How to Make Whey at Home


You might have only heard of whey in the nursery rhyme, but it has many uses. You can use it to soak grains and beans, and add it to nutritional drinks. Whey can also be used in dishes that call for slight fermentation, such as kimchi. This method will result in liquid whey, not the powdered kind you may sometimes see in health food stores. Whey is just one product you will get when you separate the liquid from yogurt -- you will also end up with cream cheese, which you can spread on bread or use to make a cheesecake. Whey is very nutritious, and the whey you make will keep for about six months in the fridge. The cream cheese will last up to a month in the fridge.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • Strainer
  • Cheesecloth or dish towel
  • Non-metallic container
  • Large spoon
  • Place a mesh strainer on top of a non-metallic container large enough to collect the liquid, such as a large glass or ceramic bowl.

  • Place cheesecloth or a clean dish cloth into the strainer. Use a thin dish cloth, as a thicker one will soak up the liquid you are trying to collect. Pour yogurt into the strainer, on top of the cloth or dish towel.

  • Allow the liquid whey to drip into the collection container for a few hours, undisturbed. When you notice the dripping has slowed down, gather up the corners of the cheesecloth or dish towel. Tie them together. Slide the knotted cloth over the handle of a spoon large enough to lie horizontally across the bowl. Remove the strainer, and place the spoon across the bowl. This will suspend the cheesecloth or dish towel over the bowl. Allow the whey to continue dripping overnight.

  • Remove the cheesecloth from the spoon in the morning. Untie the cloth. The white substance in the cloth is cream cheese. The container should be full of a yellow liquid, which is your whey. Store the whey in a glass jar in the fridge. Store the cream cheese in a small bowl or resealable container in the fridge.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use full-fat plain yogurt rather than the low-fat or non-fat varieties.
  • Use 1 or 2 tbsp of whey, along with water, to soak grains overnight.
  • Add dill or other herbs to the cream cheese.

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