Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Capturing Whey the Easy Whey

You can make lacto-fermented foods with much less salt by using Whey. Whey is a yellowish thin liquid that forms in all cultured dairy products such as yogurt and sour cream. It’s very nutritious and is often used in lacto-fermentation of foods.

(Lacto-fermented Vegetables can last up to a year and more  in the refrigerator but lacto-fermented fruit should be eaten within a few months.)

You can make or buy good quality yogurt and strain the whey through cheese cloth or by using an old pillow case (that has been washed and bleached first). That would involve hanging the yogurt in the cheese cloth over a bowl for a period of time until all the whey has drained out. When all the whey has drained out you have Yogurt cheese.
LowCarbFriends describes this process of making Yogurt cheese:

One way to obtain whey is by draining yogurt. One quart of yogurt will produce about a pint of whey, and the yogurt used should have live cultures. It takes about 24 hours for yogurt to fully drain. When the whey is drained out of yogurt, yocheese is made as a ‘by-product,’ which can be used in place of cream cheese in recipes, or eaten, flavored  . . .or even without flavoring.
Now if you don’t want or need large amounts of whey, and you don’t want to make yogurt cheese, you can simply line a small glass jar with a paper coffee filter and screw on the cap and keep it in your refrigerator. Two or three times a day pour off the whey that has collected from your yogurt into your small jar. After two or three days you should have enough whey to put up at least one jar of vegetables to ferment. 
Make or use very firm Yogurt for the simple Whey capture otherwise the entire jar of yogurt will likely dump out as you try to drain off the daily whey. You can make your own firm yogurt by adding 1 cup dry milk to 2 liters of milk and slowly mixing in one small pkg. of gelatin to the milk before cooking. 
Note: If you use gelatin to firm up your Yogurt you can’t make cheese from that batch.