Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

No Way. YES! Whey!

Today I worked on a couple more cheese and I thought about Chai Chai's question about whey. Apologies - sometimes I just assume all y'all know all this farm-y stuff. So lets do a quick tour of way.. I mean... whey.

The curds are the solid white at the bottom, they whey is on the top.

We saw how to cut the cheese a couple days ago... the watery stuff leftover from squeezin' your cheese is the whey. Yeah, like little Miss Moffet eating her curds and whey.  I do not know what a "tuffet" is. But you don't use it in cheese making as far as I can tell.

Taking the curds out of the kettle to put them in cheesecloth to drain.

Whey is what remains after you've convinced all the milk proteins to stay together in what will become cheese. Sometimes you get a LOT of whey. Way. (No, this joke does not get old to me.)

The fresh whey can be refrigerated and used for lots of things - you can use it in bread making, fermenting, etc. Some people even drink it - it has tons of nutrients in it. However, there are always cautions about using it quickly so it doesn't go bad.

We use it for the barnyard. 

Chicken swarm! The guineas were stuck on the wrong side of the fence.

The hens love it - so do the pigs, dogs, and even the ducks!

Sometimes I'll take the bucket of whey out in the evening and milk one of the goats into it. I'll let it set overnite and then have "chicken cheese" for the flocks next morning. They go wild for the stuff. There are cheeses that are made from whey but none of mine have worked out. In ancient times they used the whey as a culture for a new batch of cheese. I'm trying to find a whey.. I mean...way to do this. It works for my chicken cheese.. so there has to be something to it.

I was completely inspired by Ken over at Living the Life in Saint-Aignan and his trip to a cheese maker who finely crafts neufchatel cheese. My 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes has a goat milk recipe for neufchatel so I'm giving it a go. One of the steps is to hang the cheese in cloth to drain. As always, I have to improvise. So I hill billied up this..

A wooden spoon resting on paper towel rolls with the curds hanging from it into a deep sauce pan. It works. I'm sure the cheese maker in Normandy would be horrified. But this is how we do it, farm-y style.  The cheese has to set for several more days - hopefully a mold will form over it. Then we'll eat ruined, moldy milk. I can't wait! Whoot!

Tomorrow I'll take the whey out to the hens and watch the swarm.

So that's the word on whey. Way. No.. way.. Whey!


Mr. H. said...

Yes whey! Some of the best fermented pickles I ever made were done up with kefir whey. A tuffet is a little chair or stool.

"You are only absurd when you get in the curd,
But you’re rude when you get in the whey."

- From "The Embarrassing Episode of Little Miss Muffet”by Guy Carryl

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Way! OK now I'm gonna laugh about getting in the whey. It just never gets old.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Hio Ohio, you might be interested in a visit to a cheese-making facility in the Cantal (central France) that I blogged about last September. Parts 3, 4, and 5 explain a lot of the methods used there to make Salers or Cantal cheese.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Wow Ken that's GREAT! Well, now I've got another cheese to try. And I love the cows. Its funny to see the cheese making on a large scale. That is an amazing vat. Thanks so much for sharing.
* runs off with cheese making book under arm, "now where is that goat? its milking time" *

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