Making Whey from Raw Milk

How to make whey from raw milk

I’ve shared before on Instagram how many times I’ve cried trying to learn new-to-me real food techniques. Most of the tears weren’t even in the midst of it, it was just the anticipation of trying something new that required a box of kleenex.

I’m naturally a very lazy person. Give me a bag of chips and a book and I’m good to go. I have to fight the temptation daily and move, move, move. I also hate change – I hate that technology keeps improving – I’m the grandma that can’t keep up with it. I bugs me when Andrew takes a different route to get somewhere we’ve driven to, the same way, a million times. I drives me crazy when a store is out my tried and true [fill in the blank] and I have to improvise with something else.

So take a lazy person who hates change, and you end up with someone who doesn’t want to try something as intimidating as whey. I’m thankful to God for the pressure our health has put on me to force me to learn to get off my butt, be disciplined with my time, and take on new things. But each time I need to learn something new, I often curl up in the fetal position, totally intimated, and hope that I’ll wake up in the morning with boxes and jars of processed food in my kitchen that are magically incredible for my health.

It hasn’t happened yet.

So I get up off the couch and onto the computer to watch another YouTube tutorial or stick my nose in a book to read another version of the same instructions I’ve already read on 4 different blogs, just to be sure I understand what I’m about to do.

The funny thing is, each time I finally take something on, it’s laughable how easy it ended up being. Like whey, for example. I procrastinated fermenting for a long time because so many recipes I wanted to try called for it. Wanna know how to make whey? Leave a jar of raw milk in your fridge. The end.

006 (34)

Making Whey from Raw Milk



  • Slow version – leave the jar of raw milk in your fridge until the curds and whey separate. Can take weeks. The whey is translucent; If separation occurs but it’s all still white, keep waiting. [I haven’t actually read that anywhere, but when I tried to separate it before it was translucent, it was literally milk just pouring through the cheesecloth]
  • Faster version: Fill the jar 1/3-1/2 full and leave on its side to get maximum exposure to air. Leave on counter until curds and whey separate. Some people say this will happen in a day or two…it took over a week for us. Don’t be freaked out leaving it on the counter – because of pasteurization, store bought milk would be completely rancid, but raw milk is a living thing. It’s full of probiotics and the separation is occurring as the lactose is being eaten up, just like when fermenting milk kefir.

021 (23)                                       photo 3 (6)

How to Separate the Curds and Whey:

  1. Set the bowl on the counter and drape the tea towel over it. Pour the curds and whey onto the tea towel.
  2. Gather the ends of the towel together and secure with a rubber band. Hook the rubber band onto your kitchen cabinet handle [or some people use a banana ripener], keeping the bowl under the towel to catch the whey as it drips out.
  3. Leave for several hours, until the dripping has stopped.
  4. Pour whey into a mason jar, store in fridge [lasts about 6 months.] Scrape curds into a mason jar, store in fridge.
  5. Use the whey for fermenting and check out this video on how to use the curds to make cream cheese!

That’s it! So in case you’re intimidated by new things like I am, just know this might be the easiest thing in the entire world. No need to fear. In fact, funny story, a few days before I decided to make whey, I dumped out an old jar of milk that had separated in the back of the fridge, having no idea it was whey. Surely if I can make whey on accident, you can do it intentionally! ;-)