Making yogurt at home is not an exact science, which means it can be accomplished seemingly a million and one ways. If you’ve never tried to make yogurt before, see this post to get started using my method. After you’ve made a successful batch, come back and read about this variation. This is my answer to a lot of questions I’ve been getting lately about recycling whey. (FYI for yogurt newbies: Whey is that yellowish liquid that rises to the top of yogurt. Many people stir it back in, but I prefer to drain it off. The result is Greek yogurt….and lots of leftover whey.)
Can whey drained from yogurt be used as a starter for more yogurt? YES! Add 2 tablespoons of whey to 2 quarts of heated and cooled milk. (More or less whey may also work–this is just what I do.) Whisk it well and incubate as usual.
In the picture above and below, I made the yogurt on the left with whey as the starter. The yogurt on the right was made with my own homemade yogurt as a starter. The results were identical in taste and texture.
Why you might want to try this:
- If you make very much Greek yogurt, you will have more whey than you can use. Look here for more ways to use whey.
- Now you won’t have to “waste” any of your precious homemade yogurt as a starter. Instead, you can enjoy eating every last drop.
- Always save a little whey to make your next batch so you don’t have worry about keeping some yogurt back to use as starter.
- It’s easier to mix whey into your heated-and-cooled milk than regular yogurt. No lumps.
I also get a lot of questions about the shelf-life of whey. In my experience, it’s good for at least 3 weeks. It may last longer, but since I make yogurt twice a week, there’s no reason for me to keep it around.
- 5 Things You Should Not Do When Making Homemade Yogurt
- Healthy Homemade Greek Yogurt (Fat-Free)
- 18 Ways to Use Whey–a By-Product of Greek Yogurt
- How to Strain Yogurt the Easy Way
- Answers to Your Questions About Making Homemade Yogurt