husband from two serious diseases deemed incurable by medical doctors. The community of microbes in our gut are so vital to our health and happiness that I've made it my mission to foster a diverse and healthy community within our own bodies, into each and every body!

11 Comments to “Beet Kvass with “WHEY… Less Salt” Recipe”

  1. […] The WAPF was my gateway into the world of fermented foods and beverages, and the wisdom I gained from the foundation helped me begin to heal myself. Creative Cultures Beet Kvass and Pollen Up are both beverages that would fit into the WAPF lifestyle. Beet Kvass is seen as a very powerful, restorative tonic! Creative Cultures Beet Kvass Recipe […]

  2. Lisa says:

    It was great to hear your presentation at the Fermentation Festival in Santa Rosa. Thank you for this recipe! I have a quick question: In this recipe, instead of the kefir whey, can I substitute the same amount of the Creative Culture Beet Kvass? I want a low salt kvass and haven’t yet attempted to make kefir to extract the whey…

    Thanks, again, for a very interesting and delightful presentation.

    Warm regards,

    Lisa Wolper

    • Kelly Dearie says:

      Hi Lisa,

      You will need to add twice the amount of beet kvass as whey, as whey is more potent. Best of luck!


  3. parmatma says:

    Hi Kelly
    I just heard you speak at the Farm to Fermentation festival and fell in love with Beet Kvass. It was even in my dreams last night!
    I have some on the counter in the kitchen, wrapped in a towel…my question is about the lid. Do I use cheesecloth or place a proper lid on my mason jar?

    thanks for sharing the Love

    • Kelly Dearie says:

      Always use a mason jar tightly screwed on for fermenting the Beet Kvass. For kefir, you can keep the lid a little loose.

  4. Parmatma says:

    Hi Kelly,
    I was at your presentation in Santa Rosa and am hooked on beet kvass. I purchased a bottle of yours as the culture for my first batch and it came out great. It developed very little white mold/yeast. My second attempt, I used some whey and this batch developed a lot more of the white.mold yeast. I know it is supposedly harmless, but how do you recommend removing it? I have tried a coffee filter in a fine strainer, but that doesn’t quite seem to do the trick completely and the, if i make a second batch with the same beets, it is then on the beets, if they have come out into the strainer. I have tried skimming it off, but that didn’t work either.

    • Kelly Dearie says:

      The trick to eliminating the mold is to eliminate cross contamination from the spores. Use fresh beets. Wash them well, peel them and then dunk them in a bath of water with a few drops of GSE. Make sure you use a new cutting board, and your jars, knives, and everything that comes into contact with the food is sanitized. Make sure you don’t have mold growing in your kitchen. Work quickly to prevent spores falling into kvass from air. Make sure everything either goes through the dishwasher first, and if not, make sure you use a brand new or sanitized sponge to clean them. Let me know how it goes! Blessings on your Beet Kvass!

  5. Margie says:

    Is the ginger absolutely necessary? I can’t handle ginger.

    • Kelly Dearie says:

      Beets, water, whey, and salt are the only necessary ingredients in making Beet Kvass. We add ginger because it adds an immune-boosting kick, and powerful digestive enzymes. The Beet Kvass we sell in the store does not have ginger.

  6. Summer says:


    I made some beet kvass, it got a really think layer of white scum and some mold on the top, like about 1/2 inch worth. I read above that the mold ‘ is supposedly harmless’ but I really am afraid to drink it…can you pls verify whether skimming it off is good enough? I had left it on the counter for about 5 days…

    Thanks, Summer

    • Kelly Dearie says:

      Hi Summer, This is a really typical thing and it happened to me a lot when I first started making kvass. It has to do with sanitation and keeping everything clean… and use a brand new sponge! I recommend taking my on line fermentation class because I go in depth on sanitation techniques and ways to prevent mold/scum. Hope this helps:)

      • Summer says:

        Hi Kelly,

        Thanks for your reply, but is it safe to drink the kvass after skimming it off? I’ve read mixed things online…. Thanks!

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