November 8, 2009

Yogurt Cheese and Whey

Last time, I mentioned that I was making a gallon of yogurt: some to eat as is, and some to make yogurt cheese and whey. What I'm really after is the whey for more lacto-fermentation recipes, but the yogurt cheese is a real treat too.

If making yogurt was easy, this is even easier.

In the beginning...I poured a half gallon of yogurt into a colander lined with a triple layer of cheesecloth. A clean cotton dishtowel works well too. I covered it with a plate and let it sit for several hours. This allowed some of the whey to drain and the yogurt to thicken a bit.

Letting gravity do the workNext I tied and hung the cheesecloth over the bowl, allowing more whey to drip out. I left it like this all day, but for overnight, I put the yogurt bag back in the colander over the bowl, and put the whole thing in the fridge.

Yogurt cheese & whey both ready to use.After about 24 hours, I had a beautiful lump of yogurt cheese and about five cups of whey. The yogurt cheese has the consistency of spreadable cream cheese, but with more of a tang to it; Absolutely yummy in a cream cheese and jelly sandwich. It can be used in any recipe that calls for cream cheese. In fact, I'm thinking that I'll use it to make a cheesecake for this week's Pizza & Dessert night.

And the whey? More on that next time.......

Yogurt Cheese and Whey
photos & text copyright November 2009 by Leigh at

Related Posts:
Easy Peasy Homemade Yogurt


Heather said...

I really must try that the next time I make yogurt.

Katrien said...

you do like keeping us in suspense!

Theresa said...

LOL, I made a indian cheese once, paneer and found it used an awful lot of milk for such a small amount of cheese. I'm waiting with baited ( or is it bated) breath to see what you do with all that whey. BTW, thanks for the tip on the kraut as compared to yogurt for gut bacteria. Won't work for the dogs, but I sure can always find ways to use kraut...Reuben anyone? :-)

Nina said...

I've read about making yogourt cheese and can remember trying something similar a very long time ago, except that there was no cheese cloth recommended, just a colander- it made a huge mess!
Still looking for yogourt starter. The closest shopping area is a rather small city. We've only been her a few months and so far I've found no Asian, Oriental or Health Food stores. It might mean a shopping trip to the big city.. :(
MMMMM..... Reuben sandwiches.. mmm

Kathy said...

OK,'s time you took a visit to :) I ahve direct set cultures to do yogurt, marscapone, sour cream...well, I could go on and on. The direct set packets are wonderful and make it easy to create variety in home cheesemaking.
I make all sorts of cheeses, too - the ones like cheddar and Parmesan. My only problem is that we can hardly wait for them to age!
Good onya, mate. You go, girlfriend!

Sharon said...

yeah, that's just exactly how my mother made yogurt cheese. What do you do with the whey?

Renee Nefe said...

looks yummy!

Robin said...

Lee made this a while ago for us. I had never had it before that.

Leigh said...

Heather, it's really easy and really healthy. It made great cheesecake (as well as cream cheese & jelly sandwiches) and I'm going to try some of the next batch in cream cheese frosting.

Katrien, *lol, I suppose I do! ;)

Theresa, Reuben, yes! I love reuben sandwiches. I have to admit that the yogurt cheese went faster than the whey, but next post I'll show you what I wanted it for.

Nina, oh no! The cheesecloth makes all the difference in the world. So does hanging it. About the yogurt culture, do you shop online? You can either google Yogourmet or check out the link that Kathy left - They have yogurt cultures for sale,along with a whole lot of other wonderful things.

Kathy, thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This is exactly what I've been thinking about! You read my mind!

Sharon,as I told Theresa, the cheese goes faster than the whey. Tomorrow I'll show you how I used it in another lacto-fermentation recipe. I'm also adding spoonfuls to any baking liquids and also to our orange juice in the morning because it's full of all sorts of good stuff for ya.

Renee, it is! You and Darly should try to make some together. A great homeschool project.

Robin, actually this is about the same way that regular cheeses are made, except they add rennet to get a harder curd. Again, check out the link Kathy sent for rennet, and cultures to make all the wonderful cheeses of the world.


Is there a reason why you hang the cheese in the cloth and not squeeze the liquid out of it? I've never made cheese but this is piquing my interest.

Leigh said...

Deep End, good question. Pressing is usually done with hard curd cheeses, i.e. those which are made with rennet. I've never tried pressing yogurt cheese, but would certainly be willing to experiment. I would probably try it with a cotton plain weave dishtowel rather than cheesecloth though, because it is pretty soft and I would want to lose any by its squishing out!

Julie said...

I can't believe the things you do!

bspinner said...

I got to get busy and make some yogurt then cheese. Looks wonderful!!!

Woolly Bits said...

if you add dried herbs to your yogurt, you can form small balls out of the cheese mass and put them into olive oil - yummeeh:))and they last a bit longer (if you don't finish them off immediately that is)
also, I don't use cheese cloth anymore - I use paper coffee filter bags. I know that cheese cloth is washable - but I didn't rinse one properly once - and the result was....not all that tasty:))

beti stone said...

Is this made from goat milk. thx

Leigh said...

Beti, yes, I have goats so everything I make with milk is goat milk. The same techniques could be used with cows milk as well.