Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Great Soymilk Challenge, Part 4 (the real wrap up)

I owe Julie Hasson an apology. I was unkind about her recipe for soymilk made with the SoyQuick Premier Milk Maker 930P that she demonstrates on the SoyQuick site.

Sorry, Julie!

The reason was because, despite literally hours of research, I didn't know the difference between barley malt powder, and barley malt extract.

Okay, I still don't. Barley malt powder tastes better, and it's awesome with soymilk, half a frozen banana, some cocoa powder, and a little sugar as a chocolate malt, but added to hot soymilk it gives it a gritty texture and I didn't really like it much.

Plus, it's hard to find. I had to order mine from Wapakoneta, Ohio.

Barley malt extract, however, I located today when my mom and I were buying homebrew wine supplies at our local homebrew supply place, within walking distance of my house. It tastes less "malty" than the powder. You wouldn't, for instance, want to eat it plain, where I've seen people post that they ordered the powder, didn't know what to do with it, and ended up just spooning it up dry.

They stocked light, medium, and dark. For the record, so my readers don't imagine I am entirely hopeless, I had called this exact place during my initial search, and the usually so helpful owner said, "What, never heard of it. Try a health food store." Today the same person said, "Oh, yeah, we always carry this." Gah!

See where the package says "Use as a direct replacement for sugar, lb for lb"? Barley malt extract is sugary. Barley malt powder is floury. Why is the Internet so silent on this issue? However, now I have cleared it up for all time. was that barley malt extract in the soymilk? Not bad! I was untrusting, so I made my usual recipe, but when it came time to flavour it I poured a little of the hot soymilk into a glass and experimented. It's reluctant to separate from itself and join with the soy milk, but you can convince it with a mere whisk. Actually, it's a really nice taste, and I think that at least until this packet is used up I will continue to add it as at least part of the sweetening.

Barley malt extract isn't as sweet as sugar, despite the lb for lb, which is no doubt why Julie Hasson adds so much of it to her recipe.

I'm going to give the two recipes again--they're the same as before, but in a kinder, gentler post. Julie doesn't say so, but if you want to try her recipe, it would be a good idea to soak the rice with the beans, or maybe separately, but just soak it. The milk won't be affected either way, but the okara comes out with little chunks of rice if you don't soak it first.

Warning: let me just repeat, do not use barley malt syrup or date syrup as a soymilk sweetener. It will make the soymilk separate when heated. I don't know why this is, but if you doubt me, then try it.

Julie Hasson's SoyQuick 930P soymilk recipe

(2 cups that come with the maker; I am assuming here) soy beans
1 tbsp jasmine rice
1 tbsp rolled oats

4 tbsp barley malt extract
2 tbsp sugar
pinch salt
vanilla to taste

* * *

Zoa's favorite soymilk recipe (for lattes; for drinking plain, decrease the oatmeal to 2 tbsp):

2 cups soy beans
3 tbsp rolled oats
2 tbsp chopped dates

2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt


  1. Barley powder vs barley malt aside, your soy milk creations sound delicious. I'm going to have to try a vegan chocolate malt very soon.

    Also intrigued by the homebrew activities/goings will post about any homebrews you get up to won't you?

  2. Hi, Rose:
    Homebrew...well, maybe I will post about it. I've been making my own wine for over 20 years, from kits, with my sister and/or my mother. Our process is not elegant, but over the years we've refined it to the absolute minimum of effort and maximum of convenience.

    It's something many people get strangely worked up about, though. I'll take a few pictures this time and see.

    I will say that wine making kits make great gifts for loved ones...and pay for themselves with the first batch.

  3. I appreciate the information you have shared on powder versus extract. I had no idea what the difference was and never had any success in finding these two products. Fortunately for me, I live very, very near Wapakoneta. Thanks for sharing the information and your thoughts!

  4. Zoa, I did it! I finally got around to making homemade soymilk with the SoyQuick.

    I too went with Julie Hasson's recipe--since it's the one on the SoyQuick website and I wanted to get a baseline before delving into your improvements (an unusual move for me, I can't help but tinker). I didn't use the barley malt on this batch (yet--I actually made two batches, so I could experiment with impunity).

    Consensus: pretty good, but just a tad bean-y. Probably no more so than our local brand Eden Organics, but certainly not up to par with Silk and their evil soymilk empire. I used it in my breakfast smoothie today and it was awesome, though.

    You're totally right about filtration--I poured like 4 drops into the coffee filter and it was full and clogged and leaking all over the counter. The multi-stage process is mandatory. I'm worried that my ad hoc 2 stage process left the soymilk a tad gritty (only noticeable if you're drinking it straight).

    I also didn't have any fresh dates handy, so I used brown rice syrup in one batch. I'm holding off on the other batch. I'd sort of envisioned one unsweetened batch for cooking and the other for drinking/coffee/cereal. But I'm still in the experimenting mode, so anything's fair game. I plan on hitting the beer supply store this evening to grab some barley malt _extract_.

    Just to confirm, you just put the dates right in with everything else, right?

    Next up, your okara seitan! I think I was almost more excited/amazed by the okara than the soymilk (though it did feel pretty good using homemade soymilk this morning). I love weird, edible byproducts.

  5. Oh--also, are you using 2 cups of soaked or dry soy beans? I thought the recipe on the site called for 1 cup dry, which equals ~2.5 cups soaked. Was I using too many beans?

  6. Hi, Mark, I'm glad you finally tried this! I haven't bought commercial soymilk since I got my machine, and I'm still enjoying it very much.

    For the soybeans, I use two of the little cups that come with machine, dry. The SoyQuick booklet says you can make it with just one cup but I find it too thin that way.

    For dates, I use five or six (if they're little) and put them right into the machine with the soybeans and the oatmeal. I chop them up a bit just to make sure there are no pits or pieces of pit inside to wreck the machine.

    My "drinking" milk (which I use mostly in coffee and tea) is quite thick and sweet, and your idea of different recipes for cooking and drinking is a good one.

    I'll be interested to see what you do with your okara. Lately I've just been drying mine but it's accumulating and I'll have to start experimenting again soon...