6 beets, peeled
1/2 cup whey
2 tablespoons salt
Chop beets coarsely- if they are cut too fine, their sugar will be converted to alcohol in the fermentation process. We spread the six beets, whey, and salt out between four quart jars but making this in a gallon jug works just as well. Cover the mix with clean water and let ferment for 2-3 days before storing in the fridge. Drink the kvass as a tonic, lots of healthy compounds in there. When the batch is almost done, cover again with water and let it re-ferment. There won't be enough goodies left for a third time, though.
Making whey: separate the cheese from the living liquid component of unflavored, plain yogurt by straining through (surprise!) cheesecloth or a clean cloth. I tie up the corners and hang the bundle from a kitchen cabinet handle with a bowl underneath the catch the drippings. Don't toss the cheese, it has a fun, tangy flavor and spreadable consistency.
From the Weston Price website (http://www.westonaprice.org/foodfeatures/kvass.html):
Kvass and Kombucha: Gifts From Russia
Visitors to Russia can observe the following typical sight on Moscow street corners: a large metal drum, larger than a beer keg, turned sideways and mounted on wheels. A spigot on one end releases a brown bubbly liquid into a glass. Customers line up to pay for a draught, down it in several gulps and return the glass to the vendor who wipes it clean for the next customer.
The beverage enjoyed by Muscovites, other city dwellers and villagers throughout Russia is kvass, a lacto-fermented beverage made from stale rye bread. It tastes like beer but is not alcoholic. Kvass is considered a tonic for digestion, an excellent thirst quencher and, consumed after vodka, an antidote to a hangover.
It is also recognized that kvass is safer to drink than water. Tolstoy describes how Russian soldiers took a ladle full of kvass before venturing from their barracks onto the Moscow streets during a cholera epidemic. Because kvass protects against infectious disease, there is no worry about sharing the glass.
Russians have been enjoying kvass for at least one thousand years. Wrote Pushkin: "Their kvass they needed like fresh air. . . " Lomonosov, a prominent scientist of peasant origins lived in "unspeakable poverty" as a student. "With a daily allowance of three kopecks, all I could have by way of food was half a kopeck’s worth of bread and half a kopeck’s worth of kvass. . . I lived like this for five years, yet did not forsake study."
But kvass was enjoyed by czars as well as by peasant. In wealthy households, various kinds of kvass were made either with rye bread or with currants, raspberries, lemons, apples, pears, cherries, bilberries and lingonberries. Peter the Great enjoyed splashing kvass on red-hot stones in the steam bath, to enhance the steam with the fragrance of fresh bread."