I like simplicity. The kind of food fermentation that I do is the very simplest kind that I know of. I make rejuvelac, using whole rye (called rye berries) and water—that’s it—nature does the rest in 48 hours. I then continue to pour off fresh batches of rejuvelac for the next two days. Cheap and easy—who could ask for anything more? Flavor—that’s something that many people ask for in a food, but you may not get that with rejuvelac. When it’s well made, it tastes like sauerkraut juice—and you either like that or you don’t. And if you don’t, you may have made a bad batch, and you might want to try again. The temperature that you make rejuvelac at will affect how long you let it sit and wait. The colder it is, the longer it will take to make a batch of rejuvelac.
My recipe for making rejuvelac is my own, but it’s based on the recipe on page 7 of Ann Wigmore’s 1978 classic book, Recipes for Longer Life. She invented rejuvelac and here’s where she has a very extensive and detailed description of how to make it and why. I also have her later book, The Wheatgrass Book, and it too has a nice section on pages 105 and 106 on making rejuvelac.
Here’s my version of rejuvelac:
Into a quart jar, I pour one cup of whole organic rye berries (you could also use various grains, such as wheat berries) and then I add pure water (you definitely want to remove the chlorine from water for making rejuvelac and you can do that simply by letting potable tap water sit for at least thirty minutes before using it) until it’s about a half inch from the top of the jar. I put a sprout jar lid on the jar and let it sit (lightly covered because you want air to be able to pass, but not dust) for 48 hours—at which time you pour off the liquid (your rejuvelac!) into a clean container, and add fresh water to the rye berries. Twenty-four hours later, repeat the process. Do the same thing again 24 hours later. (At that point, many people put the old rye berries in the compost, but my husband makes a stir fry out of them with onions and other vegetables. He boils and pours off the liquid from the rye at least once before using them in the stir fry.) Freshly poured-off rejuvelac may be stored at room temperature as long as it is consumed within twelve hours. Any remaining rejuvelac can be refrigerated. It will keep for a week in the fridge.
When I’m making batches of rejuvelac, the house feels a bit different to me—there’s fermented food forming and my own timing and actions are part of the deal. I’m balancing yin and yang in my own kitchen (pantry actually, we’re quite thankful to have a pantry—that’s where the fridge is, so we can close the pantry door and it’s super quiet in the rest of the house).