beet kvass

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beet kvass

Postby Lino on Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:29 am

Hi all,

I'm on my third batch of beet kvass, and I keep having problems with grayish scum (mold?) forming on the top. With the previous batch, it started around day five; the latest batch I am seeing it after 36 hours. It isn't the fuzzy dangerous mould. I remove it by dabbing it with a paper towel and the kvass seems OK; it has a pleasant earthy flavor and is gently sour, but I'd rather keep the gray stuff out to begin with.

I am not seeing this with any of the other veggies I am fermenting (kraut, kimchi, daikon radish) nor have I had it in the past with kombucha; it seems particular to the beet kvass.

My recipe is 2% sea salt per weight of beets. I've been using some kraut juice and a T or two of whey (from yoghurt) as a starter. I'm wondering whether I need more salt or a stronger starter. Ideas?

FIW, the water is unchlorinated here.

TIA
Lino
 
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Re: beet kvass

Postby Lino on Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:42 am

Following up my earlier message:

After further experimentation, I've observed that beet kvass seems vulnerable to some kind wild yeast invasion. It doesn't seem to ruin it, but can give it a kind of musty off-flavor. If I see this beginning, I dab it off the surface with a paper towel.

Part of the reason why this seems to be happening is that I tend to let the kvass ferment for longer than appears to be customary. In the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, it specifies letting it ferment for two days, then putting the liquid in the fridge, and adding more water to the fermentation vessel. This you repeat two or three times. Since I don't have much space in the fridge or in the kitchen, I have been leaving it to ferment for a week or ten days, to get a rather concentrated tonic. Perhaps there is some logic behind recommended the short fermentation times?
Lino
 
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Re: beet kvass

Postby Raymondo on Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:55 pm

I've only made it once and left it only a few days so I'm no help. But here's someone who leaves theirs for ages: beet kvass
The woman in that post uses those airlock jars. Perhaps a better sealed container would help. I'm trialling Fido jars. So far, so good.
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Re: beet kvass

Postby spaceralph on Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:30 am

Out of all the ferments I regularly make, beet kvass seems to be the most prone to developing an unsightly bloom of lactic bacteria. If I had to venture a guess it would be that you are having the same experience. It is definitely gross looking but it is harmless and doesn't seem to affect the flavor much. I've tried fermenting beet kvass with and without the whey, with higher and lower salt content, and at higher and lower temperatures but it seems like 90% of my kvass develops the same nasty looking bloom. I used to spoon it out of the jars as soon as I saw it. Now I just put the finished ferment in the back of my fridge for a few days and the bloom tends to sink to the bottom of the jar, then I pour the liquid off of the sediment like I am racking wine.
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Re: beet kvass

Postby Raymondo on Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:48 am

spaceralph wrote:... Now I just put the finished ferment in the back of my fridge for a few days and the bloom tends to sink to the bottom of the jar, then I pour the liquid off of the sediment like I am racking wine.

That's a handy tip. Thank you.
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Re: beet kvass

Postby Raymondo on Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:03 am

Just opened a two week beet kvass ferment. I used a fido jar. There was a tiny amount of scum, almost unnoticeable. The kvass was lightly fizzy with a very pleasant sour, earthy taste enhanced, I think, by the piece of lemon I added at the beginning. I used a 2% brine. I'll make another batch using the same beets.
After making beet kvass, what do people do with the beets? I thought I might try making a chunky paste out of it. Any suggestions?
Raymondo
 
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Re: beet kvass

Postby spaceralph on Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:24 am

The used beets are a good addition to stir fries, fried rice and the like.
Either as is, or coarsely ground in a blender as a relish they are great in salads.
Finely ground or pureed in a blender they are good (though not very healthy) in chocolate-beet deserts like brownies and cakes, especially when they've been fermented with desert friendly ingredients like ginger and lemon.
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Re: beet kvass

Postby Raymondo on Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:40 pm

Thanks spaceralph. Some useful suggestions there. I like the relish idea, and the choc-beet brownies.
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Re: beet kvass

Postby whataboutprom on Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:59 am

(Bumping a somewhat old thread.)

I recently made beet kvass for the first time. After reading that beets are prone to yeast, I decided to use a large mason jar with an airlock. My kvass has now been fermenting 8 days, with no trace of yeast or any type of scum. I know airlock systems are not necessary for veggie ferments, but they might be worth it for more vulnerable ingredients. I didn't use any whey or previous brine, only filtered water and sea salt.

My beet kvass is just now, at day 8, starting to taste like the delicious store bought kvass I have tried in the past. For the first several days, it tasted like salty beet water. I am surprised at all of the info online recommending a 2 day fermentation, as that didn't really seem to do much of anything to my own beet concoction. I poured out a small glass of the juice today and diluted it with water, (as I think I added too much salt initially.) It was pretty good, but I believe another week outside of the refrigerator will make this taste even better. I added fresh turmeric root and one sliced up carrot, but so far I can't detect any flavor that either of those ingredients have added to the beets.
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Re: beet kvass

Postby Algoldor on Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:38 am

Hi There,
I have been brewing beet kvass for up to one month per batch. We were using floating lid system, so there was no air = no mold, if you can manage to avoid air in your brew you should be fine. We used half of the beets from previous batch for the next batch if I remember correctly and quite a decent amount of the kvass by itself to start the next batch. If you do not have any starter, yogurt or kefir whey should be suitable, I can imagine than the sourcrout juice/brine would be even better. This drink was very strong, few deci were more than enough to drink in one go.

If you want more info on the subject you can contact Three Stone Hearth kitchen in Berkeley (just write this in Google), their master brewer Otto does the kvass for five years or so on weekly bases :-)

Sincerely,

FAA
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