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Make Your Own Rejuvelac for Culturing Cheese

Rejuvelac is a totally vegan fermented liquid that is made from sprouted grains. It’s been touted as a drink for digestive health, but for us, we’re going to be using it for it’s lactobacillus bacteria which produces lactic acid. It’s going to help our cheeses develop that complex sharp, tangy and funky cheese flavours. This takes anywhere from 5 to 7 days so start your rejuvelac as soon as possible! You’re going to need this stuff for many of the cultured cheeses that I will be posting for Vegan MoFo this month, so get on it!

Video Tutorial for Making Rejuvelac

 
I used quinoa and wheat berries. However, you can use many different kinds of whole grains, including rye, buckwheat and barley. Each kind produces rejulvelac with a slightly different flavour. I found that the quinoa rejuvelac was brighter and more lemony while the wheat rejuvelac was more musky.
Click here to skip the ramble and go to the printable recipe.
sprouted wheat berries for rejuvelac

Rejuvelac will stay fresh for a week or more in the fridge. Check before using by tasting. It should have a nice pleasant, fresh and somewhat tangy taste. The smell should also be fresh, though it may have a bit of muskiness or savoriness to it; reminiscent of being in a cheese shop.

quinoa rejuvelac and wheat rejuvelac

Note: If your tap water is chlorinated, filter it or just let it stand for a few hours in a jug before using it to rinse or soak the grains.

This process is very simple. Start with a half cup of grains, a large jar and fresh water. You’ll want to make sure your jar and any utensils are clean and sterile.

  1. Sprout the grains. To do this, first soak them in water for 6 to 8 hours in a large quart sized glass jar. Then drain and rinse them. Drain them one more time, cover the top with cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band or ring lid. This lets the grains breathe while keeping any potential contaminants out.
    Let the grains sit at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, until they have sprouted. You’ll want to keep them moist during this time so rinse and drain them a few times during the day. You’ll notice that they will “grow” little tails after a while; those are the sprouts!
  2. Once the grains have sprouted, rinse them once or twice with fresh water.
  3. Add fresh water to the jar, up to the top. Then place a clean piece of cheesecloth over the top, secure, and let that sit at room temperature for 2 or 3 days. This will become your rejuvelac. The water will turn cloudy and bubbles will start to form. Depending on your room temperature, this may take a bit shorter or longer.
  4. Smell the rejuvelac. It should smell fresh with a hint of muskiness or savoriness to it. Taste it too! Don’t be scared! It will taste pleasant; fresh, a hint of lemon, and a bit grassy even. Depending on the grains, it may have different characteristics. If it smells foul, there may have been some contamination so it’s best to be safe and start again.
  5. Strain the rejuvelac into another clean jar. You can reuse the grains once more by adding fresh water. This will be more rejuvelac in only a day. Now you’re ready to use your rejuvelac in your own vegan cultured cheese!

straining rejuvelac from the grains

Printable Recipe for Rejuvelac


Rejuvelac for Cheese Making
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup unsprouted whole grains (like wheat berries, quinoa, amaranth, rye, barley or others)
  2. Water
Instructions
  1. To a large glass container (1 quart/liter size mason jars work well), soak the grains in enough water to fully cover. Let this sit at room temperature away from direct sunlight for 6 to 8 hours.
  2. After soaking, drain the water. Rinse the grains a couple times.
  3. Drain the water again, cover the top of the jar with a cheesecloth and secure it with a rubber band or the ring of the jar lid.
  4. Let the grains sit at room temperature until sprouts form, about 1 to 2 days. Keep the grains from drying out by rinsing and draining them 2 to 4 times a day.
  5. When the grains have begun to sprout, rinse them one more time and drain.
  6. Fill the jar with fresh water. Let this ferment for 2 to 3 days.
  7. As the mixture ferments, gas bubbles will form and the water will become cloudy. There may be some white film on top; this is normal. Taste it to see that it's ready. The taste will be tangy with a hint of lemon. It should be fresh and pleasant tasting.
  8. Strain the liquid into a clean jar and it's ready to use in your own vegan cultured cheese.
  9. You can add more water to the grains to make a second batch of rejuvelac. It will only take a day.
Notes
  1. To store, cover the jar and place in the fridge. It should stay fresh for a week or two.
Mary's Test Kitchen http://www.marystestkitchen.com/
Showing 23 comments
  • Caeli @ Little Vegan Bear
    Reply

    I am so keen to start playing around with cultured cheeses…maybe after MoFo. I’m going to bookmark this post to come back to when I’m ready. Thanks!

    • Mary
      Reply

      I hope you get to try them! Let me know how it goes! <3 Thanks for the comment, dear.

  • Helen
    Reply

    It’s so refreshing to find your website! I am just beginning to try to become vegan. I have been overwhelmed by all of the complicated vegan dishes out there. Your website is such a fresh breath of fresh air. Thank you so much!

    • Mary
      Reply

      Good for you for moving towards a vegan lifestyle! Every step you make helps the animals and the environment. Thank you so much for the lovely compliment. You’ve really made my day, so thank YOU! Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions about transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, questions about certain recipes, or if you have any suggestions. <3

  • bexy
    Reply

    Can you make rejuvelac with alfalfa sprouts, you think?

    • Mary
      Reply

      I wouldn’t recommend it. Alfalfa is notorious for harbouring pathogens.

  • Sonja
    Reply

    Hi Mary, just discovered rejuvelac today and I am so glad I have found your website as well. You make it simple, and you motive me to learn more. In the past I had sprouted grain to grow my own Wheatgrass for juice and lentils for salads, but never heard anything about rejuvelac. Thank you so much for sharing. I will definitely start making your recipes. Sonja

    • Mary
      Reply

      Thank you~!

  • Maya Gal
    Reply

    Hi,
    Can i freeze the liquid Rejuvelac when it is ready?

    • Mary
      Reply

      I am not sure if that will affect the strength of the rejuvelac; especially if you’re going to be using it for cheese-making afterwards. However, some other blogs say it is fine. I haven’t tried myself.

  • Cici Chenliu
    Reply

    What do you do with the grains after? Can you cook it? I used quinoa and it seems a waste to throw it out

    • Mary
      Reply

      I’ve tried cooking it and I didn’t find it very good so I just throw it in the compost. It’s not very much you’re using.

  • Annabelle esguerra
    Reply

    The one I’ve made with quinoa had bubbles and such a strong, foul and funky smell..I think I have to toss it out and start all over again with sterilized bottles

  • Davilyn Eversz
    Reply

    I make my own vegan yogurt. I found that using probiotics was not only really expensive but they don’t always work and even when they do they often create a slushy kind of yogurt, not a firm yogurt. Plus, I have an inherent distrust of anything commercially made. I use the Rejuvelac to make vegan cheese from nuts and I thought “Well, why not”.

    I put a couple of TBS of rye Rejuvelac in a jelly jar and filled it up with Westsoy Original (Did not sterilize anything). Put it on the seed mat overnight and had yogurt in the morning so that tells me of its potency that it yogurtized – LOL, at 70 degrees.

    This makes me so happy. I always have Rejuvelac left over when I make cheese and now I can use it to make yogurt – and actually I could make a single serving yogurt each night really easily. This first try left me with a soft yogurt more like kefir but now I know it does work so I’ll work on the ratio.

    • Mary
      Reply

      Yay! Thanks so much for sharing your experience 🙂 Maybe just straining the soft yogurt will make it thicker. Good luck!
      -Mary

      • Wendy
        Reply

        Really cool. I want to try that now

  • Colin
    Reply

    Just made the rejuvelac as outlined here. Would be nice to have links to your recipes that use the rejuvelac at the bottom!

  • Queen
    Reply

    Can I drink the “water” instead of tossing it? I’m wondering if it has any benefits

    • Mary
      Reply

      You can drink the finished rejuvelac. I would not drink the water you used to soak the grains in the first stage.

    • Wendy
      Reply

      I’m following your recipe, my grains are producing cloudy cheesy smelling water after day 2, I do not see tails yet. Is this what is supposed to happen? How much water do you put in to “keep them moist” I put a few table spoons, maybe and shake it.

  • Laura Weiss
    Reply

    I’ve had amaranth in 2 jars for 3 day’s now. I changed the water a few times daily & drained the water. Still no sprouts!

    • Mary
      Reply

      Hi Laura,
      I suggest continuing for another day or two. Sometimes grains take longer to sprout, especially if the temperature is cool. If they don’t show signs of sprouting after a couple more days, you might have to throw those out and start again. Reasons for grains not sprouting may include the grains themselves having gone rancid, the temperature is too cold, or the grains have been cooked/heat treated. Hope that helps. Good luck!
      -Mary

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