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What to do with the excess whey after making cheese or fermenting yoghurt or kefir?

What to do with the excess whey after making cheese or fermenting yoghurt or kefir

The murky, yellowish liquid left behind after milk has curdled known as whey. It is loaded with enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and protein. Do not confuse the powder whey sold in stores as it is distinct and not the same.

While creating yoghurt and kefir, the amount of whey after the milk curdles is frequently not significant, especially if the milk is heated previously. Nevertheless, when making cheese, the amount of whey can be as high as 2/3 of the whole milk. After fermentation, two primary forms of whey can be produced:

Acidic (acid) whey is the whey left over after yoghurt and kefir have fermented, as well as cheese that has had an acid (such as vinegar or lemon juice) added to speed up the curdling process. (Acid set cheese, such as farmer's cheese, also known as cottage cheese, or lemon cheese, which is produced with lemon juice or vinegar)

In most circumstances, it has a pH of less than or equal to 5.1.

Sweet Whey is cheese whey that has been curdled with rennet as opposed to acid. (Examples include soft cheeses and regular mozzarella.) pH 5.6 or higher characterises it.

Sweet and acidic whey are by-products of different dairy items and can be used differently. As the name implies, acid whey (often a by-product of homemade yogurt) is higher in acid and therefore has different applicability.

It's also important to note whether you added salt to your dairy before straining. Salt in the whey may limit its use.

Uses for Sweet, Unsalted Whey.

Most of its uses are related to making butter, ricotta and mozzarella; however, the amounts of whey must be gigantic, and most of the products require some experience, so they are not easy to make.

Simple uses are for plant pest control, as a mixture of whey and water 1:1 does the job perfectly.

The soil acidity can be amended as watering the garden lowers the soil's PH. You also can use it in baking and as an ingredient in anything that calls for water (or even milk). Try it in fresh loaves of bread, cornbread, pancakes, waffles, muffins, biscuits, tortillas and more for a sour tang.

Use whey for cooking pasta, potatoes, oatmeal or rice.

Uses for Acidic, Unsalted Whey

Smoothies and mixed drinks: Whey is full of probiotics and has a bracing acidity. It may not be palatable on its own, but try it in smoothies or even cocktails. Replace milk or juice in a mixed drink for a bit of creamy tang. Just be aware that whey still has lactose, so if you're intolerant, steer clear.

Make lacto-fermented soda: A dash of whey can be used to make a refreshing, effervescent beverage. Simply combine whey with soda water and, if desired, simple syrup for sweetness.

Kickstart lacto-fermentation: Since acid whey comes from lacto-fermented foods, it's already got a bunch of the good bacteria in it you need to get a good ferment. Add a tablespoon or two to a new ferment to get it bubbling for all sorts of veggies like cabbage, carrots, radishes, and more.

Feed it to animals: This is an age-old practice in Emilia-Romagna. The whey from the production of Parmigiano Reggiano is fed to the pigs that ultimately become prosciutto. Don't have pigs? Add some to your dog's diet, or supplement feed for backyard chickens.

Add to your beauty regimen: The acidity of whey tones skin, so add it to your bath water or swab on with a cotton ball for dewy skin.

Condition your hair: If you're using an alkaline shampoo, whey acts as a balancer, neutralizing the pH. Even with regular shampoos, rinsing your hair with whey can make it smoother and shinier.

Uses for Salted Whey

Sometimes cheese recipes have you add salt before straining. This leaves leftover salted whey, which can be used for the following:

Soup: Whey adds a deep flavour as a base in soups and stews, much like a stock. Replace part of the stock or water in a soup recipe with whey.

Bake with it: The acidity of whey has a softening effect on glutenous bread and pizza dough. Some recipes even call for whey in the ingredient list. Adjust your salt in the recipe accordingly.

Soak nuts or grains: Why use water when you can soak nuts and grains in whey? It adds flavour and probiotics to the nuts or grains. Or replace some of the liquid with whey when cooking grains.

Use whey for the lacto-fermentation of vegetables, condiments and chutneys. Speed up fermentation times, reduce the amount of salt needed, and/or use with fruits that are typically a challenge to lacto-ferment.


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