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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Flawed Design in this Soy Milk Maker
on November 6, 2011
NOTE: The review below was written several months after I purchased this soy milk maker, when it was running well. I was happy with it and it continued to work well for about a year and a half. Then it suddenly quit and as it did so, tripped my kitchen GFCI. I then opened it up to see what was wrong with it and now I cannot recommend that you purchase this machine. The power supply circuit has a transformer in it that produces around 16 VDC, about five volts higher than it should. It has a full-wave bridge rectifier circuit to convert the AC into DC, but there is NO VOLTAGE REGULATOR on the output voltage. The resulting high DC voltage fried the main processor chip, which got so hot that all the labeling on it melted off. I am astonished that any engineer would fail to regulate the output voltage of the DC power supply, when its output level is critical to the proper performance of the other components. This means that over time, this soy milk maker will fail due to excessive heat on the main control board. Too bad, because otherwise, I was very happy with this machine.
You may be able to use the Joyoung machine successfully by never making more than one batch of soy milk at a time, and allowing the machine to cool down completely before you make a second batch. It is excessive heat that caused the failure in mine, and I was running it two times in close succession, which was probably just too much for the badly-designed circuitry to tolerate.
The review below has a lot of info that can be applied to other soy milk makers, so despite my disappointment in this particular machine, you might get some useful information about making soy milk from the review. I now use a Soyabella soy milk maker, which comes with a one-year warranty and is supported by a US-located company (Tribest) which offers technical support (which the Joyoung machine does not, that I am aware of). Just search on Amazon for Soyabella to find all the sellers.
---------- Original Review ----------
After reading the reviews of this and other soy milk makers, I decided to give this one a try. What a good decision that was! I have had the Joyoung Soy Milk Maker for several months and my wife and I make around three gallons of soy milk per week. We drink the soy milk, eat the soy bean pulp (okara) that is left over after straining the milk, and make tofu from the soy milk.
We purchased a 25 lb bag of organic soybeans, and when we are ready to make milk, wash the beans three times, soak them for from 8 to 10 hours, then wash them again. The Joyoung pitcher has a minimum and a maximum fill line marked on it, and we fill it to the minimum level with distilled water to get the densest possible milk, then add the beans. I have a distiller, and the distilled water costs me about 35 cents in electricity to make (per gallon). This eliminates any taste effects that might come from all the stuff present in tap water (chlorine, fluoride, minerals, etc.).
We use the "Nutrition" (middle) setting, which does more grinding of the beans at the end of the cycle than does the "Soy Milk" (left) setting, and therefore extracts more of the bean into the milk. The Joyoung first heats up the bean-and-water mixture, then the grinder goes to work and gently grinds the beans by pulling them up into a small stainless steel cage with holes in it. The blades are not sharp, and grind the beans by crushing them rather than by cutting them, extruding the milk and tiny pulp bits out the holes in the stainless steel cage. Over the course of the process, the microprocessor in the Joyoung runs the blades at different speeds, to ensure that the extraction process doesn't just create a lot of pulverized pieces without getting the juice out of them. The milk is then heated again at the end of the cycle.
Once the unit begins to beep continuously, indicating that it is done, we have found it best to pull the grinder/heater unit off and immediately run it under warm tap water to clean it off. We use a soft sponge, and it cleans up very easily. As some other reviewers have said, it is best to clean it immediately, because if you let the pulp and residues dry on the unit, they become like glue and are harder to get off. The unit comes with a small round bottle-type brush and a cleaning pad, and the stainless steel cage twists off so that it and the blades inside can be more easily cleaned.
The hot soy milk is then poured through a fine-mesh stainless steel sieve which also comes with the soy milk maker. This sieve is designed to exactly fit snugly on top of a small plastic pitcher that is also included. The sieve filters out all the okara, and the milk passes through. With a spatula, I gently squeeze most of the milk out of the okara by just repeatedly folding it over and pressing down on the sieve. I next pour the hot milk into an empty half-gallon HDPE jug (one that buttermilk came in, originally), and then immerse this jug in a cold water bath to cool down the milk quickly before putting it into the refrigerator. I put the okara into a small glass bowl with a cover and put this into the refrigerator to later put into smoothies or oatmeal or even into bread mix. My wife eats it just like it is with some soy milk added and maybe fruit or honey.
For me, the raw soy milk is just a little too bitter tasting, but I easily solve this by adding 1/2 teaspoon of Redmond Sea Salt and two to three tablespoons of raw honey (I have several beehives, so I get my honey directly from the source) to one half gallon of the soy milk.
Two cycles of the Joyoung make about three fourths of a gallon of soy milk and this takes around forty five minutes, most of which time I don't have to do anything but wait for the cycle to finish, so I just read or take care of other kitchen chores while the milk is being made. I personally go through about a gallon and a half of soy milk per week, so at from $3 to $4 per half gallon, this saves me $9 to $12 per week. In a year, that adds up to a savings of around $468 to $624, less the cost of the soybeans, which will be around $100 for a year's supply (50 lbs). So I am saving around $500/year on soy milk, and getting soy milk that is organic and free of tainting chemicals and non-recyclable containers which clutter up landfills.
The Joyoung is very quiet, only grinding for short periods of time and not very noisy even when it is grinding the already-soak-softened beans. Aside from some of the funky English in the instructions, this unit is perfect for us, and a joy to use. With all the poorly-designed products that are out there today, it is great to find one that is well-designed, easy to maintain, and profitable to use.
Also check out my further comment on making soy milk below