Move over commercial-size coffee filters, extra-fine bouillon strainers, and obviously, cheesecloth. You’ve been replaced. Keep reading to find out more about A Faster Way To Strain Yogurt Without Cheesecloth when transforming homemade yogurt into Greek or Icelandic yogurt.
A while back, I received an email from a reader named Wendy. She designed a new way to strain yogurt and offered to send me a free one to try. That’s OK sometimes. However, this time, I decided to buy it with my own money so I could be completely free about my opinion.
A Portion of the Letter From Wendy:
Wendy’s Brilliant Idea:
Why I Quit My Beloved Colanders and Coffee Filters
Using this pouch is so much FASTER! Hence, the drain time for turning yogurt into Greek yogurt can be cut in nearly half.
You see, I prefer extremely thick Skyr or Icelandic yogurt. Straining with coffee filters or a fine-mesh strainer can take 6-7 hours. There’s not really a way to rush the process. But with the Kleynhuis Greek Yogurt Pouch, it only takes 2-3 hours to strain regular yogurt.
Why? Because the pouch allows gravity to force the whey out. In addition, you can speed up the process with some manual encouragement.
How To Take Advantage of Gravity To Strain Yogurt Faster
#1 Cinch the pouch with the cute little orange fastener.
If you have filled the pouch with 1 gallon of yogurt, it will have to drain for 15-20 minutes before you will be able to cinch it.
#2 Hang bag from an upper cabinet handle so the bag is not touching the surface of the colander or bowl collecting whey.
Although not necessary, I remove the colander just to get it out of the way. Typically, the weight of the yogurt will force the whey out in record time.
You can see for yourself in the picture below a comparison of whey collected using paper coffee filters and the Kleynhuis Pouch. Although you might not see a huge difference the picture, remember it’s the last inch or two of whey that are the most difficult and time-consuming to collect.
In the same amount of time (a couple hours), you can see how much more whey is collecting with Wendy’s special pouch on the right when compared to the colander with a coffee-filter lining on the left. Each bag contains 1/2 gallon of yogurt.
Furthermore, if you take your hands (I use surgical gloves to do this) and twist the bag full of yogurt, you can squeeze even more whey out of the yogurt. Hold the cinched bag at the top with one hand and use the other to twist the pouch tightly.
At first glance, Wendy’s pouch looks similar to a jelly strainer or nut bag. Some people tell me they use these to strain yogurt.
Three Advantages of the Kleynhuis Greek Yogurt Pouch Over a Jelly Strainer
#1 It is wide enough at the top (16 inches) to fit over most household colanders.
The pouch will hold a full gallon of yogurt. It’s helpful if your colander is also gallon-sized.
#2 The rounded shape means no pesky corners to clean.
#3 You won’t need extra hands to hold the bag open since the cinch around the colander is holding it open.
#4 The nylon fabric is made of 100 micron ultra-fine mesh.
The nut bags/jelly bags I’ve seen for sale are usually 200 micron. (The LOWER the micron number the FINER the strain). According to Amazon, the pouch is FDA food grade certified and BPA-free.
I should also mention there is an identical pouch made of organic cotton available to buy if you would prefer that over nylon. Price is the same. (I have not personally tried it.)
Advantages of the Kleynhuis Greek Yogurt Pouch Over Cheesecloth
#1 Small bits of yogurt easily fall off the fine nylon fabric.
To be fair, the more whey you drain off, the easier it is to clean up whatever system you use. I especially like the way all the seams are cleverly sewn to the outside to prevent yogurt solids from hiding in the creases.
#2 Easier to rinse and clean.
Rinse pouch in your kitchen sink with a small amount of dish soap and rub between your hands until clean. Rinse. Hang to dry over the sink until it no longer drips. Then hang from a cabinet knob. Dries in less than an hour.
#3 The fine texture of the cloth allows fewer milk solids to leak through.
This assumes that your yogurt has set up successfully and does not resemble milk or drinkable yogurt. It does the job just as well as paper filters and even better than cheesecloth.
As a result of trying the Kleynhuis nylon pouch, I’m sold! In fact, I ordered two because I make 1-1/2 gallons of yogurt once a week, every week. Ultimately, speed and convenience wins me over every time. The price is not prohibitive ($14 each) and the product performs exactly as promised.
Thank-you, Wendy, for telling me about this super-cool product. You can read more helpful reviews from happy customers here.
Q and A About Straining Yogurt
Question: Why strain yogurt down to a minimum 50% of the original volume?
Answer: Because we prefer flavored yogurt. Adding additional flavored liquid thins the strained yogurt. It follows that straining as much whey as possible keeps the yogurt from becoming too thin after I add fruit purée or coffee concentrate (my current favorite add-ins.)
Our best-loved add-in is heavy cream along with a little vanilla bean paste and erythritol for low-carb sweetness. It’s a rare treat!!!
Question: How does straining yogurt affect the flavor?
Answer: Straining off large amounts of whey will give your yogurt a milder flavor profile. Just my observation. Truth be told, the tanginess of homemade yogurt can be affected by a million different factors, or so it seems. But this one is fairly predictable.
Question: My homemade yogurt turns out thick without straining. Why do I need this?
Answer: You probably don’t. You are eating standard, traditional yogurt and that’s great if that’s what you prefer. Greek or Icelandic yogurt traditionally is made by straining off a certain percentage of the whey to make it thicker. (I don’t recommend adding any kind of thickener like some commercial companies reportedly do to save money. Always check the label when buying Greek yogurt at the supermarket.)
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