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Whey is a valuable addition to any diet. It can be an added ingredient to enhance many sauces, foods and beverages. It is also a key ingredient in lacto-fermented foods.

A quick internet search will reveal that many people cover their jars with cloth or a coffee filter when making whey. I don’t. The reason I don’t do this is because I am not trying to capture bacteria from the environment. Raw milk comes perfectly packaged with the right blend of digestive enzymes and bacteria needed to cause separation to occur. You needn’t expose it to the elements for this to happen. As a matter of fact, if you left raw milk in your refrigerator long enough, separation into curds and whey would eventually occur within the sealed container at cooler temperatures. Leaving it on your countertop simply places the milk at temperatures where this happens sooner.

To make whey, pour raw milk into a clean glass quart jar. Cover the jar with a plastic lid (or coffee filter, or clean cotton cloth) and allow it to sit undisturbed for 2-3 days until separation occurs. You will know the milk has separated when you see white solids floating in a yellowish clear liquid. The liquid is whey. The white solid is cream cheese – also known as curds.

Line a strainer with an unbleached coffee filter or clean cotton cloth (such as a freshly laundered t-shirt).

Pour the liquid and solids into the strainer, catching the liquid in a glass bowl. When the dripping stops, transfer the whey into a lidded jar labeled with the date. The whey will keep in your refrigerator for about 6 months.

The cream cheese can be seasoned to suit your taste and used in your favorite recipes.

If you have yogurt, the yellow or clear liquid that floats to the top is whey. You can pour this off and use it in food preservation.


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