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Why and How To Strain Yogurt With a Nylon Bag

Are you looking for a different way to strain yogurt to make Greek yogurt? Move over commercial-size coffee filters, extra-fine bouillon strainers, and cheesecloth. 

This post will show you Why and How to Strain Yogurt With a Yogurt Pouch when transforming homemade yogurt into Greek or Icelandic yogurt. Don’t miss the secret for speeding up the straining process.

Pouch full of yogurt straining the whey into a bowl

OK, I know what you’re thinking…

Why should I buy something else to strain yogurt? Perhaps you’ve already spent good money on a fine-mesh colander, or tracked down a large box of commercial coffee filters, or have plenty of cheesecloth or nut bags to strain yogurt. I understand. I have used all these methods at one time or another.

What can I say? I’m a sucker for new ways of doing things, especially if they save time.

So awhile 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 open about giving my opinion.

You can learn all about why and how to strain yogurt with a yogurt pouch here:

  1. Wendy’s letter
  2. Wendy’s Brilliant Idea
  3. How to Use the Kleynhuis Greek Yogurt Pouch
  4. 8 Advantages of the Kleynhuis Greek Yogurt Pouch Over Other Methods
  5. Q and A About Straining Yogurt

A Portion of the Letter From Wendy:

So, I had an idea to make my own reusable fabric yogurt strainer. First, I experimented with many batches of yogurt and how best to strain it;  second, I designed and sewed the pattern for the original prototype; then, I made more Greek yogurt and tweaked the design; and finally, I spent a year figuring out how to brand my new product and bring it to market.

This prompted me to think, “There HAS to be an easier way.” Cheesecloth is too messy. Urn-style coffee filters were too large to store or I needed to use several of them at a time. 

Wendy’s Brilliant Idea:

So, I had an idea to make my own reusable fabric yogurt strainer. First, I experimented with many batches of yogurt and how best to strain it;  second, I designed and sewed the pattern for the original prototype; then, I made more Greek yogurt and tweaked the design; and finally, I spent a year figuring out how to brand my new product and bring it to market.

Wendy

The result was the Kleynhuis Greek Yogurt Strainer Pouch. Check out her website here.

(The pictures below are mine.)

Nylon pouch straight out of the package
Straight out of the package.
Label on strainer pouch

How To Use the Kleynhuis Greek Yogurt Pouch

#1

After filling yogurt pouch with regular yogurt, cinch the pouch with the cute little orange fastener.

If you have completely filled the pouch with the maximum 1 gallon of yogurt, it will need to drain for 15-20 minutes before you will be able to cinch it.

#2

Hang pouch 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 and have one less thing to wash.

#3

Want to speed up the straining process?

You can manually squeeze whey out of yogurt when you are in a hurry. Hold the cinched bag at the top with one hand (I don surgical gloves for this) and use the other hand to twist the pouch tightly and apply pressure at the same time.

manually squeezing yogurt pouch to hasten straining process
Squeezing the bag to produce whey more quickly.

#4

After your yogurt has reached the desired thickness, do this:

Turn yogurt pouch inside out to dump the contents into an empty bowl.  Add preferred sweetener/sugar and flavorings. Whip with a whisk or an immersion blender if you like your yogurt to be silky smooth.

Using an immersion blender to make Greek yogurt smooth

How does this compare to cheesecloth, fine-mesh strainers, coffee filters, or nut bags?

8 Advantages of the Kleynhuis Greek Yogurt Pouch Over Other Methods

#1 

The pouch is wide enough at the top (16 inches) to fit over most household colanders.

The bag will hold a full gallon of yogurt. It’s helpful if your colander is also gallon-sized if you intend to fill the pouch.

Kitchen secret:  If you have a salad spinner, you can use the colander inside to strain yogurt.

#2

You won’t need extra hands to hold the bag open since the cinch around the colander is holding it open.

transferring yogurt to pouch stretched over a colander

#3 

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.

Did I mention?

An identical pouch made of organic cotton is available to buy if you would prefer that over nylon. Price is the same. (I have not personally tried it.)

#4 

The rounded shape means no pesky corners to clean.

Speaking of pesky annoyances, I especially like the way all the seams are cleverly sewn to the outside to prevent yogurt solids from hiding in the creases.

#5

Small bits of yogurt easily fall off the fine-textured nylon fabric

To be fair, the more whey you drain off, the easier it is to clean up no matter which system you use. 

pouch turned inside out while emptying it

#6

Less trouble to rinse and clean than cheesecloth or fine-mesh strainer

Admittedly, nothing beats a coffee filter for convenience. Nonetheless, you have store them (usually have to buy filters in bulk) and clean the colander that holds them. In addition, some people prefer to minimize use of disposable products, so that is a disadvantage.

On the other hand, the yogurt pouch is easy to clean and re-use, presumably hundreds of times.

How to clean the pouch…

Rinse the used nylon pouch at your kitchen sink with a small amount of dish soap and rub between your hands until clean. Squeeze out excess moisture. Hang over the faucet until it no longer drips. Then hang from a cabinet knob. Dries in less than an hour. Occasionally, I run it through the washer when convenient.

Compare that to cleaning and drying cheesecloth (takes forever to dry).  Even a fine-mesh colander can be a pain to wash. Running it through the dishwasher is easy but requires a lot of space that always seems to be in short supply at my house.

hanging pouch to dry

#7

The fine texture of the cloth allows fewer milk solids to leak through.

Assuming your yogurt has set up successfully and does not resemble milk or drinkable yogurt, the pouch gives a clean strain. It does the job as well as paper coffee filters and better than cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer

A word of warning:  Manually squeezing the yogurt pouch will result in a slightly cloudy whey. I can live with it.

#8 

You can speed up the straining process with manual manipulation.

I know I already mentioned this earlier, but this point is what sealed the deal for me.

If you want incredibly thick Skyr or Icelandic yogurt, straining can take up to 6 hours. YIKES! Furthermore, you can’t rush the straining process with coffee filters or fine-mesh colanders. There’s no way to use pressure.

But with the Kleynhuis Greek Yogurt Pouchyou can reduce straining time with “manual encouragement” if you want or need to. It is not necessary, however. If you missed it, see the picture of this process earlier in the post.

The bottom line?

As a result of trying the Kleynhuis nylon pouch, I’m sold! I ordered two because I make 1-1/2 gallons of yogurt once a week, every week. Ultimately, ease of clean-up and the ability to strain faster when I want to wins me over every time. The price is not prohibitive ($14 each), and the product performs as promised.

Wendy, thank you for inventing this super-cool product. You can read more helpful reviews from happy customers here.

(On the off chance that you landed here and haven’t figured out the best way to make yogurt in your own kitchen yet, take a look at my video about making yogurt, then keep reading.)

Q and A About Straining Yogurt

Question:  Why strain yogurt down to a minimum of 50% of the original volume?

Answer:  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 adding 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. 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 thickener like some commercial companies do to save money. Always check the label when buying Greek yogurt at the supermarket.)

Click here to get a FREE printable cheat-sheet for making Greek yogurt when you sign up for my FREE 6-day email course: “How To Make the Yogurt of Your Dreams.

Pin the picture below to save for later.

Pinterest Image of yogurt strainer

What posts about making yogurt would you like to read next?


If you have a question or problem you need help with, please write it in the comment section below so I can respond back. You can also email me privately: paula at saladinajar.com.

Thank you for visiting!
Paula

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Crystal

Friday 10th of April 2020

Hi Paula, I was wondering how you make coffee concentrate. Our fav yogurt flavour is coffee & I have been wondering how to go about flavouring it Thanks!

Paula

Friday 10th of April 2020

Coffee concentrate works fine. However, it will thin your yogurt. If you strain your yogurt a lot, then you can thin it back down with the coffee concentrate. I use Pioneer Woman's iced coffee recipe. Another way to do it is to use instant espresso. It won't make your yogurt thinner. Just stir until it dissolves. Great for making coffee ice cream, too.

Angela

Monday 20th of May 2019

I have a question...would I be able to also use this as a nut milk bag/juice strainer ? Just curious to see if I can get more bang for my buck since I also need a new nut milk bag. ?

Paula

Monday 20th of May 2019

Yes. You could even use it to make iced coffee. If you make very much Greek yogurt, it's worth every dime.

Robin McCown

Tuesday 9th of April 2019

This is great! I just started making yogurt since my husband eats a parfait for breakfast every morning, and greek yogurt gets expensive! I bought one of these a few weeks ago (https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KLT6X9W/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) It works great and holds a gallon, but it does have corners and it won't fit around my bowls like it looks that one does. Oh well. If I ever lose or damage mine, I'll replace it with this one.

I love the way you do experiments to see how different variables affect the end result. Have you done one with instant powdered nonfat milk? I add two cups to one gallon skim milk.

Paula

Tuesday 9th of April 2019

Hi Robin,

When I first started making yogurt, I played around with powdered milk. However, the texture seemed to turn the yogurt a little bit chalky for my tastes, so I quit. If you like it, keep doing it. Seems like it would provide extra calcium and protein.

Susan Holland

Tuesday 9th of April 2019

I bought this and am trying for the first time with regular yogurt I bought at the store. However instead of whey draining out, the yogurt is draining out! What have I done wrong???

Paula

Tuesday 9th of April 2019

Hi Susan, The yogurt is draining out? Is it drinkable yogurt? Hmmm. I can't imagine that you are doing anything wrong. Wetting the bag might help. The only time I have trouble is when the yogurt did not set up right. But I'm assuming that if you bought it at the store, it should be perfect. Sorry, I'm stumped based on the information you've given me.

Paula Hallman

Saturday 9th of March 2019

I have two of the strainers, and I absolutely love them. “whey” easier to clean than my Europe wire mesh.

Paula H

Paula

Sunday 10th of March 2019

Hi Paula, I couldn't agree more.