General rule of thumb is to wait for it to sprout, then you know what ever you are soaking is actually alive and not killed by some process along the way. Why soak nuts, grains and seeds?
#1 To remove or reduce phytic acid. #2 To remove or reduce tannins. #3 To neutralize the enzyme inhibitors. #4\tTo encourage the production of beneficial enzymes. #5 To increase the amounts of vitamins, especially B vitamins. #6 To break down gluten and make digestion easier. #7 To make the proteins more readily available for absorption. #8 To prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss. #9 To help neutralize toxins in the colon and keep the colon clean. #10 To prevent many health diseases and conditions. “Soaking allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize a large portion of phytic acid in grains.
Soaking in warm water also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors, present in all seeds, and encourages the production of numerous beneficial enzymes. The action of these enzymes also increases the amount of many vitamins, especially B vitamins. I have found many references to soaking nuts, grains, and seeds in water, salt water, or a warm water mixture with something acidic like yogurt, Apple Cider Vinegar, whey or lemon juice. It seems within 7 to 24 hours the enzyme inhibitors are neutralized and the anti-nutrients are broken down regardless of the method you choose.\tThere is evidence that the process works when you see sprouting begin.