soy milk maker?
I'm looking into buying a soy milk maker and so far am looking into Joyoung CTS1048 or the Soyapower Plus, but am also open to any others (within the sub $120 price range) for myself. Does anyone have any experiences with soy milk makers? I'm not quite sure what to look for and would appreciate any recommendations/advice. Ideally, I want to be making a variety of milks apart from soy, like rice or hemp, and I don't need a large capacity one. I'm just looking for one that works well and has easy cleanup as I'll probably be using it fairly often.
I don't use a soy milk maker, but many of my coworkers talk about it. Many have expressed that a specialized machine turns out to be quiet unnecessary unless you make soy milk drink all the time. They suggest using a typical blender with cheesecloth is better and less cleanup.
I have a SoyaPower from Sanlinx (link to website attached) and I'm very pleased with it. It's very easy to use, and the most time consuming part (although not prohibitively so) is cleaning the filter. I understand the SoyaPower Plus, which I don't have and which only costs a little more, is filter-less and easier to clean, so you might want to consider that. So far I have only made pure soy milk, but have been meaning to try almond, oat or rice and combination milks, all of which these machines are reputedly capable of doing. Bottom line - extremely easy to use, makes nice milk, and clean up is not hard, even with the non-Plus model. I also found the Sanlinx people to be very nice and helpful.
I, too, found cleaning the filter to be the most labor-intensive part of the process (just as with most juicers) and the newer, filterless designs are indeed a major upgrade. They do a better job of grinding, as well--no whole beans or large pieces anymore and you can up the amount of dry matter for richer milks.
I had one, and I returned it. It's a pain in the butt to use and clean.
Spend that money on a good hand blender, at least it's dishwasher safe, and you can use it for something else too.
Hi, your post is a few months old, so you've probably decided already. Do let us know how it worked out. In case you haven't, here's my 2 cents worth.
In my experience, look out whether you want to get the "filter" design or the "filter-less" design. In the "filter" design, the ground soy beans are filtered within the machine in a special basket. I've read some places that this makes cleanup a bit difficult. I've personally only tried the "filter-less" design (SoyQuick 930P). I personally found the filter-less design really good. The clean-up was very easy and I was satisfied with the results.
This "filter-less" term isn't actually accurate. What happens is they grind and boil the soy beans /soy-milk within the machine. But instead of filtering within a basket in the machine, you take the soy-milk and filter it through a normal metal strainer into a pot. The machine I got also included a strainer, but it just looked like a normal fine-mesh strainer to me.
At first I was very dubious whether the mesh strainer could get enough of the particles out. But it turned out just fine. Very similar in taste and texture to the stuff I make with a food processor and cheese cloth.
The second thing I'll say is that some of the variety of brands out there appear to be re-branded versions of each other. I read in some places that Joyoung and the Sanlinx machines (Soyapower and Soyajoy) are re-branded versions of the same machines. I am not sure if this is true. But if you google "jouyong and sanlinx" you'll find that sanlinx does import from jouyoung. Plus the different models look pretty similar. I'm guessing though the support and warranty you'll get will be different. In fact, the SoyaQuick I've tried is also said to be the same as Soyajoy. It is very confusing.
I'd like to respond to the assertion that this uni-tasker is not worth getting. In my personal experience, this machine is the very definition of a labour saving device. IF you make and consume soy-milk in a regular basis.
My lactose intolerant husband and I consume about 1.5 gallons of the store-bought stuff a week. I decided to make my own soy-milk because I'd started reading the ingredients list in some of the stuff we'd been buying. The novelty wore off after a few months of using, and cleaning the food processor, cheese cloth, pot sticky with cooked soy milk, the times I burnt the milk, the times forgot to watch the the boiling pot of soy milk like a hawk and ended up having to clean up the entire sticky stove ... My sister turned up with a machine she'd just randomly bought at a store in Singapore. I stuck some soy beans and water, waited overnight, turned it on the next morning, 20 minutes later, it beeped and I poured the resulting liquid through a strainer into a jar. Took me 30 seconds to wash the metal jug, grinder and strainer. LOVE. This machine turned a task that took 20 minutes active time per week to something that took 5 minutes active time. I stopped rationing how much soy-milk my husband was using on his cereal :)
I suspect the filter design might be harder to wash, but I cannot imagine it would be any harder than having to clean a gritty cheese-cloth.
Unfortunately a few weeks later, a toddler at play resulted in the machine taking a tumble. Not the toddler's fault, his silly aunty (me) left it plugged in on an unstable surface). I was so sad. We just drink the store stuff now, we've been moving too much to buy a new machine.
Just be aware it is hard to make it taste like the store-bought stuff without the additives. Homemade soy milk is thinner and less "milky" mouthfeel no matter how you do it. And if you only do this once in a long while, of course there's nothing this machine does that you can't do with a food processor, pot and cheese cloth.
I'd had the previous generation SoyaPower for some years, liked it a LOT, and upgraded to the Soyajoy G3 last year; this is Sanlinx's current top-of-the-line milk maker. Both just wonderful (and believe me, kudos for a Chinese-manufactured appliance don't come cheap from me) and I'm sure your SoyaPower Plus bests my older SoyaPower. These machines take all of the work out making grain/pulse milks--they simultaneously and precisely grind, blend, and cook the "goh" at the optimal temperature for the optimal time. I would NEVER bother hand-making soy milk again, even with my Vita-Mix. Far superior results with much less work. Recipes are tweakable, too, for even better, more customized results. And the frosting on the cake is that the manufacturer's reps are hyper-responsive to customer queries and are extremely nice, too.
BTW, I think even though they appear identical, some of the machines are manufactured to higher specs than others; I seem to recall reading reviews to the effect that Joyoung machines crap out pretty quickly. SoyQuick's machines that overlap Sanlinx's are identical but they're based in Canada, which might complicate warranty issues by making returns less convenient and possibly more expensive. I'm not crazy about them anyway--they used to engage shills to post phony Amazon reviews (they all read the same) to boost sales. There was a time as well when they didn't carry the SoyaPower line; I have no idea of what they're doing these days.