Today’s Fermentation Friday is dedicated to making soy yogurt using water kefir grains. As you’re about to learn it’s very easy and super tasty!
While making the water kefir I couldn’t help but think about the variety of ferments and what gets them going.
Sauerkraut uses salt to prohibit the growth of bad bacteria, but time and good bacteria is what makes sauerkraut. Kombucha uses a SCOBY, with almond cheese I’ve used probiotics or miso, water kefir uses water kefir grains, beer uses sugar/grains/yeast, and with yogurt all you need is a few tablespoons of yogurt to culture milk into new yogurt. Amazing!
I quickly wondered if I could use some of the water kefir grains to culture soy milk to get soy yogurt.
This whole project was a culmination of the water kefir post and how to make tofu.
Before tofu is tofu, it’s soy milk. Tofu is essentially soy milk and a coagulant, think the buttermilk hack of milk + lemon juice.
It’s the same thing except the proteins in soy curd and then those curds are pressed into one big block creating tofu.
I started by making soy milk. That involves soaking organic soy beans overnight, draining them, blending the soaked beans with water, adding more water and heating the mixture to just below boiling, then straining the mixture.
The resulting liquid is soy milk and the stuff left in the strainer is okara.
I made the soy milk using the original tofu recipe so I had more soy milk than I needed to make soy yogurt, but it was easy to reserve a bit to keep as soy milk.
All in all I used about 25 ounces to make soy yogurt.
Soy milk straight off the burner is hot and needs to cool down so I placed it in the fridge to chill for a few hours and then poured it over a few tablespoons of water kefir grains. I then covered it with a linen towel secured by a rubber band and allowed it to culture for 24-48 hours. For the first 24 hours I left it on my kombucha heating pad and then transferred it to the fridge for the next 24 hours. You could most likely leave it out the entire time, but gauge your ambient room temperature (nothing above 85ºF).
As I’m typing this I wonder if I could just use water kefir instead of the grains. Ha! That never occurred to me.
A few other notes
- Water kefir grains should already be active
- If you don’t want to make homemade soy milk, try a store-bought soy milk that only has soybeans and water on the ingredients list—WestSoy is the only one I’ve seen and it’s shelf stable
- A very large saucepan is preferable for heating the soy mixture, I used an 8 quart pot, boil-over is quick so it’s nice to have a little wiggle room
- Unsweetened soy yogurt is a perfect blank canvas; feel free to sweeten with preserves or maple syrup when serving
- I would like to do this in a smaller batch next time; I found it hard to use a half-gallon of soy milk in a week’s time
As you can see it makes a pretty amazing yogurt. It’s the perfect texture and not as ‘tart’ as dairy yogurt though you could add a little lemon juice to mimic that when serving.
Scooping out that first spoonful was heaven. Everything about it was just right.
How to Make Soy Yogurt Using Water Kefir Grains
- 1 1/3 cup organic soy beans
- about 10 cups of water
- 3 tablespoons activated water kefir grains
- Soak soy beans overnight with enough water to cover by a couple of inches. The next day strain the soy beans and rinse. Place them in a high speed blender (Blendtec/Vitamix) along with enough water to cover them by several inches, about 4-5 cups. Blend on high speed for about 1 minute. If using a food processor or standard blender break this step over multiple batches.
- Pour blended soy beans into 8 quart saucepan + 4-5 more cups of water. Heat to about 200-205ºF (I used a candy thermometer), just below boiling, turn down heat to low and cook for 8 minutes. Stir occasionally. Watch closely as it's very easy to boil over.
- Next set up a large bowl or food grade container with a sieve on top and a nut milk bag on top of that. Carefully pour or ladle hot mixture into nut milk bag. This will separate the okara from the soy milk. Squeeze any remaining liquid out of the bag.
- Divide soy milk up depending on how much milk vs soy yogurt you would like. I went for 63 oz of soy milk (half gallon) and about 25 ounces of soy yogurt.
- Allow soy milk for yogurt to cool down to 85-95ºF, I sped this up by placing it in the fridge for a few hours.
- Use a 32 ounce mason jar or something similar for culturing. Place 3 tablespoons of water kefir grains at the bottom. Pour cooled soy milk over grains leaving about an inch of room at the top. Cover with a linen cloth and secure with a rubber band. Leave to culture at room temperature for 24-48 hours or until desired culture texture is achieved. If you would like to make more yogurt, gently scoop all of the yogurt out except for an inch or so at the bottom where the grains are—use that to start your next batch. Should keep in fridge for up to 2 weeks maybe a little longer.
- Enjoy as you would standard yogurt.
Enjoy! Please let me know if you have any questions. If you make this be sure to take a picture and tag us on Instagram @feedyourskull and use the hashtag #feedyourskull. I would love to see your pic and even share it. xx
Will be trying soon with some kind of homemade milk..it’s either going to be between sunflower, walnut, or almond milk.
I’ve only seen other recipes use “milk kefir grains” instead of “water kefir grains”. i need to get some water kefir grains now….
I would love to hear how it turns out! I’ve never tried sunflower milk, but that sounds delicious!
Just tried sunflower milk recently and it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either, but cheap. Then I decided to try to combine it with homemade oat milk as on its own I wasn’t a fan. And together they make a better combo than separately and is still cheap 🙂
Hi there! So glad I found your post! It’s near impossible to find a recipe to make dairy free yogurt usuong water kefir grains. I’m going to try making this tomorrow and am so excited!!
Do you add anything else to your yogurt to make it taste better like some dates or vanilla bean?
Since I’ll be making this using store bought dairy free milk, do I ferment it the same as I would water kefir? Do I need to add any sugar to the ferment?
Thank you and can’t wait to hear back (-:
I’m so glad you’re also excited about water kefir grains! 🙂 I haven’t mixed any flavorings in but I usually top it with a little maple syrup or bee free honey or even a little fruit. I would love to know how you sweetened yours up! I didn’t need to add any sugar to the ferment and I think I just did it overnight, though I’m sure you could stretch it out a couple of days?? Cheers!
So I finally got down to trying this and the yogurt is mid ferment. I used a boxed soymilk that’s unsweetened, no preservatives, & the only ingredients are soybeans and water. I did about 1 1/2 of the soymilk to 2 tbsp of grains and let it go overnight (it’s been about 13 hours) and I just checked it and there is some separation. Did this happen with yours? I can see the water kefir grains on the bottom, then a brown opaque liquid in the middle, and then thick liquid (or yogurt?) at the top. I’m assuming this is just mid ferment and the opaque liquid has yet to ferment but unsure, what do you think? I also added a skinned date just in case my little grains needed a push 😀 hoping it turns out well! I wish I could attatched a photo on here !
can I do this with almond milk ?
I would try it, please let us know how it comes out! I would opt for an almond milk with the fewest ingredients. Some of the ‘gums’ and thickeners could interfere with fermentation/culturing.
cool 🙂 I’ll try this with other fat-sugar water emulsions and see what happens.
Genius! Have you by chance tried it with just the kefir water yet? My grains have been a little shocked and not reproducing as much so I don’t have quite enough grains to spare right now.
Thanks for sharing this recipe. Questions: do you strain out the water kefir grains out of the yourgurtbonce it is made? Or do you just end up eating the grains in the yogurt? Would this work with coconut milk to make coconut yogurt?
I’d love to know the answers as well since there aren’t as many information on vegan kefir yogurt out there yet.
For the water kefir grains side, after making a batch of yoghurt & if I would like to stop for a while and how do i store the grains?
Do I rinse it with filtered water & store it like you do for water kefir making?
How does water kefir differ from normal kefir? I have just purchased non-dairy kefir grains are they suitable?
Hi! I am planning on trying this out very soon! I would just like to ask if its possible to let me know how many grams of soybeans are in your one cup? I really want to get it just right and I want to have the exact same measurements as you’ve done! I really want some proper home made soy yogurt!