Who doesn’t love a glass of fresh almond milk on a summer afternoon? It would be so refreshing to enjoy such a nutritious cold beverage after a long day.
However, the almond milk usually found in commercially produced packages often lack the natural goodness and offer some harmful chemicals instead.
That is why making some nut milk or similar dairy products in the comfort of your home sounds like a much better idea!
But do you know what items you need for preparing them? Two of the most common choices in this regard are nut milk bag and cheesecloth.
Even though they both come with commendable straining properties, they are actually quite different if you dig a little deeper. So here we are to discuss their pros and cons by comparing nut milk bag vs cheesecloth!
What is A Nut Milk Bag?
Nutt milk bags are used to make almond milk and other similar items at home. This allows the user to enjoy some fresh nut milk that doesn’t have any harmful preservative or artificial chemicals in it. You can have total control over what ingredients to include and which to discard.
Choosing the right kind of nut milk bag makes the production process a lot easier and more gratifying for the person. These bags basically look like pouches which are closed with a drawstring.
Nuts are first soaked into water and blended to make a paste. Then it has to go through the mesh of nut milk bags for the end product.
The construction of nut milk bags includes very fine filters which are indispensable for creating a creamy texture. That is why so many people prefer these bags over other alternatives which may not provide such a satisfying outcome. They are great to make some creamy milk right in the comfort of your home.
At first glance, it may seem like these small bags don’t have much strength in them. However, they are actually made of strong fabrics that have a high thread count. This means you can use the same nut milk bag several times for making your fresh creamy products.
Easy to Clean
Every equipment used to prepare edible items should definitely be cleaned up regularly to get rid of any residue or dirt buildup. Nut milk bag is no different. It also needs to be cleaned after each use to ensure hygiene and reusability.
Thankfully, cleaning it is very easy. You only need to rinse it with water manually or use washing machine for the job.
Difficult to Use
If you are not used to preparing plant-based milk, using a nut milk bag may prove to be a little bit challenging at first. You can easily overcome that by practicing the process a few times before making the milk in a larger amount. Once you get the hang of it, using nut milk bags seems as easy as a cakewalk!
While most nut milk bags do not have this fault, some are made in a way or with such a fabric that they cannot retain their original shape after one or two uses.
This is why the material or fabric of the bag matters so much in your purchasing decision. Nylon and hemp are considered to be the best choices in this regard.
What is Cheesecloth?
While nut milk is all about making the perfect plant-based milk, cheesecloths are about producing the finest cheese! These cloths are made with thin and transparent carded cotton fabric which has been woven loosely. Because of such a structure, it can be used effectively as a fine wire mesh.
Advantages Of Cheesecloth
Grades of Fineness
Cheesecloth comes in several grades of fineness so that you can pick the one most suitable for your individual tasks and requirements. There are at least seven of these grades which measure how many vertical and horizontal threads per inch or centimeter your cheesecloth has.
Even though its primary purpose is to help people who want to make fresh cheese at home, it can be used to prepare many other edible items. You can take advantage of it while preparing dishes that need straining, like custards and stocks. It can help with making tofu, ghee, yogurt, tea and more!
There are many mesh-like fabrics and products which can only be used once. The cheesecloth does not put you at a disadvantage like that. It inspires you to do more “cheesy” products by letting you use one cloth multiple times! However, remember to clean it properly after each use for maintaining proper hygiene.
They come in several sizes so that you can use them to make the respective size of cheese. Each of them allows you a different capacity to utilize. For instance, the larger cheesecloths can deal with as much as 10 gallons or 38 liters of product, while the medium ones can hold only up to 1.5 gallons or 5.5 liters.
Disadvantages Of Cheesecloth
Room For Error
Your process of making milk can be at the risk of blow-outs if you use cheesecloth for it. While the cloth is great for producing cheese, it may not be the ideal choice for producing plant-based milk. It is not as fine as other similar materials since it has about 80 openings between threads on average.
Cheesecloth is usually not made of a strong fabric. This can easily be determined by the number of threads present in each square inch of the cloth. The higher this count goes; the higher strength it implies for the fabric. Unfortunately, cheesecloths are not that strong and are prone to breaking down easily.
Comparing Cheesecloth Vs Nut Milk Bag
The difference in applications of nut milk bag and cheesecloth is already pretty evident from their names.
You should use the first one to prepare almond milk and other plant-based milk products which involve straining in their preparation phase. On the other hand, cheesecake is ideal for preparing different kinds of cheese.
Since they both are used for straining, both cheesecloth and nut milk bags are made to provide convenient filtration methods for the consumer. However, their structure differs slightly when it comes to the fineness of those filters. Nut milk bags usually provide much finer filters than cheesecloth.
Room For Error
Unfortunately, cheesecloth can put your process of preparing milk more at risk. Using it for making or straining plant-based milk or similar items come with a higher possibility of blow-out than that of nut milk bags. That is why you should go for the bags for a much lower room for error.
Nut milk bags are usually made with a stronger fabric than cheesecloth. This strength is measured by the thread count each of them possesses. Thread count refers to the number of threads present in each square inch of a fabric or cloth. Cheesecloth scores lower in this parameter and thus is weaker than the bags.
Cleaning the cheesecloth is a bit of struggle since its shape and structure are not convenient for clearing the residual.
For instance, the pulp of almonds can get struck within its mesh structure after the entire process has ended. In contrast, you only need to rinse the nut milk bag or throw it in the machine for cleaning.
Bottom Line – Which One is For You?
From all the points we discussed so far about nut milk bag vs cheesecloth, the first one seems to provide more advantages.
Nut milk bags come with more strength, less room for errors, finer filters, creamier milk and easier cleaning methods. So we would recommend it over cheesecloth which lacks in these areas.
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