making whey from raw milk

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making whey from raw milk

Postby earthharvestfarm on Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:14 am

i'm attempting to make whey from our raw milk using the recipe in nourishing traditions. i have no idea if what i'm doing is right, how it is supposed to look, etc. it was slightly sour when i put it on the counter to separate on saturday. i strained it yesterday because it had a small layer of thick film on the top and so thought it was ready. i don't think it was ready, because i have tons of 'whey' and hardly any 'cream cheese'. the whey just looks & smells like soured skim milk...isn't it supposed to be more watery looking?
i'm letting it sit for a few more days to see if it separates again since i don't htink i left it long enough.
any insight on how to make whey? i know it shouldn't be very hard, but i'm so unsure about what it's supposed to look like!
thanks for any help you can provide!
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Re: making whey from raw milk

Postby Tim Hall on Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:36 pm

Ok I've never made traditional curds and whey from raw milk. But I once used to buy a lot of raw milk and have some general experience there.

If your milk is raw, it's undoubtedly also un-homogenized as you probably well know. So the milk fat will separate fairly quickly and rise to the top. This is probably what you've been scooping off and not whey.

I have noticed that raw milk has a tendency to sour before spoiling, while pasteurized milk has a tendency to simply spoil first. The "slightly" sour raw milk I've dealt with has never gone far enough to curdle and separate into whey unless I've used it to make yogurt or kefir. Point being you may need to wait just a little longer before you have enough acid to curdle the milk.

Again I've never seen the whey from this process, but if it's anything like yogurt or kefir, it will be a distinctly clear liquid and probably a very pale yellow or even chartreuse in color.
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Re: making whey from raw milk

Postby earthharvestfarm on Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:44 am

the problem is solved...i just didn't wait long enough. it took a little less than a day before it finally 'curdled'. and once i strained it, the whey looked much more like whey...a yellow, clear liquid.

tim, when you made yogurt or kefir out of your raw milk, did you use soured milk? we can't seem to drink it all fast enough before we get it again, so i'm wondering what to do with it. i know i can make yogurt, etc, but wasn't sure if i can make it once the milk is starting to taste slightly sour. (i hold off on making naything because i always hope we'll drink it first!)
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Re: making whey from raw milk

Postby Tim Hall on Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:18 pm

Making kefir or yogurt is an excellent way to use up your surplus raw milk that has started to sour...that's what I would typically do with it.

Also keep in mind that that you can "drink" your yogurt too. What I mean by that is making yogurt is a way of extending the life of your milk - it's a preservation technique.
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Re: making whey from raw milk

Postby dissevered on Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:33 pm

I'm new here and this thread is OLD, but I have a question that pertains to the topic and hope someone can answer.

I have separated my raw milk yet it separated into 3 parts. The whey is of 2 parts now, white at the bottom and clear liquid at the top. I read that the stuff at the bottom is casein and the liquid is whey.

Can I just shake this up and use it together or does it need to be separated? I am wondering if it separated even further because the milk was pretty old, around 2 months.

If there is something I can do other than shaking it up, what use would I make of the protein at the bottom?
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Re: making whey from raw milk

Postby Tim Hall on Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:23 am

Ricotta cheese is made from the solids that remain in whey. You might be able to make some type fresh cheese like this with it. (Decant, strain, salt and press.) If you're using the whey for other recipes, most people probably don't want to have bits of separated milk solids included, but that's entirely up to you.
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Re: making whey from raw milk

Postby Rutabagagirl on Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:21 am

I tried the cottage cheese but it wouldn't separate and then it got moldy. If I don't have yogurt I add lemon juice to raw milk and strain it. I have successfully made something fermented this way, can't remember what.
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Re: making whey from raw milk

Postby jotomonkey on Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:20 pm

I have the same problem currently with some raw milk that I have left out to try to make whey. This is the fifth day it's been sitting out, and yesterday, suspecting that it was just too cold in the apartment, I moved it to be on top of a heating vent. I put some beet kvass there, too, but now I'm worried they both may have gotten too hot. My beet kvass was not getting fizzy at all, even after leaving it out on the counter for more than a week.

I wish Nourishing Traditions was a lot more specific about how the milk should look when it separates, and what temperatures are necessary for this work. Mine still looks like milk with the cream congealing on top, but the cream is starting to look a little more crusty and yellowish. (Yum, I know...)

Another blog I found online had some people posting that this happened to them, and they scooped the yellowish part off, and still successfully strained the rest into whey and cream cheese.

If anyone else has anything additional to add to the subject, I'd appreciate reading about it.

Thanks!
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Re: making whey from raw milk

Postby aflake on Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:38 pm

It may be the container you are using. It helps to pour the milk in a large ceramic bowl and cover it with a towel, increasing the surface area of the milk and letting it breathe. The first time I tried to do this, I left the milk in the jar I got it in, and it took forever to do anything and got way too sour. Hope that helps!
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Re: making whey from raw milk

Postby BaJane on Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:01 am

I just made my fist batch of whey and cream cheese. I followed the instructions in Nourishing Traditions but the raw milk took longer to separate than the time listed in the book. It took almost a full week and I was starting to worry. The weather warmed up a lot the last two days before it separated and I think that helped.

Even though it took longer to separate, when I finally strained it all, neither the whey (a yellowish watery liquid) or the cream cheese smelled sour. But the milk didn't smell sour when I started either...
I drank some of the whey mixed with a little water and it had such a mild flavor, I was pleasantly surprised!

I think the separation time really depends on the temperature of your room.
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