How to Make Soy Milk

Homemade soy milk is easy, inexpensive, and delicious!  If the only soy milk you’ve ever had is from the grocery store, you’re in for a real treat.  It keeps in the refrigerator for three days, so you can make as big (or as small) a batch as you need.  I make 2 quarts at a time, which is enough for my daughter for three days, plus a glass or two for me.

This is a really simple process- soak your beans, grind your beans, boil your beans, strain your beans.  The rest of this post is a LOT picture heavy, but keep those four steps in mind!

Homemade Soy Milk

What You’ll Need (for 2 quarts)


1/2 pound dried soybeans

8 cups of water


bowl for soaking


large pot

cold water


tea towel or cheese cloth

large bowl or pot (needs to “nest” under the colander.)

Are you ready?

Measure out your soy beans, and let soak until you can easily bite through- about 8-12 hours or overnight.  Change the water a few times during the soaking time.

soaking soybeans- 1/2 pound is about 1 1/4 cup.  See those bubbles at the top?  The beans make the water kind of slimy.

This is what dried soybeans look like- they’re round.  Don’t spill them, you’ll never find them all!

Soaked soybeans.  They’re not round anymore.

At the end of the soaking time, reach into your beans and massage them a bit with your hands to crack them in half and slough the skins off- this will make the process more efficient.  Drain and rinse your beans, and either float or pick as many skins out as you can.

massaged beans

Here are three possible outcomes: whole bean, split bean, sloughed off skin

Soybeans have an enzyme that, if not destroyed with heat, will make your soy milk bitter or beany.  Microwave your drained and rinsed soybeans for 2 minutes before putting your beans in a blender with enough water to just cover- blend on high 2 to 3 minutes.  (If they don’t blend, add a bit more water.)  They should turn into a foamy puree by the end.

foamy soybean puree

Measure 8 cups/2 quarts of water into your biggest pot, and add the soybean puree.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer.  Cook 20-25 minutes.

Don’t walk away for a little bit- this will foam up. You need to be there to stir it down.  If it can’t be stirred down, toss in a bit of cold water to deflate it- maybe a 1/4 cup.  It will slow down after a few minutes, but come back every 5 minutes or so to stir and make sure it’s not sticking.  I like to get this going while I’m cleaning other parts of the kitchen, so I’m right there and it’s not a big deal to reach over and stir.  You can brush a little oil or non-stick spray around the top of the pan to keep it from boiling over, too.

Starting to foam up.  Two seconds after this shot I threw down the camera to stir.

Just added some water- see where it foamed to?

When the foaming has slowed down, partially cover the pot with the lid so you don’t lose too much liquid.  After it’s simmered 20-25 minutes, the foaming should have stopped completely and you can see grains floating in your milky liquid.

Nest your colander over a pot or bowl, and line it with a thin towel or a few thicknesses of cheese cloth.  You could sew your towel into a simple bag shape, and that would make the process easier too.

(I’m pretty sure that using a raggedy old flour sack towel, with my dorky embroidery, makes for a much finer product.)

Pour the soy milk into the colander, and start stirring and scraping with a wooden spoon.

Just poured it in

Scraping soybean puree from the bottom, so the liquid can pass through

keep stirring and scraping

it’s getting there!

When most of the liquid has drained out, gather up the edges of your cloth and twist together to push as much liquid out as you can.  I hold it steady with the wooden spoon while I twist with the other hand.

You’ve made soy milk!

What’s left over is called okara- it’s bland and a little beany.  You can dry it to a powder in the oven and use it in cooking, but I give it to my worms in the vermicompost bin.

Enjoy!  This is delicious plain, or you can sweeten with a bit of sugar.  I like to add a few tablespoons of sugar to the pitcher with a pinch of kosher salt.

Sources I researched: (microwave your beans) (Best resource I found- she has information on making this into tofu, too.  She says you can use a food processor to grind your beans, but I didn’t have good luck with that.)


17 Responses

  1. Mmmm…yummy! I just remember what I did with my soy beans – they’re in BBJ’s “tactile jar” with some spoons and small plastic shapes. HAHAHAHA.

  2. Now that’s impressive!

  3. Where do you get your dried soybeans? I would love to try this, maybe when my mom is here to help me drink it, I love fresh soy milk, it reminds me of Hong Kong… so much tastier than Silk… which isn’t bad… just not the same.

  4. So, so impressed.

  5. Hi,

    Sorry to contact you in a comment but I couldn’t find an email address for you. Hope this is ok. I’m writing from a magazine called BUST. I’d love to include an article in our upcoming issue about how to make soy milk and I thought you might be interested in writing it (I love your post). Feel free to email me at and we can discuss details.

    Thanks so much!

    Lisa Butterworth
    Senior Editor
    BUST magazine
    18 West 27th Street, 9th floor
    New York, NY 10001
    p: 212.675.1707

  6. Here’s one additional tip. If you have a centrifugal vegetable juicer (i.e. juice man), turn-on the juicer and slowly pour the blended pulp into the juicer; this will very effectively separate the liquid from the pulp with (IMO) significantly less effort. After all, this is what juicers are designed to do. We have ended-up with very dry pulp at the far-end of the machine.

  7. can you please give me the quantity in grams to make 200 ml of soy milk?

  8. […] or taste (rice milk tends to be thinner). If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can make your own soy milk; even easier is making almond milk. So Delicious and Wildwood makes coffee creamers as […]

  9. Good job ma. Thanks.

  10. Very nice article 🙂 good job author ..

  11. […] DIY soy milk can replace 104+ disposable containers of soy milk per year. […]

  12. How do you stop soy milk from going sour after making it, because my soy milk goes sour or turns into mass after 12 to 20 hours of making it

  13. Why don’t you use soybean milk maker. It easier to do.

  14. I’ve just started making my own “milks” and have my soybeans soaking as I write this. Your post is great, it covers all the angles, which is very much appreciated. So far it looks as though making soy milk has the most steps, but I still can’t believe how easy this entire process is. Aside from all the added ingredients in store bought ‘milks’ which I can’t tolerate I am thrilled to not have to buy tetra-pak or containers that are not so easily recycled that end up in landfill.

  15. never do it in my life and try for the first time. add some ginger glucose for favor and taste good. thank you Myrnie

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