Mmm, grain water!

By Rebecca Firkser
Updated March 09, 2018
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The fizzy, lively quality of kombucha comes from a colony of yeast and bacteria, known as a SCOBY. While a SCOBY can be the Dr. Frankenstein to your kombucha-monster, it means all kombucha made with that SCOBY will be packed with yeast. For plenty of people, this can be an agitator of a host of gut problems, so if yeast is persona non grata in your stomach, so too is kombucha. If you’re looking for a comparably funky substitute, try rejuvelac. Rejuvelac is a fermented beverage like kombucha, but it’s made with grains instead of a SCOBY.

Rinse ½ cup grains like wheat berries, rye, quinoa, or buckwheat, and place them in a clean 1-quart glass jar. To start, you’ll sprout the grain by filling the jar with 4 cups filtered water and letting the jar sit for overnight covered with a sprouting lid or dish towel secured with a rubber band. After 6 hours, drain the water and rinse the grains 2-3 times a day, or until little tails appear on the grains. Tails mean they’re sprouted and you’re ready to move on.

Wash the jar, then put the sprouted grains back in. Fill the jar with filtered water and cover it with a sprouting lid or dish towel and rubber band. Place the jar in a cool part of the kitchen and let it sit for 24-48 hours. After the first day, the water will start to look cloudy. When you’re ready to drink, strain out the liquid into a pitcher, reserving the grains if you want to make another batch of rejuvelac.

Rejuvelac, like kombucha and revenge, is best served cold, so stash the pitcher of the drink in the fridge and chill for a few hours. Drink it as it, or half-and-half with fruit juice for some extra flavor.

Rejuvelac should be fizzy and taste slightly citrusy. If you want to make another batch, refill the jar with water and let the mixture sit for 24 hours. Discard the grains after the second batch.