So, you've made cheese and want to know what to do with all that FRESH whey?
I make Ricotta cheese with my whey, as well as other things. This post will tell you how I make my Ricotta from Mozzarella whey. One of my previous tutorials was on how I make my Mozzarella. This tutorial picks up from there.
I already have my 12 quart stainless steel pot, my stirring spoon, and my thermometer. So, all I need to gather is my larger colander, my "whey" pot (a 14 ish quart pot I use to drain whey into for cheese making adventures), and a piece of unbleached muslin big enough to line the colander.
I just finished making the mozz. My whey is in the pot heated to about 175 degrees F still from using it in the Mozz recipe. As soon as I take the last piece of mozz out of the pot I turn the heat up on high and wash my dishes from making the mozz or go check my facebook and email. It will take about 10 minutes for the whey to heat up to the temp I need -200 degrees F. The whey needs very little stirring or tending to.
When the whey looks like this picture don't be tempted to turn off the heat and quit. It's still not ready yet. The proteins need to cook more to come together better. So be patient.
Here you will see what it looks like after you reach 200 degrees F.It boils and gets frothy. You can see the whey "chunks" They are small, but noticeable.
The whey and remaining curd is now separated out.
This is where I walk away and do whatever I want. Shower, milk goats, eat, facebook, play a computer game...my possibilities are endless! It needs to cool down for awhile before I dare handle it to dump it into the muslin lined colander to drain over a very large pot. The recipe says let it sit for 5 minutes. I wait more like 30 minutes. Then dump into this colander where it drains rather quickly, but as the curd comes out it sometimes splashes. So, I dump slowly and carefully. Probably more like pouring than dumping.
The draining will take about 1 hour, give or take 30 minutes. Where you will than have freshly made ricotta to put into lasagna, waffles, pancakes or any other recipe that calls for ricotta.
The above picture was taken after I had already scooped out about 3/4 of the ricotta that was made. I scrap it out and put in a covered bowl in the refrigerator. I do not add any salt to it, but you could if you like it that "whey". I should stay fresh for about a week or two, I'm guessing. If it's moldy toss it out. grin.
I put 1 cup of ricotta and 2 cups of the whey that was left over in these waffles. I will blog that recipe another time. :) But they are yummy and higher in protein than just plain waffles.
Just in case you missed it here is the Mozzarella Tutorial I put up yesterday.