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Homemade Zakwas Buraczany Polish Fermented Beet Juice Recipe

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beetroot juice.
Fermented beetroot juice

Zakwas Buraczany is a fermented beetroot juice that’s probiotic in nature. Easy to make at home in a week, kvas can be had as a healthy drink, and is also used in other popular Polish dishes such as the red borscht soup.

What Is Beet Kvass? What Is Zakwas Buraczany?

beetroot juice.
Fermented beetroot juice

Beet Kvass or Zakwas Buraczany is a probiotic drink made with beetroot, garlic, and spices. The drink is fermented in a jar for 5 to 7 days and is considered a health drink in Polish and other Eastern European cultures.

Kvass is also a natural antioxidant that builds immunity and improves health. As one of the famous non-alcoholic drinks in Poland, it can be had any time of the day.  

How Do You Make Zakwas Buraczany?

It’s really easy to make zakwas buraczany. You simply chop up the beetroot into cubes and add it to a glass jar. Top it with hot salty water so it ferments.

You can also add bay leaves, crushed garlic, or allspice berries. You then let it ferment for a week and your tasty Polish beetroot kvass is ready to drink. 

Fresh beetroot


Good zakwas!

How Does The Beetroot Ferment Into Zakwas Buraczany?

The mixture of beetroot, garlic, and water is aided by lactobacillus bacteria which helps it ferment. Lactobacillus are good bacteria that are also present in yogurt, kefir, sourdough bread, sauerkraut, or kimchi.

Drinking the lactobacillus-rich kvass benefits gut health. Of course, the tangy taste that we love sometimes feels like drinking vinegar, but most people love it!

Just remember that if there is foam at the top of your zakwas, that’s okay! But if it looks like a film – see the pic below – it’s developed a mold and is definitely meant for the trash bin! 

spoiled kwas.
This Beet kvass is spoiled! Discard it!

Other Than Drinking Kvass, What Can I Do With It? Can I Eat The Beetroot From The Fermented Beetroot Juice?

Drink your beetroot zakwas buraczany as a health drink. Or add it to salads, soups, or other dishes!

Beet kvass is an important ingredient in the traditional barszcz soup. Try the recipe here. You can also use the beet kvass or fermented beetroot juice as a replacement for vinegar. 

Tips For Making Zakwas Buraczany At Home

  • Do not use chlorinated water to make zakwas buraczany. Distilled water or spring water is best!
  • Some recommend stirring the beetroot juice every day, but this is not necessary. 
  • Once the beet kvass is ready, you can use the beetroot in salads with boiled eggs or other dishes. 
  • If you want to make another batch, you can reuse the same chopped beetroots and just add the other ingredients. It’s good for 2 to 3 times.
  • Leaving 1 or 2 tablespoons of old kvass in the jar will speed up the process. 
  • Strain the zakwas buraczany into another container before serving. The excess can be stored in a refrigerator. 
  • If you notice the white foam on the top of your zakwas, you should remove it with a clean spoon. After that, you should stir your zakwas.


Zakwas buraczany.
Zakwas buraczany is ready!

Important Questions About Making Kvass: Fermented Beetroot Juice

How Long Will Beet Kvass Last?

Since the beet kvass is fermented, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to a month.

I See Foam Forming On Top OF The Beetroot Zakwas? Do I Throw It Out?

If you see a slight foam forming on top of the kvass, you can skim it off with a spoon and use the zakwas. If  you see too much foam, or if there is a film on top, then you may have to throw out the zakwas.

What Does Beet Kvass Taste Like?

Beet kvass has a sweet yet tangy taste.

Do I Need Any Special Pots To Make Zakwas Buraczany?

No, you don’t need any special equipment to make Zakwas Buraczany. A sterile glass jar and a wooden spoon will do.

Which Salt Should I Use? 

Preferably use salt that does not contain iodine. Sea salt or rock salt is the best choice. 

beetroot juice.
Fermented beetroot juice



Yield: 10 servings

Homemade Beetroot Sourdough Recipe - Fermented Beet Juice

beetroot juice.

Zakwas Buraczany is a fermented beetroot juice that’s easy to make at home and often used in dishes such as red borscht soup.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 5 days
Total Time 5 days 10 minutes


Basic ingredients

  • 2.2 lbs / 1 kg of beets
  • 4 cups of purified water
  • 2 tbsps of salt


  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 8 allspice berries


  1. Peel the beetroots.
  2. Cut off 1 big slice or 2 small slices of beet.
  3. Dice the rest of the beetroots.
  4. Dissolve salt in water. The hotter the water, the quicker your beetroot sourdough will be ready.
  5. Put the diced beetroots in a sterile jar, then cover them with salty water.
  6. [Optionally] add crushed garlic cloves, bay leaves and allspice berries.
  7. Put one big or 2 small slices of beet on top of the water. The water should cover all the beetroots, however, they can't float. Leave 1-1.5'' of free space on top of the jar. zakwas.
  8. Twist the jar and put it in the cold (max 20°C / 68°F), dark place.
  9. Wait for 5-7 days and your beetroot sourdough will be ready to use.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 58Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1478mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 2g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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2 Responses

  1. So you put a lid on this? It doesn’t need to be exposed to some air? It wasn’t clear in the instructions.

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