What Is Whey Cheese?

Once you have begun making cheese regularly, you may wonder what you can do with all that whey: the clear, yellowish liquid byproduct of cheesemaking. There are many, many ways to use whey. Whey is very, very healthy and delicious, any way you end up using it. It can be used as a delicious soak for grains for bread making, or merely as a substitute for water in bread making, with appetizing results. Some people swear that feeding it to your chickens will bring up egg production and quality, and that feeding it to your pigs may bring your grain bill down substantially. It can also be used as a starter for your fermentation projects, as a soup stock, as a yummy protein drink with lemons and ice, and also to... make more cheese!

Whey is made up of water, albuminous protein, minerals, and trace milk sugars. The temperatures used in the original cheesemaking are not usually high enough to fully separate the albuminous proteins out of the whey, but a secondary, higher-temperature cook will yield even more cheese solids. Whey can be cooked over a direct heat source, and does not require indirect or water-bath heating methods. Making cheese with whey does not usually require rennet, either. Rather, vinegar is the most common ingredient in whey cheeses, and starter cultures are less common in whey cheese recipes. Sometimes cream is called for in a whey cheese recipe to bring up the yield of the recipe, and to develop the creamy texture of the resulting cheese. Hard and soft cheeses can be made from whey, but usually whey cheese will be slightly drier, saltier, and more crumbly than whole-milk cheeses.

The usual method of making whey cheese consists of merely cooking it until it separates again.  The temperature levels for making whey cheese are around 200°F, or boiling.

There are a lot of cheeses that can be made out of whey: ziergerkase, mysost, and ricotta are only a few of the examples of whey cheese. As with milk cheese, the freshest, sweetest whey will make the highest quality, sweetest cheese. Filter your whey for any remaining solids before using it for drinks, cooking, or cheesemaking, to prevent off flavors or strange solids showing up in your finished products. Keeping your whey chilled when you are not using it is the best option for keeping it sweet and fresh.





What is Whey Cheese?

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