Happy Fermentation Friday y’all! At least 3 Fridays now! It’s also Earth Day today.
Well, last Friday I shared how to make Water Kefir. Water Kefir is a fermented dairy-free beverage that’s incredibly easy to make.
It got me thinking 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.
I quickly wondered if I could use some of my water kefir grains to culture soy milk and get homemade 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 of tofu.
So I started by making soy milk. I soaked organic soy beans overnight, drained them, blended them with water, added more water and brought them to just below boiling, and then strained the mixture.
The resulting liquid is soy milk and the stuff left in the strainer is okara.
I made the soy milk using my original tofu recipe so I had more soy milk than I wanted to make soy yogurt out of. So I left some as soy milk and used the rest—about 25 ounces—to make soy yogurt.
The soy milk is usually pretty hot and you want to cool it down. 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. I did the first 24 hours on my kombucha heating pad and then the next 24 in the fridge. I think you could 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
- I like to leave the soy yogurt unsweetened, it’s a nice blank canvas
- 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