Photo by Matthew Benson
Allow 5 to 7 days, depending on ambient temperature
Rejuvelac is yet another culturing and flavoring ferment that can be used with dairy-free cheeses. It adds a pleasant cheesy and tangy flavor, but it can be a little trickier to make than a fermented veggie brine. It can be made with wheat berries, but in my opinion, it’s easier to make with quinoa, and using this pseudo grain keeps it gluten-free. Rejuvelac will keep in the fridge for at least a month. It’s good to make a batch when you know you’ll be making a cheese soon. Substitute it for 1/4 cup of water in the cheese recipes or use it to culture nuts and seeds.
- 1/2 cup good-quality white quinoa (not pre-sprouted)
- 3 cups filtered water, plus more
Two 1-quart canning jars with lids, rinsed with boiling water*
Note: To prepare your equipment, submerge a jar and lid in a bowl of boiling water and allow them to sit for 5 minutes. Remove them from the water and allow them to cool for 10 minutes at room temperature. This will ensure that you start with a clean environment for fermentation.
- Pour the quinoa into one of the glass jars. Pour the 3 cups water over the quinoa. Loosely cover the jar with a lid.
- Soak the quinoa for 8 to 12 hours.
- Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a mesh sieve. Return the damp quinoa to the jar and put the lid back on.
- Rinse the quinoa 2 or 3 times a day to make sure it remains damp and fresh. Repeat until you see sprouts. Place the jar away from direct sun in between rinsings. You should see little tails sprout (different from the quinoa’s round germ) in 1 to 2 days, 3 maximum.
- When the quinoa has sprouted, fill the jar with water and set the jar away from sunlight for 3 days. Check it daily. Tip! Checking on your jar daily will give you an idea of how quickly the process is going. Ambient temperature will affect how fast or slowly it progresses.
- The water should become cloudy and look a little fizzy when you move it. You may see little bubbles at the surface. It will also smell pleasantly cheesy and taste tangy (taste a little with a clean spoon, but make sure you don’t double dip).
- When the rejuvelac is ready, strain it through a clean cheesecloth, discard the grains, and transfer the liquid to a clean jar. Cover it with an airtight lid and refrigerate until you need it.
Safety & Troubleshooting
You may see a film on the top—that’s okay. If you see mold or detect any unpleasant odor at all, however, discard the batch but don’t give up! Start again and make sure that your jar and tools are very clean.
More from One-Hour Dairy-Free Cheese:
Cover Courtesy of Workman Publishing
Excerpted from One-Hour Dairy-Free Cheese: Make Mozzarella, Cheddar, Feta, and Brie-Style Cheeses — Using Nuts, Seeds, and Vegetables by Claudia Lucero (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2019. Photographs by Matthew Benson.