Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Best Blog Tips

UPDATES, January 2020: See this post about straining the milk; and this one.

Also, if you are looking for a soymilk maker, look for a filterless machine-- see 2020 reviews of filterless machines here and here. Filterless machines are so much easier to clean and some can make a thicker soymilk, with more beans, and NO burning!

The machines I use (the SoyQuick pictured below) is, unfortunately, not produced any longer. (You may be able to find a good deal on an un-used or gently-used SoyQuick machine on ebay or other similar sites.)

I have revised my recipe for soymilk using the filterless machine. Because you can use a larger amount of beans without burning the milk, you can make ultra-creamy soymilk with this new Soyquick machine. Even with the extra beans (organic), it's still costs UNDER $1 a quart!

I developed a new soymilk recipe that makes non-beany soymilk (using ordinary soybeans) that is creamy and silky-smooth and tastes great! DH, who previously did not really like homemade soymilk as a beverage, is now converted!

For each batch, use a total of 6 oz., or about 165 g, of dried soybeans, which have been soaked thoroughly (I soak them overnight-- or even for up to 3 days-- in large screw-top jars with water up to the bottom of the neck of the jar), and, if you like, the skins removed (see information below-- this is an easy but important step to improve the flavor of the finished product), PLUS 3 tablespoons of rolled oats, which add a creamy texture.
NOTE: You don't have to follow the intructions in the following section if you use Laura soybeans, which apparently have a less "beany" flavor. This is what I have been told-- I haven't tried them myself because they are not available in Canada, as far as I am aware. Link to order Laura Soybeans (USA) (non-GMO)-- they are a pretty good price.

BEFORE MAKING THE SOYMILK, I prefer to rub off most of the skins of the soybeans-- this neutrilizes the "beany" taste. ( The skins contain some of the bitter flavours and also some inhibiting enzymes, so removing the skins can positively affect the taste, while some "gas forming" or "digestion inhibiting" compounds may be reduced or eliminated.)

This procedure isn't as arduous as it sounds. Place the drained, soaked soybeans in a deep bowl in the sink. Cover with boiling water and let sit until it cools off to just warm.  This helps loosen the skins. Remove the skins (or husks) by rubbing the soaked soybeans (still in the soaking water) between your hands with a back and forth motion. Stir the beans in a circular motion. The skins will float to the top and you can float them away while you drain off the water, leaving the beans behind.  You need to do this a few times (adding more water each time) until most of the skins have come off (leaving a few behind is okay). (PS: To conserve water, you can drain the soaking water into another bowl and reuse it each time you float away more skins. See instructions and ideas at end of this post.)

The skins are great for your compost, BTW, and the okara (the soy pulp left over from squeezing out the milk) can be used in recipes. Check this blog's Recipe Link page for  okara recipes, or use the search box on the main page using the word "okara". In addition, you can do a search in whatever search engine you use for "okara recipes"-- there are actually quite a few out there, such as Susan Voisin's vegan Okara "Crab" cakes or my Okara Waffles. There are some great okara recipes here, too!

Okara is full of fiber-- both soluble and non-soluble-- for one thing. It also contains some protein, calcium, iron and B vitamins. If you want to save it to use later, you can freeze it or dehydrate it

***NOTE: Do read the comments below-- lots of interesting and helpful information!

Now, follow the directions for your machine to make the soymilk.

Straining your soymilk:I like my milk smooth, so I want it strained well. Gold coffee filters, which is often recommended, are very slow and tedious. The mesh strainer that comes with many machines is just not fine enough for me and doesn't hold much at a time, so I gave up on that. Consequently, I use a metal "Chinois", or a conical strainer, to strain my soymilk with ease. (These are sometimes called "China caps", or a "8-inch Extra Fine Mesh Bouillon Strainer".) It has large capacity, is made of stainless steel and has extra fine mesh. If you do buy a conical strainer, opt for extra-fine mesh, NOT perforated steel.  In Canada, you can buy this from amazon here. In the USA, you can order it from here.

**For extra-smooth milk, I also line the strainer with a fine mesh "jelly bag" or nut milk bag, which fits inside the strainer and can be secured by folding the top edge over the edge of the strainer. The string at the top of the bag can be secured by attaching it to the hook at the top of the metal strainer, across from the handle. Then your pulp can be pressed with the bottom of a jar or some sort of pestle (it will be too hot to squeeze by hand). These bags are easily available in cookware shops, online, and even in large supermarkets.

To flavor each batch after straining, use 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1-2 tablespoons organic sugar or sweetener of choice.

Note: Soymilk is naturally very low in sodium and sugars, which is why they are added to commercial soymilk. Dairy milk is naturally high in both—a taste most of us are used to, so most people prefer a little flavoring. Some people like to add vanilla, but I don't like the flavor of vanilla in my tea and cereal, etc..

   This photo shows the blade-protector, which is a cinch to clean-- no more filter clogging!
EXTRA: If you make your own soymilk and/or tofu and you are having water problems, here are some ideas to conserve water during the very water-intensive process:
You can use the same 2 quarts or so of water to:
a.) float the skins off the soybeans;
b.) scald your equipment;
c.) wash your equipment after making the soymilk;
and d.) water your plants or garden!
While rubbing the skins off of the beans before making the soymilk (removing the skins results in a product with a less "beany" taste), strain the water in which you are floating off the skins through a sieve into a pot or bowl each time. Re-use the same water for each round of rubbing off and floating off the skins and save the water after the last round. (NOTE: I have found that the age of the soybeans makes a difference in terms of removing the skins.  For older, more shrunken soybeans, it takes me about 7 minutes to remove the skins; for nice plump newer soybeans it takes only about 3 minutes.  I soak them in the refrigerator first for a few days.  Freezing the soaked beans also helps the skins come off more easily.)

Now you can 
boil that same strained rinsing water and use it to scald your equipment in a basin. After making your soymilk, you can re-use the same water (in a washing basin and reheated) to wash out your straining cloth and clean and rinse your soymilk-making equipmentIf you use dish soap, use a biodegradable one. You can then use this washing and rinsing water to water your plants or garden, or even flush your toilet, if water is very scarce.

                 Finished soymilk ready for the refrigerator.



Speedwell said...

Hello, Bryanna. I'm confused about something you posted here. To the best of my knowledge, "one regular measuring cup" is 8 ounces. 6 ounces is a "rice cooker measure," or 3/4 standard measuring cup. Am i missing something?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Speedwell, 1 cup is indeed 8 oz. liquid, but I weighed out 1 cup of dry soybeans on a very accurate food scale, and it was 6 oz. Actually, I should say a "scant cup", as a full cup is about 6.5 oz, according to
where you find the type of food you are measuring, and then convert it from a cup to oz.

Speedwell said...

OK, I understand. I work with engineers and it's not easy for me to think of a cup as a unit of weight, but it works well enough for soybeans and is a great tip. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

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julie hasson said...

Love the new machine Bryanna! And the soymilk looks great.

shanna said...

thanks for this review & updated recipe.

i'm confused by their copy on the site though. the soy yogurt section on the page you link to says "This is a totally-vegan, live-culture, almost dairy-free alternative to dairy milk yogurt." how can it be "totally vegan" if it's only "almost dairy free"?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Shanna-- I didn't write that copy and I update my information more often than they do. I will ask them to clarify this.

Please go to this link on the yogurt-making page of my website:

Part of it reads:

"The product info for Bionic-Ferment states:

"First time used in Soya and Rice milk Vital ferment yogurt has "trace of milk". Not non-dairy.

After transfer vital-ferment yogurt and L+ should be non-dairy. Depending on allergy sensitivity second transfer might be needed before consumed."

My comment: It seems difficult to find a yogurt starter (as a retail customer, anyway) that is not GROWN on dairy. (But the pure cultures [like Bio-Ferment] are NOT mixed with powdered milk, as some starters are-- Yogourmet, Donvier, and Yogo-Cuisine dried cultures, for instance.)

However, when it is used with soymilk, and then used again, in my opinion, the traces would be so microscopic that they would not be enough to exacerbate an allergy."

I also state that Nancy's Cultured Soy and Whole Soy yogurts claim to use "live vegan cultures", so they can be used as yogurt starters, too.

shanna said...

oops--yes, i didn't mean to sound as if i thought you'd written it. i just thought you might understand it better. very helpful. thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi Bryanna, I also just got myself a new soymilk maker (Veganstar) which I'm very satisfied with. Just curious, why is it you advice not to use soymilk with oats for yogurt?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

I haven't heard of that one! I'm just not sure the new recipe will work, Søren, because I have only used pure soymilk in yogurt myself, so far. I have to experiment with it before I recommend it. I have not had good luck with grain milks and yogurt. It would probably be okay, but, as I say, I don't want to recommend it until I try it. if it works, I'll chnage my advice1

spiceislandvegan said...


Is there no okara at all? I don't understand. I went to the website and the video didn't show the process. The soy beans are all ground up till very very fine and no leftover okara? That's why there is no filter?


spiceislandvegan said...


It's funny that I have containers exactly like what you have for soy milk making. I haven't made soy milk for a long long time although I have the machine(older). I just don't have the time and we just buy SILK from the store or TJ's. Maybe when I retire later, they'll come up with new new new new improved soy milk maker (another 8 years?) :-) I'd rather make seitans with my available time right now.


aimee said...

Thanks for the review, Bryanna. Do you know if this machine will make rice milk, as well? I've been looking for a soymilk machine, but was hesitant to get the Soybella as I've heard so many complaints about cleaning it! This sounds like a great alternative!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Debbie, yes, there is okara! You just strain the milk and the okara is left behind, as usual. (I still strain it through a cloth and squeeze it.)

Aimee, this machine is supposed to be especially suited to all sorts of grain and nut milks, though I haven't tried them.

Rio said...

Hm, that sounds like a good idea. Thanks for reviewing it, I was looking at their website and could not find much info on how it works. I have their other model and am wondering if I could just put the beans into the jug and leave off the filter cup to "copy" the new model. I'm aware the "blades" would be exposed. How does that work in the new machine anyway, how can it grind the beans properly with the protector on.
Thank you Ruth

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

rzaugg-- please don't try that! I accidentally left the blade protector off earlier this week and it made weird noise and soymilk was starting to com out a little on the top! I unplugged it and added the blade protector, and all was well. There is no bottom on the blade protector, so the beans get drawn up into the "vortex", I guess. But the blade protector seems to keep everything fronm spurting out.

Speedwell said...

Bryanna, this machine looks exactly like the JoYoung model CTS-1048. The Chinese company is one of the largest makers of soy milk makers in the world, and I'd be willing to bet that SoyQuick licenses from them.

A good picture of the JoYoung machine is here: http://bigcrazystore.com/pro806245.html It appears to have all the same functions as the SoyQuick machine does, but it does not have a 7-year warranty. The tradeoff is that the JoYoung machine costs less than half as much as the SoyQuick machine (89.99 with free shipping was the lowest I found).

I have ordered the next model larger, the CTS-1038. It is also filterless and has the same functionality, but it has a larger capacity. It was actually the same price as the CTS-1048. I'll write and let you know whether it is works well and is sound.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Well, I hope it works out for you, Speedwell, but I'd rather deal with a company that I know is reliable, and have the 7-year warranty (3-year full warranty, and 4-year pro-rated), plus 90 day undconditional return guarantee, instead of 1 year (parts and service only), and 30 day return policy.

The ads for the 1048 and one you ordered say: "The CTS-1038 is only available for individual order for a limited time only! Buy one today, before this deal ends!" What's that all about?

Also, though the large size looks tempting, I don't see where it says the 1038 is filterless...??

Speedwell said...

Hi, Bryanna. I'm sorry to have drawn your fire... I thought I was helping people who, like me, could not see spending that much when they could get it for less. For me, it made the difference between buying one and not buying one.

I did not (and would not) actually buy from that site. I ordered from a different, Chinese-language, site recommended by a friend who has bought from (and returned to) them and who says they are reliable and ethical. I just linked to the other site because it was mostly in English and had a good picture of the machine. Readers must decide for themselves if a given Internet seller is a good risk.

I understand you'd rather pay nearly a hundred dollars more for the feeling of safety you get from a new-car warranty for a kitchen gadget, but the inflated price really puts quite it out of reach of many of us. The tradeoff is acceptable to me.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Speedwell, I don't have any investment, emotional or otherwise, in this company! I hope it's a good machine for you!

Please do not think I was upset! I'm sorry if it sounded like that! I was merely explaining my viewopoint on it. Having had difficulty getting various electronic articles repaired in the past, knowing that the company I deal with is reliable (and it happens to be not far from me, as well!) is worth it to me! I think I save money in the long run. But that's just my opinion.

BTW, is the larger machine filterless?

Speedwell said...

BTW, is the larger machine filterless?

Gee whiz, am I glad you asked. I was pretty sure it was, but I could not re-find the website I found the information on. The filterless shield with the big holes is referred to as a "Laffer Net" or "Lafayre Net" (different websites, different spellings). The 2.4 liter machine is claimed to have all of the functionality of the smaller machine, but it does not explicitly say it is filterless.

I called the merchant to ask, but their English and my Chinese were not quite up to the job. I was able to get them to send me the smaller one instead of the larger one, though, so I will let you know what kind of quality I let myself in for, :)

Speedwell said...

Success! Will write with details and a new way to remove even more beany taste from soaked beans...

Anonymous said...

Hey Speedwell,
How did that Soymilk maker work out, I have been considering buying the exact same model. I can justify paying twice as much for a warm squishy feeling of security personally!

Anonymous said...

WOW Bryanna Clark Gorgan, I knew when I got to this site that your name sounded familiar- after an Amazon.com search it clicked!
I LOVE your cookbooks, especially Authentic Chinese Cooking- it is my primary reference in the Kitchen- I literally cook from it about 3 times a week as my primary cuisine is Chinese food and your book is the only vegan cookbook that I know of! (I also wrote a very good review for it on amazon.com)!! PLEASE publish a follow-up volume to it!!!!
Nonna's Italian Kitchen is actually one of the next on my list, I can't wait to try the recipes in it.
Sorry to sound like a one man fan club here but I really love your cookbooks and was pleasantly surprised to realized that I accidentally stumbled upon your blog!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thanks, Ryan! I hope you enjoy perusing the blog!

Anonymous (from the post Thursday, June 19, 2008 12:39:00 AM), you are a guest on this blog, and I expect people to "speak" to me here as they would to my face. I do not make any money from this blog, nor do I get paid bt vegsource for moderating my forum, and I do not make enough to live on from my writing and other work. And, FYI, we cooks who present at vegetarian conferences get our travel expenses paid for and usually our accomodation, but we usually don't get paid for our work. I work partime in a library for a regular paycheck, and I don't have a wealthy husband to support me, either! I buy my appliances carefully and I try to use them well and for a long time.

So, I don't appreciate your sarcastic, judgemental "warm squishy feeling of security personally!" remark. If you have a problem with my opinion, then do say so in a polite and respectful way, as I believe Speedwell and I did with eachother. Grown-ups can agree to disagree and still be friendly!

Michael said...

I do apologize, the comment was in no way directed toward you or your posts, it was directed toward SoyQuick. I don't trust big companies, especially ones that seem to gouge prices. Two companies are offering what seem to be identical products, one of them is $90 and the other is $180. This sort of thing causes me cynicism. Some authors appear to be bought out by these companies, I honestly did not get this sense with you looking at this blog- your not pushy about it, you are just offering an opinion.

You are definitely right, I am sarcastic, but I would avoid the term judgmental, cynical is more like it, but I think i have reason to be, walk into any coffee shop these days and 9 time out of 10 they will try to sell you something you don't want. Same with Staples stores and Best Buy- "buy our protection plan..." (warm squishy). I am at a point in life where I feel as though the only reason that complete strangers are nice to each other is because they want something from each other. What happened to the idea of community? Has it been replaced with the terms- "Void where prohibited, see store for details, actual product may different from that displayed..."

Again, I do apologize, I meant absolutely no disrespect, and was not even thinking about your particular comments when i posted that- I was thinking about the subject.

In the end, were are here for the same reason- good health and ethical eating. I can't help but respect that. Please accept my apology.

P.S. The reason I used annonimous before is because I don't have any google accounts or anything like that, and I didn't know about that open id thing. It had nothing to do with not speaking to you directly- believe me, I am always willing to open my mouth and take credit for it!

Michael said...

Well, I should say I didn't have any google accounts, I set one up so that I could apologize to you

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

I appreciate your apology, Michael, and your taking the time to register in order to post.

However, please be assured that Kitchen's Best, which sells Soyquick is NOT a large company, and certainly not on par with Satples or Best Buy!! They are actually located in the town of Nanaimo, here on Vancouver Island, and I have personally met the owner. He is really dedicated to improving the quality of their products, and I have heard nothing but good things about their service. That is another reason I buy from them.

Here is some of what he wrote to me:

"Although similar, the machines are the lower quality version that was introduced for the Asian Market overseas many months ago, It took us over 6 months of continuous development to get the product right for the market.


The milk making program cycles are not the same; Program interface is different; SoyQuick has an exclusive multi-grain program.

SoyQuick has an exclusively “Grind Right Technology” proprietary to Kitchen’s Best Manufacturing Group Ltd.

Circuit boards, program control pads and electronics are 100% different and are brand new technology.

Rubber feet on the bottom of the model references is the lower quality Chinese machines, they are made from a cheaper material and stick to counter surfaces when you try to lift the machine.

Chinese version of the machine does not have individual serial numbers for quality control.

Chinese version of the machine dose not have proper lock washers to ensure the heater element does not come loose and then you need to send it back for repairs.

No electrical certifications on the machines you referenced.

If your machine breaks once out of warranty in 7 years, then the customer is actually paying more as they will need to order 2 machines in the same warranty period of SoyQuick.

The company [that manufactures the Soyquick] is very ethical, plus the customer service and product support is excellent.

I like to deal with ethical companies who work hard for their customers."

Michael said...

Well, it does sound as though I stand corrected. I did out of curiosity contact Jo Young, the other company and did confirm that they are not the same unit and are produced at different manufacturing sites.

Unknown said...

I contacted bigcrazystore.com today and asked them if the CTS-1038 which was the larger size machine was also filterless, and the gentleman said no, that it is the older model that has the filter head.

Speedwell said...

Michael and Nancy, I'm glad you did the checking. I'm still very happy with my purchase, and even knowing what you told us here, I'd consider the tradeoff to be acceptable. I am careful with my appliances, like Bryanna is, and for many of the same reasons, and I'm handy with tools, so I am not afraid of the "lock washer" issue (I don't perceive any weakness in that area on my particular machine, by the way). The Kitchen's Best rep was not strictly correct when he said the multi-grain option is exclusive to the SoyQuick; the "Nutrition" option on the Joyoung machine is specifically designed for the processing of mixed beans/grains (and works well for that purpose). It's my understanding that machines without electrical certifications are illegal to sell in the US, and my machine was shipped to me from Utah, not from Hong Kong.

By the time my machine gives out, it's entirely likely some newer, better technology will have been developed, anyway. (I have tremendous faith in the transformative power of engineering, LOL.) But I have no reason to believe that my machine won't last as long as or longer than an average Soyquick.

OK, anyway... I promised a tip for removing or reducing the beany taste in soaked soybeans! Here it is:

The chemical compounds responsible for the acrid beany flavor form when beans are exposed to oxygen, so the first part of the tip is to make sure your beans are covered with water every minute until you are ready to use them.

Scientific studies show that heating hulled beans to 180 degrees (old-fashioned Fahrenheit degrees, or about the temperature of water for tea) breaks down the bad-tasting compounds. Commercial soymilk manufacturers heat their beans before grinding. The Joyoung (and I would guess the SoyQuick) machines heat the water with the beans in it before grinding them, but it's more effective to heat them yourself. A couple minutes in the microwave will do the trick. Heat in one-minute intervals until the beans feel like tea water (they'll start to feel hot instead of warm). Do not overdo it. You'll notice the smell of the beans will change and become more milky and less sour.

Immediately dump the beans into the cooking pitcher (or filter or Vita-Mix, according to the instructions for whatever you're using), and process in the normal way.

Michael said...

Thank you for the suggestion SpeedWell. I'll be buying my machine soon and can't wait to try it out. I am actually a lacto-ovo-vegetarian(well, I suppose just lacto as I eat eggs extremely rarely- really just in making bread and pasta noodles but I am phasing that out as well) who wants to move into strict veganism, but the one major thing that holds me back is the dairy. Much of my cooking involves dairy and I am completely addicted to milk based espresso drinks and half and half in my coffee. Once I buy the machine I'll have no more excuses!
Personally, I prefer soymilk over dairy just on taste alone, but buy dairy based on price (I used to make soymilk and tofu the old fashioned way but it takes so dang long and I end up burning my hands every time!).
I'm really excited about exploring what can be done with soy milk and actually was perusing the bookstore the other day and came across Bryanna's dairy free book and saw a recipe for making Soy based cream using silken tofu and coconut milk (I'll be buying the book next payday by the way, it looks very comprehensive, mad props to you Bryanna!).
If you have any other Jedi Soymilk maker tricks, I'd love to hear them, I'll share mine as well once I can join the SoyMilk maker owners club next month!


Ah, as a last thought, have you tried making rice or almond milks with it yet?

Speedwell said...

Going to try a batch of horchata using jasmine rice this afternoon. I have no reason to believe it won't work fine. I just need to figure out the correct proportions.

We could really use a forum for all this, eh?

Michael said...


Philosopher Dog said...

I found this article helpful. Thanx for posting. Based on it, I decided to update my 8 year old SoyQuick and have ordered the new model. My old SoyQuick served me very well. I'm sure it saved me thousands of dollars over the years. I hesitated buying it at first because I thought I would never use it, but it's easier than carrying soya from the store. It's simply the most useful device in my kitchen. My main problem with it was the filter took so long to clean and it didn't really filter well enough anyway. So, filterless is definitely the way to go. I'm very impressed by the company. Their machines are simply the best on the market. I would avoid cheap Chinese knockoffs, with their inferior components and shoddy fly by night outlets. Penny wise and pound foolish, I say. One of these machines will last a lifetime. It's more than worth the price. Also, I wanted to say that I personally have never had a problem with a "beany" taste. If you've been drinking commercial soya milk, this purer soya will take a bit of adjusting to, and you may need, initially, to sweeten it and salt it, but then you can reduce these additives as you get used to it and come to enjoy its particular flavour, which, though it might not taste exactly like the adulterated and highly processed stuff, does have a very pleasant taste. Soon you will come to appreciate the earthy, wonderful taste of pure soya and you will not need to fuss with removing this, adding that, heating this and cooling that. You will be free to worry about something else! Give yourself a chance to adjust. Try it and you'll see what I mean. You may even find the commercial stuff hard to gag down after a while. :)

Philosopher Dog said...

I meant to add that I simply use the okara in my morning porridge, which consists of steel cut oats and amaranth (equal parts). Okara is the most nutritional part and I find it both tastes pleasant and gives me enough energy when mixed in the cereal in the morning that I often don't have to eat until 2 or 3! Once you get over your initial aversion it's quite amazing. I tried baking it, etc. but I found this method to be surprisingly good. For those who don't have the money to buy the machine think about all the money you'll save in food if you eat the whole soya bean like this! You'll be able to buy 10 machines over the years in money saved.

Allen Fuller said...

I purchased a couple of Jo Young soy milk makers, several years ago, and have been satisfied. The quality of the soy milk makers is just fine, though I don't have one of the more expensive brands to compare to.

I bought from BigCrazyStore.com, which I agree looks like a fly-by-night operation. They claim the offer is for a "limited time only" but that's just the way they do their sales pitch, I guess. Like I said, they have been around for at least three years and the site looks pretty much the same as it did back then.

Lisa said...

I have just started making my own milks (I have the 930P), and was wondering if I soak several batches of soybeans at a time, do you think it would be OK to freeze the soaked beans until use? Also thinking about doing the same for soaked almonds. Any ideas?

Also, any tips for removing the soybean husks? Mine (Laura beans from Chambers farm), didn't come off easily.


Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Lisa, yes, you can freeze the soaked soybenas-- I've done it myself. Almonds, I don't know, but I don't see why not.

I forgot to add to this post that you don't have to remove the skins from Laura beans-- at least, that's what I've been told. (I can't get them in Canada.) I mention that on my saoymilk making page, but will now add that to this post.

Philosopher Dog said...

I was going to say that I always soak a couple of rounds of beans. No need to freeze. They'll keep for a good while in the fridge. You can always rinse them if you're storing for extended periods. I've never bothered removing the skins. It's only really necessary if you're making tempeh.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Philosopher Dog-- I, too, keep some beans soaking in my refrigerator most of the time, but only for about a week. I find that they start fermenting a little if you leave them too long.

I simply prefer the taste of soymilk made with skinned soybeans-- to me, it is a cleaner, less bitter, and definitely less beany flavor. So, to each his/her own!

Lisa said...

Thank you Bryanna. My first batch turned out TERRIBLE. It tasted beany, had a bitter aftertaste, and by the next day after making had a bad smell. I'm not sure, but maybe (1) I didn't refrigerate the beans while soaking (2) I placed the milk HOT into PLASTIC pitchers (soy and almond). I have since gotten glass pitchers and re-made the almond, which is good. Haven't remade soy yet.

I've been doing a lot more research. There is a really good website by the University of Illinois for soybean information here. Regarding the beany flavor, they say "Soybeans are blanched before cooking to destroy lipoxygenase, an enzyme that can lead to a beany off-flavor. Instead of blanching, the beans may be soaked in water for 8 hours or overnight before cooking to shorten the cooking time, but in this case lipoxygenase will be activated and the cooked soybeans will have a more ‘beany’ flavor. If the beans are soaked for more than 8 hours, be sure to refrigerate them so they do not begin to ferment."

Blanching the beans: "Blanch the beans twice: Bring 4 cups (1 liter) of water to a boil on the stove. Add 1 pinch of baking soda. Drop the whole soybeans directly into the boiling water and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse the beans with hot water. Repeat this process so that the beans are blanched twice."

I will try this with my next batch. For efficiency, I'm hoping that I can blanch a large number of beans, separate them into batches and freeze, then remove and soak overnight before making milk.

I'll get this right yet!

Philosopher Dog said...

Hi Lisa,
I've been making soya in this machine for more than a decade (I had the earlier model). There is absolutely no need to blanch the beans. The machine takes care of everything. Simply soak some good organic soya beans for 8 hours. Rinse them very well. Throw them in the machine with some filtered water and hit the button. Refrigerate soon after. If you dislike the taste then add sweetener and a bit of salt to the finished product. You can also try adding a couple of table spoons of uncooked brown rice to the whole beans (soak them too). If you're used to commercial soya milk this may taste a bit different, but you will get used to the taste and love it. You have to give it a chance. Try the brown rice and a bit of sweetener. It's really not complicated or a big mystery. I make it every day this way and have been doing so for a decade. No need to fuss with the beans, remove skins, blanch, etc. You will soon give up if you have to spend this kind of time and energy. The whole point of the machine is that there's one button. Nothing to do except rinse the soaked beans and strain the okara once done.

Philosopher Dog said...

Concerning removing the skins of the beans. It's a personal preference. If you have the time then go for it. I personally think it's a lot of trouble to remove the skins and very little difference in taste. I guess we're used to removing the skins on everything: apples, potatoes, carrots, etc. Personally I leave the skins on. It's often where most of the nutrition and fibre is found. In terms of soaking beans: I put two 500 ml jars on at a time. I soak them until they get that little bit of foam on the top and then put them in the fridge; this time varies depending on the time of year. I never have to worry about them fermenting because I use them up quickly. As soon as I make the last batch I start the soak again. I'm drinking about 3-4 1.5 litre containers a week between two people. We also eat most of the okara mixed in our morning cereal. It's the best part nutritionally speaking. I have even stir fried it Japanese style. It's rather nice once you get past your aversion.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

lisa, I agree with philosopher dog about the blanching-- sounds like way too much work to me! Try getting rid of the skins, or using Laura beans (if you live in the States) instead, and refrigerate the beans while soaking. I agree definitely that a little organic sugar and a bit of salt (see my recipe for amounts) is necessary-- dairy milk contains natural sugar and salt, which soy does not.

I make soymilk twice a week and there's no need to get so complicated-- really!

Read through my soymaking page carefully-- there is alot of info sprinkled here and there.

I scald everything with boiling water before making the soymilk (not the container with the machine, though) and I place some plastic wrap over the top of my glass container before screwing the lid on. This helps avoid souring. (However, sour soymilk can be used in baking and in smoothies.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the encouragement, guys! I'm an engineer and a bit OCD, so I do have a tendency to over-think things. :) I really appreciate the community support!

I am using Laura beans from Chambers. I made a new batch today from soaked, then blanched beans. Didn't even try to remove skins. Strangely, I got almost no okara this time. Cooling and storing in GLASS this time. So far a better batch than last time. I will dispense with the blanching process if I can, for sure!!!

I only add a little vanilla and salt (I am used to plain, unsweetened soy milk, albeit commercial).

My real worry was that the first batch smelled and tasted AWFUL. Like, make-you-ill, send-you-retching-to-the-ER kind of awful. (OK, maybe not THAT bad, but it isn't just that I'm not used to plain soymilk.)

So, I will soldier on, and get this process down. All your help is appreciated. I'm committed. After all, I have 13 pounds of soybeans to work with. ;)

Philosopher Dog said...

I use a heaping scope of beans. The only thing I can think of with the bad smell is that the beans weren't well rinsed and might have been fermenting. It's definitely not normal. I yield about 3/4 of a 500 ml jar of okara from a heaping cup of raw beans. I always fill mine to the high line. You can also use a bit of oatmeal (steel cut is best) if you're not good with the taste. No need to soak the oats. It's very easy once you get going with it. The hardest part is straining the okara. I found that at first I was very concerned about the taste. But that drops away once you make enough of it and start to appreciate the taste of pure soy milk; it's actually rather delightful and complex. If you buy Chinese soy milk in Chinatown it tastes far beanier than this stuff and the Chinese have been drinking it happily for millennia. That's the stuff that most tofu is made from. Too much fussing will mean you won't be able to do this in the long run and you will find it more convenient to just pick up commercial stuff. Anyhow, I recall fussing when I first started with this. I wanted the commercial taste and texture. But this passed in time.

Cheryl said...

I have never skinned my beans before. I am going to try it. My machine has a filter cup. I love the idea of doubling the beans. More nutrition!

I am so glad others are willing to post what they are doing with their soy milk. I am glad to learn from you.



Here is what I am currently doing. I'd love comments and guidance.


Mary J said...

Hi Bryanna,
Thanks so much for this very informative and helpful site. I use both a soymilk maker (SoyaJoy) and my Vita-Mix to make soymilk. After the SoyaJoy does its thing, I blend the leftover okara with half the soymilk, salt, and sweetener in the VitaMix for one minute on high and put the mixture back with the rest of the soymilk. It makes a thicker, richer milk, although it's admittedly a bit grainy, and you have to shake the soymilk each time before you pour it or there's sediment on the bottom. Pluses are: 1. I don't have to look for creative ways to use the okara (or feel guilty about NOT using it), 2. It makes a better soy yogurt, and 3. you get all the benefits of the fiber and pulp otherwise discarded. I'm sure this isn't for everyone, but wanted to mention it as an option for brave souls to try.

Alex said...

Bryanna the link to the forum discussion about getting silky soymilk is dead. This is the link: http://www.bryannaclarkgrogan.com/board/board_topic/6925162/888020.htm

Marilyn said...

Thank you so much for including instructions to remove skins. The boiling water really made a difference. I have ordered the chinois from your link (hopefully you will receive some renumeration) and would like to purchase the SoyQuick. The link for it is no longer active. Do you know if it is still available? If it is not, do you have another recommendation?

I appreciate all you do. I've been following your blog for years and have most of your printed books including the La Leche League one that I believe you edited.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Marilyn, thank you so much for writing!
I'm afraid that the SoyQuick is no longer in production. There are a number of other brands of soymilk makers on both amazon.com and amazon.ca. I'm not familiar with the newer brands, but you can check out the reviews. Here are two compilations of reviews from 2020:


I hope this helps! All the best, Bryanna

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Marilyn, I have updated this page just now, which may be helpful for you.

Marilyn said...

Thank you so much! I came online today and noticed the update. After I commented previously, I saw another post where you mentioned the Soy Quick was out of production.

I have tried a work-a-round that has been successful. I make soy milk yogurt and had been having problems getting it thick enough. I had to strain every time. I use a wild ferment mother culture developed from jalapeno pepper stems. It's currently on the 12th generation. I had read that a higher percentage protein milk would help. This was why I was so excited when I saw your method.

I have the soyabella machine and make 1.3L milk using 3.5 ounces of organic beans. I strain the milk, clean the machine and screen, then use that milk as the "liquid" for another batch of milk using 3.5 ounces of beans. The process is time consuming, but works great. The yogurt is so thick it looks like Greek yogurt.

I've had the soyabella for 1 1/2 years. I originally purchased it for the stainless interior and the low volume of milk. Once I started making yogurt it became obvious that I could have used a larger machine. Since the work-a-round "works", I'll hold off on the purchase of a new machine. I'm able to purchase organic soybeans in 25 pound bags. Even using 7 ounces of beans per batch, my cost for a quart of yogurt is only $0.62. I recouped the cost of the soyabella after 35 batches of milk using 3.5 ounces of beans. The cost of beans has increased by $0.07 for the 3.5 ounces since I purchased the machine, but the cost for a quart of organic, plain soy milk increased by $1.07; so I'm saving even more now.

On a totally different note, thank you for all your comments and information that you provide concerning soy protein. It's nice to have a knowledgeable rebuttal to those who down soy.


Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thank you for writing, Marilyn! There is certanly much good info in the comments here!