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How to make homemade whey

 

I use whey a lot when cooking – for homemade condiments like homemade ketchup, for soaking grains and beans, as a starter culture for lacto-fermenting vegetables (like sauerkraut) and fruits, and as a starter for beverages.

If you’ve never made whey before you’re in for a surprise – it’s whey easy! (Corny, I know.) And when you’re done, you’ve also created sour cream and cream cheese (directions below)!

Why whey?

Whey has been used for centuries. The Icelanders preserved their food with whey and Greek doctors referred to it as ‘healing water’. In the Middle Ages, doctors recommended whey for various ailments and up until the 1940’s spas in Europe treated gout, anemia, arthritis, and even tuberculosis with it.

What did they know that we don’t? Whey is a protein that provides your body with an excellent source of minerals, essential amino acids, and digestive bacteria. In 2000, a study by the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center found that whey may also prevent breast cancer!

Many health food stores rightly tout the benefits of whey protein. But if you’re really looking to build muscle, maintain your blood sugar, and boost your metabolism, skip the huge containers of powdered whey protein on the shelf and try making your own.

Making whey

Homemade whey is really simple to make. You can make it from homemade yogurt, raw milk, or kefir. I usually get my whey from dripping yogurt because that’s what I first learned and I’m comfortable with the method. However, I wouldn’t hesitate a bit to use kefir or raw milk.

In the pictures below I’m using viili yogurt, but I’ll also explain how to make it with raw milk or kefir.

I don’t consider this recipe totally sugar-free because of the lactose in milk products. However, when you make homemade yogurt or kefir there is very little lactose left in the end product and many who are lactose intolerant can eat them both. Still, be aware that there may be remnants of lactose in the whey.

Whey (gluten-free, candida-diet)
yogurt, milk or kefir (each preferably raw or homemade)
large 1/2 gallon jar or bowl
large tea bag, cheese cloth, or tea towel (Make sure you don’t use softener when you wash your tea bag – it creates a film and won’t let the whey drip through. Plus you might have odd tasting whey.)

Directions:
1. If you’re using raw milk, set about 2 quarts of milk in a jar or bowl at room temperature for 2-4 days or until the milk has visibly risen to the top and the bottom is a yellowish liquid whey.

If you’re using yogurt or kefir, no earlier preparation is needed.

2. Place a large tea bag, cheesecloth, or tea towel inside a half gallon size jar or large bowl. Pour the yogurt (raw milk or kefir) into the tea bag.

3. Pull the tea bag about half way up the jar and secure it with a metal ring or rubber band. Make sure the tea bag is pulled up far enough that the whey can drip out and the tea bag won’t be sitting in it. Put the jar in the fridge and let it drip for about 24 hours.

Note: The yogurt that’s left in the cheesecloth is now a delicious, creamy sour cream, or if you want to let it drip longer and become even thicker, a nutritious cream cheese. You choose the consistency you want.

You can use the sour cream or cream cheese in any recipe just as you would store-bought. They will last for about 1 month in the refrigerator and the whey is good for 6 months.

 ********************

See how easy it is to make your own whey! Plus, now you’ve got cream cheese or sour cream to use. In the end you’ve spent less than 15 minutes to create several whole food masterpieces. 🙂

Talk about multi-tasking!

Homemade Whey & How to Make It (plus sour cream & cream cheese)

Allergies Candida-Diet, Gluten-Free
Meal type Dressings, Sauces, & Condiments
Website Whole Intentions

Ingredients

  • yogurt, milk, or kefir (each preferably raw or homemade)
  • large tea bag, cheese cloth, or tea towel
  • large 1/2 gallon jar or bowl (Make sure you don't use softener when you wash your tea bag - it creates a film and won't let the whey drip through. Plus you might have odd tasting whey.)

Directions

1. 1. If you're using raw milk, set about 2 quarts of milk in a jar or bowl at room temperature for 2-4 days or until the milk has visibly risen to the top and the bottom is a yellowish liquid whey.

If you're using yogurt or kefir, no earlier preparation is needed.
2. Place a large tea bag, cheesecloth, or tea towel inside a half gallon size jar or large bowl. Pour the yogurt (raw milk or kefir) into the tea bag.
3. Pull the tea bag about half way up the jar and secure it with a metal ring or rubber band. Make sure the tea bag is pulled up far enough that the whey can drip out and the tea bag won't be sitting in it. Put the jar in the fridge and let it drip for about 24 hours.

Note

Note: The yogurt that's left in the cheesecloth is now a delicious, creamy sour cream, or if you want to let it drip longer and become even thicker, a nutritious cream cheese. You choose the consistency you want.

You can use the sour cream or cream cheese in any recipe just as you would store-bought. They will last for about 1 month in the refrigerator and the whey is good for 6 months.

 

 

Resources:
http://www.journalofdairyscience.org/article/S0022-0302(74)84976-3/pdf
http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2000/000120.htm

 

How to make homemade whey

 

 

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Paula, CHS, Certified Level 3 Metabolic Effect Nutrition Consultant

Paula, CHS, Certified Level 3 Metabolic Effect Nutrition Consultant

Hi, I'm Paula - wife and homeschooling mom of six. Several family health issues involving candida, food allergies, and Lyme Disease have created a passion to better understand our God-created bodies. Today I share that enthusiasm by bringing you information on ways to improve your gut health. You can follow me on Facebook, and Pinterest.
Paula, CHS, Certified Level 3 Metabolic Effect Nutrition Consultant
Paula, CHS, Certified Level 3 Metabolic Effect Nutrition Consultant

Latest posts by Paula, CHS, Certified Level 3 Metabolic Effect Nutrition Consultant (see all)

    63 replies to "Homemade Whey & How to Make It (plus sour cream & cream cheese)"

    • Jen

      Thanks for joining us on FF! So happy to see a new blogger joining us. I love whey and cream cheese too. I have never made it with yogurt . . always raw milk. I guess that makes me a freak too because I think it is easier and tastier with yogurt. I just started with the raw milk and I am just a creature of habit. 🙂 One day . . .

    • leslie@realfoodfreaks

      I use whey to make a probiotic lemonade. I'm also a fan of lacto fermented salsa! Thanks for linking up to Freaky Friday!

    • hännah

      This looks like a good, easy method! I haven't made my own yogurt yet but I have made whey with store-bought yogurt before. Baby steps…

      I ended up just adding the whey to a smoothie for an extra protein kick.

    • Jessica

      I really like whey in bread making-exchange for water. I've used it in soups anf oatmeal…when available! I get my whey from cheese making from our goat milk!

    • Paula

      Jen – I've never made it with raw milk lol. Guess we're all creatures of habit. . .

      Leslie – Haven't tried the fermented salsa yet – but it's on my looooong list of recipes to try.

      Hannah – we all started or are still doing baby steps. No matter how big a step we take, it's that much closer to a healthy life.

      Jessica – wow, I've never thought of exchanging the water for whey for bread and such. What a great idea!

    • Mindy @ The Purposed Heart

      Paula, why have I never thought of putting the cheesecloth in a jar and then using a ring to hold it in place? That is brilliant! I always rig up some ugly contraption with a wooden spoon and a big pot, but the jar idea is sooo much simpler. Definitely gonna do it like that from now on 🙂 Great idea!

    • Paula

      Mindy – I used to hang a bag from my kitchen cupboard handle and let it drip into a bowl beneath, but I kept bumping it. 🙂

      I think you'll really like this method!

    • Anonymous

      Thank you! I have been wanting to do this! Shay
      http://raisingdieter.blogspot.com/

    • Anonymous

      New Follower! Shay

    • Julia

      Thanks for linking up to the Frugal Tuesday Tip!

    • Shiloh

      Oh how cool! I didn't know that's how you made sour cream and cottage cheese! I'll be honest, I'm more excited about that than the whey. I'll try the whey sometime though.

    • Nicolette @ Momnivore's Dilemma

      Funny that you linked this to my party, I'm about to make whey for the first time! After two years of being GFCFSF with my sons, I'm ready to start lacto-fermenting veggies and fruits for them.

      Thank you for sharing at my Creative Juice party; I'll be featuring you next week in hopes of spreading the good word of old school cooking! 🙂

      Have a blessed holiday.
      <3
      Nicolette

    • Andrea @ The Greenbacks Gal

      I've always been a little afraid of whey. Thanks for making it so approachable.

    • April @ The 21st Century Housewife

      I was very interested to learn more about whey and how to make it. Thank you for sharing this post with the Hearth and Soul hop.

    • Paula

      Shay – thanks for following, let me know how it turns out!

      Shiloh – honestly, I made and used sour cream and threw the whey away before I realized how good it was. This makes fantastic sour cream.

      Nicolette – wow, thanks for featuring me! The lacto-fermenting is a big step – but it is so good for their tummies. Have fun with it!

      Andrea – approachable is what I was aiming for. I'm glad you found it less frightening. 🙂

      April – Your welcome – and thanks for a great blog hop!

    • loves2spin

      Great method. I have had my kefir cheese last for many months. I just stir it every so often.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks! This is exactly what I was looking for this week – making sauerkraut for the first time! Reading you from Sustainable Eats Simple Lives Thursdays

    • Shannon, Food Channel Editor, Momtrends.com

      Very cool, that is much easier than I would have thought it would be!

      Hope you had a wonderful holiday! Thanks for linking up to Momtrends.com Friday Food!

    • Vicky

      This is so interesting. Never tried whey, but one of my friends was just touting the benefits of it. Thanks for sharing. I am a new follower visiting from Keeping It Simple. Vicky from Mess For Less

    • Paula

      Welcome Vicky! So glad your friend shared with you about whey. I'm finding more and more that I can do with it myself.

      Thanks for following!

    • Kristi

      You did such a great job describing whey! I drink it straight up when I am breastfeeding, as it increases breast milk production. I also use it to make pineapple chutney, salsa, beet kvass, along with my quick sourdough bread and gooey granola….so many uses, so little time 😉

    • Paula

      Hi Kristi – I've tried to drink it straight, but I just can't do it. 🙂 Instead I make Mama's Milk tea which I buy from The Bulk Herb Store.

      Your right though – there's so many uses it's really one of those "wow" foods.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • MissFitness

      Stumbled upon this on the perfect day for me to be receptive to it…my whey powder turned to chunks of rubbery nastiness in my chai this morning. Definitely open to making my own. Any ideas on how to substitute 1 scoop of whey for the liquid? Also would have to figure out calories…Guess I got a new project to research. 🙂
      http://easyglutenfreereceipes.wordpress.com

    • Paula

      Not much into drinking powdered whey so I don't know how much you would want to replace it with. However, I did find this link that might prove helpful.

      http://www.livestrong.com/article/425693-the-nutrition-in-liquid-whey/

    • air to air heat exchanger

      I really like whey in bread making-exchange for water. I've used it in soups anf oatmeal…when available! I get my whey from cheese making from our goat milk!

    • Gluten-Free Taco Soup

      […] 1/2 c. onions, diced 1/2 c. green or red peppers, diced 3 cloves of garlic, minced 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded 1 t. chili powder 2 T. (or 1 pkg.) taco seasoning (or homemade mix) 16 oz. salsa 14 oz. whole corn kernels, drained 2 c. soaked black beans (or 14 oz. rinsed and drained) 2 c. soaked kidney beans (or 14 oz.rinsed and drained) 6 oz. tomato paste 1 qt. chicken stock 28 oz. diced tomatoes 8 oz. homemade sour cream […]

    • […] c. warm water 1/2 c. homemade yogurt (you can substitute kefir, whey, buttermilk, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar if you need to be casein-free) 1 1/2 c. GF oat […]

    • […] the Master Mix, milk, coconut oil, and the egg.  2. Add 2 tablespoons of homemade yogurt, kefir, whey, buttermilk, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar and reducing the milk by 2 tablespoons. Or you can […]

    • […] yogurt, or by reducing the water by 1/4 c. and adding 1/4 c. of another acidic liquid (kefir, whey, lemon juice, buttermilk, or apple cider vinegar). 3. Let this batter soak for 12-24 hours. (The […]

    • Noah

      Thanks for the great information Paula! Question for you….I was wondering if I could use this same approach using Organic whole milk? Thank you.

      Noah

      • Paula

        Hi Noah,

        Glad you stopped by today! If you’re using organic milk that’s been pasteurized, then yes, it would be the same. Let me know how it turns out!

    • […] Mix, crushed pineapple with juice, and the egg. 2. Add 2 tablespoons of homemade yogurt, kefir, whey, buttermilk, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar and reducing the pineapple juice by 2 tablespoons. […]

    • […] Why Whey & How to Make It- Whole […]

    • Soaked & Baked Oatmeal

      […] melted 1/2 c. coconut oil, melted 1 c. homemade yogurt (you can substitute kefir, buttermilk, whey, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar) 1 c. water 1 c. milk (or coconut milk) 2 eggs 2 t. vanilla […]

    • […] them in a jar or bowl and cover with at least 4 cups of water. Stir in 2 tablespoons acidic liquid (whey, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar) per cup of water. 2. Cover and let sit on the counter for […]

    • luz

      this was a link i ended up with…glad to have found it….i like the fact that we are proud to use God in blogs…He is indeed everywhere…i ran a blog called JUST PASSING BY…which I began just to put my thoughts on print…i mean…web or whatever it is really…once in a while I share them with my friends…entries are very seldom as i am 68 and a caregiver to my spouse who had a stroke five years ago…God is good and he is slowly recovering and i need to have good healthy food to restore him to good health…thanks…

      • Paula

        Hi Luz,

        I’m glad you ‘just happened’ to end up here. 🙂 Thanks for your encouraging words – I’m glad to hear your husband is recovering – good food is indeed necessary!

    • […] 1 cup of warm water, and 2 tablespoon of an acidic liquid (homemade yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, whey, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar) in a large jar. (You can increase the total amount of grain […]

    • […] You can also reduce the milk by 3 tablespoons and then add 3 tablespoons of homemade yogurt, kefir, whey, buttermilk, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar. 2. Let this batter sit for 12-24 hours. (The […]

    • Keesha

      Hi! Loved the post! Thank you!
      I just made my first attempt at whey & sour cream. I would love some feedback/tips from those more experienced than I. I’m just a newbie. 😉
      http://sherlockmama.com/?p=136

      • Paula

        Keesha –

        I’ve never made sour cream this way, but in my copy of Nourishing Traditions it says that if you use raw milk, to place the milk in a clean glass container and let it stand at room temperature for 1-4 days. Then pour it in a cheesecloth and let the whey drip.

        From what I read on your blog, it looks like you’re doing it right. 🙂

        • Becca

          should you put a lid on the jar? Mine did NOT come out. It was moldly after about 4 days. I put a towel over it. Should I have put a lid on instead?

          • Paula

            You can put a lid on it, yes. Because my cheese cloth bag is so big, I screw on a canning lid and then fold the top of the bag over it to cover it – but it should work with or without a lid while it’s dripping. I screw a full lid on after it’s dripped and separated.

            Did you let it drip while on the counter or in the fridge? I’d definitely let it drip in the fridge – especially as it gets warmer.

            • Becca

              No, it molded when I was sitting it out to separate. I was using raw milk. It had a film over the top with mold on it. It also smelled awful, not sour.

    • Homemade Ketchup

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    • […] I’m still convinced homemade whey is the best option, Shakeology’s whey protein is soy-free and derived from antibiotic-free […]

    • Kori

      Hmm, if you do this with just the raw milk, what is the milk part that is left? You would have whey and ? My kids struggle eating the homemade yogurt so I don’t do much of it – they love to drink the milk so we stick with it that way. 🙂

      • Paula

        Do you mean letting raw milk sit without adding a yogurt culture and then straining it? I have tried that, but have not had good results. I’d venture to say you’d have something like sour cream left over.

    • raul

      hi, i just want to know how much protein is there in a litre of liquid whey?

      • Paula

        Hi Raul,

        I’m not completely sure about that, but from what I’ve read, 16 oz = 12.5 grams of protein. You’ll have to convert it to liters to get an exact amount.

    • brenda

      When using the raw milk, should it be covered for the initial 2-4 days? Do you want the air to be kept out?

      • Paula Miller

        Hi Brenda,

        You do want to cover it loosely, but the air doesn’t have to be left out. For things like this I typically place a clean washcloth over the jar and place a rubberband around it.

        • brenda

          Thanks Paula! Right now it has a nice skin on the top and has been sitting out for 24 hours.

    • […] ✦ How to Make Whey {via Whole Intentions} […]

    • Jessica Rodriquez

      Paula, I just found your blog. You have a really great, way recipe here. Thank you for sharing it! 1 question, where do you get the tea bags? Do you purchase or make them?

      • Paula

        Hi Jessica – glad you like the recipe! Unfortunately I don’t remember where I bought the cheesecloths, it was many years ago – but when I type ‘cheesecloth bags’ into google, there are several options. Have fun making whey!

    • Ty

      it is important to note that the product of this is mostly lactose. the results are about 60 grams of protein per 10 kilos of liquid whey. The only way to get the protein concentration you find in powders is to run it through micro-filtration.

    • Rich Far

      Hi Paula,

      This is a great post – thank you.

      I will definitely be using this recipe, i’ll try yogurt first because I like the idea of receiving the bonus by-product of sour cream/cream cheese.

      As a bodybuilder, I go through a considerable amount of whey powder so certainly look forward to trying this healthy addition to my nutritional intake.

      Thanks again and Blessings Be,

      – Rich

    • […] Stir in 1-2 tablespoons of an acidic liquid (homemade yogurt, kefir, whey, lemon juice, buttermilk, or apple cider vinegar) per cup of water. These acidic liquids aid in […]

    • Susan

      What a great site! I have been making homemade yogurt and never realized how easy it would be to make sour cream and cream cheese. I can’t wait to try them. This site is just what I have been looking for!

    • Laureen

      Can I do this with powdered milk?

      • Paula

        No, this wouldn’t be doable with powdered milk.

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