Making whey is easy! To start, you will need yogurt, cultured buttermilk, milk kefir or raw milk. If using just raw milk (not cultured first) then you will need to allow the milk to sit at room temperature for several days until it separates (don’t try this with pasteurized milk!).
To make whey, place a colander in a bowl on the counter. Lay a piece of multi-layered cheesecloth, a tight weave dish towel or a pillowcase in the colander. Pour the yogurt, buttermilk, milk kefir or raw milk into the cloth, gather up the edges of the cloth and tie it so the cloth hangs from an upper kitchen cabinet and drips into the bowl (you can remove the colander if desired). Allow the whey to drip until no more whey escapes the cloth or the desired consistency of the yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, etc. has been reached. This process can take 2-24 hours. Once the process is complete, place the whey in a jar and the resulting soft cheese in the cloth in a container. Store both in the refrigerator using air tight lids.
Whey is used in many Traditional Food recipes including fermenting vegetables, soaking grains, etc. Excess whey can also be used in place of water in most recipes or added to a smoothie, etc. Whey can generally be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months (and will smell spoiled once it’s past its prime).
This process also yields a soft cheese from the yogurt, kefir, buttermilk or raw milk. Depending on your taste preferences and the final consistency, this resulting soft cheese can often be used to replace yogurt or cream cheese in recipes or can be mixed with fruit, vegetables, herbs, etc. to make a spread or dip for crackers, fruit, vegetables and more. The soft cheese will generally keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.