This Wiki Article discusses whey, it provides a brief description, discusses storage issues, and includes a listing of whey uses. Whey, also called milk serum, is a large volume byproduct of cheese making when milk is separated into roughly 25% by volume curds and 75% by volume whey. Whey is very nutritional, it contains lactose, vitamins, protein, minerals, and traces of milkfats.
Note: Whey from moldy cheese making such as blues or white bloomy rind cheeses can add strong sometimes unwanted flavors and effects and thus should not be used for drinks or food for animals including humans.
- Store whey in containers in cool place such as fridge for up to 1 week.
- When whey goes off it smells like spoiled milk and should be disposed of.
- Note, can add few drops of chlorine per few liters/US gallon to extend life by minimizing any undesirable micro-organisms, however also kills off good one.
- Whey can be frozen for longer term storage, however not commonly done due to large volumes and contamination can be an issue.
Uses – Cheese Making
- For making secondary coagulation (normally by recooking whey) type cheeses such as Danish Myseost, Greek Mizithra, Italian Ricotta, or Norwegian Gjetost. Note yield from whey can be low so this is commonly only done with large volumes of whey or by adding milk back into whey to increase yield.
- Base for brine for bathing cheeses like Edam and Gouda in or for ripening cheeses like Feta in.
- Wash for washed rind cheeses.
- As a Starter Culture for future cheese batches.
Uses – Drink
- If without other additive then normally best ice-cold.
- As a base for lemonade, fruit smoothies or iced tea
- Can bottle and store at room temperature for 1-2 weeks while checking until you like the flavor and level of fizziness, then use to make fizzy lemonade or “wheymonade”. In Switzerland a fizzy non-alcoholic drink is made from whey called Rivella.
- Also as a straight drink for animals such as cats, dogs, pigs, chickens etc.
Uses – Food Preparation
- Instead of water as a base for soups, stews, chowders, chilis’.
- Instead of water in bread making.
- For soaking and rehydrating dried foods like rice, noodles, grains, and legumes.
- Pickling liquid base instead of water and vinegar as it gives a more natural taste, examples are for making sauerkraut, or kimchi.
Uses – Plants
- Fertilizer for acid loving plants such as azaleas, hydrangeas, orchids, blueberries or trees such as fruit trees. If large volumes then spray on fields.
- Plant chemical fungicide replacement to prevent molds and fungus on plants such as tomatoes or rose bushes. The whey changes the pH on the leaves so that the bad organisms can’t grow. However too much acid is not good and can burn your plants, dilute whey with ~25% water for more sensitive plants. Start spraying early – before budding out, and then spray weekly, especially if the weather is wet and cool. Also spray lightly on the ground around plants. The idea is to kill off fungus but not change the overall pH of the soil. Can also add in a little liquid soap so that spraying an insecticidal soap at the same time which deters a lot of insect pests.
Uses – Other
- Base for beer or wine making.
- Facial treatment, wipe it on the skin and leave for a while, then wash.
- Soaking feet in.
- Food for worm farm.
- To make whey powder (very laborious).
Uses – Bad
- Disposal into septic system as over time can add to much competing bacteria.