Beets must be soured in the last quarter of the year when beets always tend to be soft. Scrape them with a knife, then wash thoroughly, and place in a large vat. When it is filled, pour on river water or, lacking that, well water. Replenish any brine that you pour off before Christmas with the same amount of water. But do not add any water to the vat after Christmas, because by then the beets are almost entirely saturated. If you wish to have constant supply of fresh beet brine for sauces and soups, soak only half the beets in the autumn and leave the other half fresh, souring them in batches every 3 weeks. If using beet brine which has been diluted with water, then, for a better flavor, boil it with 1 or 2 fresh beets before using.
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