Bean Milk, Tofu, etc.

jimster(z7a MA)January 31, 2009

Must bean milk be made from soy beans or will other dried beans work? I've never heard of other beans being used but I wonder if there is a large difference.


Here is a link that might be useful: How to make Tofu

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I've done it with garbanzo and there was very little difference. We also made a very fine coffee substitute using both soy and garbanzo. I liked the garbanzo coffee best. Fooled my son, who hates substitutes!

Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 7:06PM
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That was interesting , never thought about making tofu at home. I am not a big fan of tofu but I now have another project to try this year. Thanks Jim and it would be interesting to see if it works with other beans. Rodger

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 8:09PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Well, glad to see I won't be the only one! Making products from soy is a project I plan to begin this year, although I had planned on fermented products - until now. Figured since I am collecting soybeans, I might as well learn how to use them for something other than edamame! Tofu is easier than I thought... thanks for the link to the video, Jimster. Got about 50 pounds of soybeans now of various varieties... so I've got plenty to experiment with.

It might be interesting to try using beans other than soybeans... I'll be tracking this thread closely, and comparing notes.

For those interested, cultures for fermented soy products are available from the link below. They send instructions with the order. I hope to master making my own soy sauce, although that may take a bit of doing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gem cultures

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 11:44PM
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I'd like to know where to buy a nice stainless steel tofu press like the lady in the below link has got.

Wonder if cowpeas could be used?

Here is a link that might be useful: Steel press

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 12:16AM
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More info, recipes, and pix

Here is a link that might be useful: Recipes

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 12:22AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

The main issue for me right now is the coagulant -- which one to use and where to get it.

Commercial tofu makers generally use either nigari or calcium sulfate.

Nigari - magnesium chloride made from sea water and fast acting, so fast that it requires skill to get it mixed into the milk without breaking the curds as they form but is preferred by some for the flavor. Available on line at a reasonable price, but at unreasonable shipping cost. I could make my own if I knew how. I have plenty of sea water.

Calcium sulfate - otherwise known as gypsum. Preferred by some for texture. I have a big bag of it which I use on my garden, but that isn't food grade. A guy on YouTube actually crumbled up dry wall scraps to make tofu. That's not food grade either. Calcium sulfate is said to be easier to use than nigari.

Magnesium sulfate - aka Epsom Salts. Easy to get from the drug store in pharmaceutical grade. Why it is not frequently used, I don't know. Because it is a laxative?

Calcium chloride - aka ice melter or side walk salt. Readily available as non food grade ice melter, in the North anyway. I don't know its pros and cons for tofu making.

Lemon juice - said to work but gives the tofu a tart flavor.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 12:41PM
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We used lemon juice and I can't recall any objectionable flavor. But then again, I like everything. I wonder if rennet, from regular cheese making wold work?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 9:54PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

I suddenly realized that home brewers sometimes use gypsum as a water conditioner. Brew shops sell small packages at a reasonable price. Most localities have a brew shop where gypsum could be obtained.

However, I have Epsom salts and lemon juice on hand. So I will probably experiment with those first.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 11:36AM
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cabrita(9b SoCal)

Wow, thanks for the links to the cultures, press and recipes! Now I know where the little round bumps all over some of the tofu I purchase come from.

I have made tempeh in the past, I like it, unfortunately I have a hard time digesting it for some reason. I love natto and miso! For those of you who do not think they like these products, try to have some freshly made. My favorite little Japanese restaurant here has home made tofu and home made miso (the tofu is served cold with some scallion/ginger toping and the miso is served with cucumber sticks, yummmm). They are amazing. Natto is definitely and acquired taste, but both tofu and miso are very versatile.

So for those of us that cannot grow soybeans, or enough of them to make all these things, any good source recommendations for non GMO soy beans out there?

I planted a few but nothing sprouted. I soaked them first, this might have been a mistake? Do soy beans grow in my climate?

I will be following this thread to see what you all come up with in the fermented/soy cheese department....

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 4:03PM
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Cabrita, I have seed for and grow Kahala, which is a soy developed at about the 20th parallel, by the University of Hawaii. I first obtained this seed because I was living at that latitude, in Mexico, and all the soy I tried was adapted for the North and would stop growing at about 4". Kahala grows very well in Mexico, and I assume in Hawaii. I was pleasantly surprised when I tried it first in NJ, and then in Oklahoma, and it does quite well in these places as well. I could send you some seed. Just drop me a message with your address.

I'm out of the country for a few more days. But I'd get it to you in the next week or so.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 5:05PM
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Fresh soy milk and fresh tofu are both very nice, and have NOTHING to do with the things that you find in stores. I remember that, when I had fresh tofu (from a small store in S. Jose, CA) it was so good I would eat it sliced raw with only olive oil and some chopped scallions, as if it were buffalo mozzarella.

Fresh soy milk is what my daughter drank for breakfast (from a nearby small plant in Royal Oak, MI) for her first five years. It is very perishable, even in the fridge it will last 3 or 4 days. Fortunately she wanted two bottles per morning and we'd manage to finish it. My own attempts to make soy milk resulted in direct additions to the compost pile.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 5:57PM
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It can be done. But now, here, we have dairy goats. NOTHING I know compares to fresh goat's milk! Still, I grow my soy. Variety in one's diet is a healthy thing.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 7:09AM
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I do not know if Kahala will work for edamame as I have never eaten soy beans this way.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 7:11AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Years ago I was given a kit for making tofu. As I recall, it wasn't difficult and it worked just fine.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 10:58AM
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jwr6404(8B Wa)

If you want I will look in the Korean Community for a Tofu Press. By the way I received your very large package of Ma Williams pole Beans. I shared them with a GWer who frequently posts on this Forum.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 10:45PM
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Jim, I'd like to get a stainless steel press, if you can find one, that would be great! New or used. I would pay a reasonable price for one.

Plastic presses are available online for around 5 dollars. I might just buy one of them, or end up using the steamer insert for one of my stock pots. Definitely I don't want a wood press, too hard to clean. Just found out that there are some nice ceramic tofu presses too.

Anyone living near a city could check the yellow pages for Asian markets, and look in the kitchenware depts. Maybe everything is available locally, including coagulants and beans.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 12:37AM
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A guy could make a tofu press, too. Look fast cos the auction closes in 14 hours.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tofu press of PVC, Oak disk, and clamps

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 12:47AM
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