Background

Whey, also known as milk serum, is an ingredient in several fermented dishes, but it is not typically drunk alone.  It is a byproduct of cheese making (the fluid left behind after the cheese solids are removed).  Although in some ways the whey described in this article is similar to the whey eaten by weight lifters, this is an entirely different product.

Whey has been used by nearly every culture which drinks milk.  (If you’re lactose intolerant, don’t drink whey.)  You may have first heard about whey as a child from Little Miss Muffet :  the story about a maid who ate curds and whey.

Equipment

  • Plastic strainer
  • Cheese cloth
  • Yogurt or separated kefir
  • String or rubber band

Procedure (Makes about 1 quart of kefir per day)

  1. Make kefir and let it ferment until it has separated into a clear yellowish liquid and white solid.  Alternatively, use yogurt.
  2. Place a strainer over a pot and put down two layers of cheesecloth over the strainer.
  3. Pour the kefir or yogurt onto the cheese cloth.
  4. Wait several hours for the whey to drain.
  5. Tie up the remaining solids in the cheesecloth and hang them above the pot.
  6. Wait several hours for the kefir or yogurt to finish dripping.
  7. The liquid in the pot is whey.  The remaining solid in the cheesecloth is a soft cheese.  You are done!

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