Whey protein is among the most popular type of protein powders available on the market. Whey protein powders can be expensive, though, costing more than 60p per serving when mixed. Whey protein comes from processing cheese. When the curds are separated out, the remaining liquid is the whey. So if homemade cottage cheese sounds like something you can try, with a little ingenuity, whey protein powder can be made at home.
Cheese Curds & Whey Ingredients & Equipment
Gather the following: 1 quart and 1 gallon fat-free skimmed milk (make sure it's pasteurised); 2 tbsp buttermilk; 8-quart stainless steel bowl or tub; dairy thermometer; long-handled spoon; butcher knife or long serrated-edge knife; and one square of cheesecloth (at least 18 inches square). The amount of milk can be decreased or increased, depending on how much whey powder you want. The recipe will yield about 3/4 cup to 1 cup.
Curds & Whey Making Directions
In a 4-quart container, mix 1 quart of milk with 1 tbsp buttermilk. This creates an inoculating mixture to begin making the cheese curds. The inoculate mixture must be kept between 21.1 degrees C and 23.9 degrees C (room temperature) for about 20 hours. Keep the gallon of milk refrigerated until it's ready to use. After the 20 hours is up, over a double boiler slowly bring the gallon of milk to 22.2 degrees C (be careful not to scald it by heating it too quickly).
In a stainless steel bowl, add 1/2 cup inoculate mixture to the gallon of warm milk. Cover the mixture with a loose cloth and maintain room temperature for about 20 hours. Don't stir or agitate the mixture. When the time is up, look for gel-like curds that separate quickly and easily from the side of the bowl. Cut the curds all the way through with a long knife, turning a quarter way between cuts. Once the curds are in 1/4 inch pieces, let them stand for 10 minutes. The curds and whey will separate.
To finish the cottage cheese, heat the curds and whey to 46.1 degrees Cor 15 minutes. Stir the curds and whey constantly until the curds are firm, then remove them from the heat. Pour the curds and whey onto a cheesecloth-covered stainless steel bowl. Let it drain for about five minutes, then remove the bowl and set it to the side. Rinse the curds for another five minutes, then chill. Mix the curds with sour cream and salt to taste.
Making Whey Powder
Know that this can be difficult and time-consuming. Whey powder is not as easy to produce at home as it is for commercial producers, but with some ingenuity it can be done. Pour the strained whey into a pot and slowly bring it to a gentle boil over low heat. Stir the whey continuously as it reduces until it becomes brown and clumpy. Pour the clumpy mixture onto a piece of wax or parchment on a baking tray and spread it into a thin layer. Allow the mixture to cool. It will harden at this point and become brittle. Break it off in pieces and store them in a container covered with cheesecloth until the pieces turn pale (this could take a week or more). Once it turns pale, it's ready to make powder. Break off small pieces of it and crush it with a mortar and pestle or finely grind it in a coffee or spice grinder. The protein powder will have little to no flavour, so mix it with fruit juices or flavourful extracts to create tasty flavours.