Cost of Store Bought vs Homemade Soy Milk
The empty cartons probably cost more than the actual soybeans in that milk, dues to the amount of water and fillers added!
According to my calculations, store bought soy milk contains about half the nutrients compared to homemade soy milk. Based on Whole Foods retail price of soybeans at $2.20/lb., store bought organic soy milk has a value of soybeans of about $0.70/64 oz. Obviously, the manufacturers do not buy soy beans at Whole Foods, it probably cost them no more than $0.35/64 oz.
2 quarts of organic soy milk:
Store bought ~$4-$6.00
Homemade ~$1.00 (I use more soybeans than store bought. If you use the same amount of soybeans then it is only $0.70 for 2 quarts)
1lb of soybeans ($2.20 for organic) makes about 1.5 gallons of soy milk
Best Soy Making Machine
I had owned several soymilk making machines. Some of the machines smelled like plastic when they were cooking, so I believe it is important to choose an interior (top and bottom) entirely made from stainless steel. Large capacity is important for a family. Base on my research and experience, the best soy milk machine is SoyaJoy G4. I bought mine used. It was in like new condition, and I have been using it for several years, and it is still running like new!
Affiliate links to buy new or used:
Amazon Soyajoy G4 Soy Milk & Soup Maker - Stainless Steel Interior
Ebay Soyajoy G4 Soy Milk & Soup Maker - Stainless Steel Interior
Do soy beans need to be soaked?
Soaking is already my habit, but you do not have to soak if you forget or do not have time. You can make soy milk in about 30 min. using the Soyajoy G4 "dry beans" function. There are claims that soaking the beans yields more and makes a better quality milk, but even if you do not soak it is still better and costs you much less than store bought soy milk.
For 1 Batch(es)
USES FOR SOY PULP/MILK:
Soy Pulp (okara) - Since I do not strain my milk, I just let it sink to the bottom, I end up with a lot of wet okara, that I use to make "second" milk, I just add water to the wet okara, mix well, let it sit so pulp sink on the bottom and then I get more milk, thinner (kind of like a store bought), but still good for smoothies, muesli or cereal. Soy okara is my favorite pulp to make recipes, it is much smoother and tastier than any other plant milk pulp. I have used okara in various recipes: breads, pancakes, veggie burgers, desserts, bars...
Soy Milk - I ferment it into yogurt and make cheeses.
Soy Milk - Store each batch in a 1 half gallon (64 oz.) or 2 quart Mason Jars in the refrigerator for about a week.
Okara - My experience is that my left over okara will last in the refrigerator for about a week or in the freezer for several months.