Scrub beets, leaving root and 5 cm of stem intact to prevent bleeding. Place beets in a large saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 20 to 40 minutes until beets are tender. Next, tie pickling spice in a square of cheesecloth, creating a spice bag. Combine with vinegar, water and sugar in a stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover and boil gently for 15 minutes. Discard spice bag. Drain beets and rinse with cold water to cool. Slip off the skins removing taproot and stems.