Easy Do-It-Yourself Whey from Yogurt
Whey is the other protein in milk aside from casein. It’s only present after milk products have been cultured and it’s a live food. This liquid is teeming with good lactic acid producing bacteria (LABs.) Whey is a basic to keep on hand because it can be used to ferment flours, seeds, nuts, vegetables, or as a starter to culture other dairy.
I use homemade yogurt to make my whey but you can use store bought yogurt to make your own whey. Make sure you get a full fat, grass fed yogurt that only contains milk and cultures. It’s ok if it’s pasteurized as the culturing process adds life back to this food! Greek yogurt will not work to make whey as there is very little whey naturally in that strain of yogurt. If you are sensitive to lactose or casein, you should leave your store bought yogurt out on the counter, unopened, for an additional 12 - 24 hours to finish culturing the yogurt before you strain the whey. (Essentially making it lactose free.)
If you strain your yogurt for a long time, it becomes almost like a cream cheese substance. It’s great to add fresh herbs to and make a dip!
To speed along the straining time, stir your yogurt well before adding it to the cloth.
I really like using the villi life culture from the Heirloom Yogurt Starter pack at Cultures for Health. Not only is it a mesophilic culture, meaning it cultures at room temperature instead of at 110 degrees like most yogurts, but it is a runnier yogurt and produces a lot of whey for my baking and fermenting needs.
I enjoy to the runniness of the ville life culture. If you don’t, simply separate some of the whey out of each batch for a thicker end product.
The cloth I used is the single fold diaper cloth, you can purchase it at Walmart or find something similar at Cultures for Health.
It’s best to use a plastic funnel because metal can be damaging to the good bacteria inside the whey.
Whey keeps in the fridge for about six months if you’ve successfully removed most of the milk solids and strained well.
Ingredients for DIY Whey
3 Cups Homemade Yogurt
Directions for DIY Whey
Set a plastic strainer inside a large measuring cup or bowl.
Fold the cloth four times and set inside the strainer.
Pour your yogurt into the cloth.
Gather the edges of your cloth and secure with a rubber band.
Leave to sit and strain for as long as desired.
If you want to simply thicken your yogurt, leaving it for only ten minutes is fine. If you’d like to strain all the whey out to make a cream cheese, you can leave it for much longer. I often leave mine out overnight.
Once you have strained enough whey out, pour it into a clean glass jar.
Rinse your cloth well in hot water. Don’t use soap! Hang to dry.
Use your whey to ferment flours, seeds, nuts, or vegetables, or as a starter to culture other dairy. What will you use your whey for?