Tangerine-Turmeric Beet Sour

Source: Kathryn Lukas, author of Farmhouse Culture Guide to Fermenting

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on January 4, 2020.

Makes ½ gallon


6 cups distilled or spring water
1 ¾ teaspoon unrefined sea salt
2 cups diced peeled golden beets, ½ inch cubes
½ cups grated peeled fresh turmeric (about two 4-inch pieces)
1 tablespoon tangerine zest
½ cup tangerine juice (from 3 or 4 tangerines)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
½ cup natural brine from purchased sauerkraut


Kitchen scale
½ gallon or 2 liter wide-mouth glass jar
Fermentation lid
3 (16 ounce) bottles


Wash and sanitize all your fermentation equipment, including a knife and cutting board, and set aside to air-dry.

Make a salt brine by bringing 1 ½ cups water to just under a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat, add the salt, and stir well until all the salt has dissolved.

Add the remaining room-temperature water to the hot brine to cool it down. Set aside.

Combine the beets, turmeric, tangerine zest, tangerine juice, cinnamon sticks, and peppercorns in the jar. Pour the kraut brine into the jar over the beets. Pour the salt brine into the jar, leaving about 2 inches of headspace. Reserve the extra salt brine in a small jar in the refrigerator to use as needed.

Seal the jar with the fermentation lid. Place the jar on a plate or in a bowl to catch any liquid displaced through the airlock during fermentation.

Ferment the beet mixture in a cool place away from direct sunlight (2 weeks at 64°F is ideal). 

Taste the beet mixture after 1 week to determine if the sourness is to your liking. If it’s not sour enough, reseal the jar and leave it to ferment for another week, then taste again.

When the beet mixture is sour to your liking, strain it through a fine- mesh sieve set over a bowl. Discard the beets or reserve them for another use (see page 283).

Transfer the liquid into bottles, seal, and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. Enjoy the beet sour still, or add flavoring and/or carbonation through a secondary fermentation in the bottle.

Farmers Market Ingredients