When I first began fermenting, the process of gathering whey seemed … whey too complicated… Ha! OK, so maybe that was a little lame but we both know you smiled. At least I hope you did because this post was just begging for puns. And really, who am I to deny a blog post a joke or five? Anyway, as I was saying; now that I’ve actually done it, I realize it couldn’t be any easier. In case you were wondering, the definition of whey is “the water from milk left over after the formation of curds”. The only process of gathering whey that I was aware of was to utilize raw milk and since I live in a major city the chances of me finding a steady supply are pretty much slim to none. Sadly unable to moo-ve Bessy the dairy-cow into my cozy suburban backyard I was forced to search for another whey to make it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn’t have to look that long or hard to find a whey simple method of collecting whey from yogurt! One important thing that I want to mention before I go any further is that when choosing your yogurt it should be an organic, probiotic and good quality plain yogurt. Anything else would be whey out of line here so no flavors, colors, sweeteners or thickeners please. You see, you’ll need those oh-so helpful probiotics to kick start your batches of fermented goodness regardless of the variety of fermentable it is you intend to make. I also recommend staying away from thick Greek-style yogurt because it doesn’t have a very high moisture content which results in whey less whey.
*Authors note: I do not apologize for my extremely unnecessary use of whey puns in this post…or any other.
You’ll need these:
1 Small container organic plain probiotic yogurt
This method of whey gathering is easy; all you have to do is make a bundle of yogurt, hang it up and wheyt. First double layer the cheesecloth making roughly a 6 inch by 6 inch square (6″ x 6″). Your bundle will start dripping whey right a-whey so lay your cheesecloth square into your bowl and then begin spooning yogurt into the center. Once you have filled the center of that cheesecloth with yogurt, gather the edges and make a cute little yogurt bundle. Tie the top of your bundle closed with a string and tie the other end up somewhere so it can hang above the bowl. I like to use a cupboard handle for this. It works really well as long as you pick a cupboard that you won’t need to open too often! Now you just wheyt for all of the whey to drip out into the bowl. Depending on the consistency of your yogurt this can take anywhere from a couple hours to overnight. I often just let it hang overnight and then I can get started on my recipe the next day which is ultra convenient.
Once your little bundle of yogurt is done dripping you”ll have a thick Greek-style yogurt left over to make dips, spreads or just to eat with fresh fruit, nuts and seeds! If you dont use the whey right a-whey just store it in an airtight jar and stick it in the fridge. It should last up to 6 months or so.
You can use this whey in your fermented food recipes, in smoothies for added protein or to soak your beans and grains.
Thanks for reading and please share any comments or your experiences below. I love hearing feedback on these recipes so let me know how you like it! For more tasty recipes and other interesting blog entries follow me on Facebook!
Brooke Carragher, C.H.N- Certified Holistic Nutritionist
Whole U Nutrition- A Whole U Approach To Wellness