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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are not using much dairy in this family due to sensitivities, so it's tricky for us to get enough whey for lactofermentation recipes. It seems like a big tub of yoghurt would only yield enough whey for one quart of lactofermented salsa for example, and I would like to put up about a dozen quarts after my success with the first batch (based on NT recipe using recommended amount of whey).

Can you replace the whey with something other than salt? I don't like really salty food. I was wondering if I could add Yogourmet yoghurt starter for example - wouldn't that provide the bacterial culture to kick-start the fermentation so that not as much salt would be required?
 

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i thought a lot of the NT recipes needed only 2-4 tbsp of whey per quart. if i'm recalling that correctly, then a regular tub of yogurt (a quart?) would probably yield 1-2c of whey if you let it drip long enough and apply pressure to it.

doctor up the yogurt cream cheese that results with a few herbs or some fruit and give it to a neighbor/friend/family member as a gift if you're not eating it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by bluets
if i'm recalling that correctly, then a regular tub of yogurt (a quart?) would probably yield 1-2c of whey if you let it drip long enough and apply pressure to it.
I didn't apply pressure but from dripping overnight I only got 1 Tbsp from my neighbour's quart of 2% organic yoghurt. Does it depend on the brand?
 

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You can use some juices from a previous batch of lacto-fermented veggies. If you can get non-pasteurized sauerkraut, then you can use a bit of juices from that. Doesn't have to be a whole lot, just a bit to get it going.

I get a lot of whey from my homemade kefir. When I let the kefir brew too long and it separates a lot, I make kefir cream cheese and end up with more than half the volume being whey. I've also seen non-homogenized buttermilk in Whole Foods that look like its already separated in the jar.

You can also try making the salsa with the normal amount of salt without the whey. In Wild Fermentation, Katz doesn't use any whey in his recipes and relies on wild yeasts. Innoculating with whey just makes it easier and you don't have to worry about it spoiling if the temperature gets too hot. The extra salt is also just to make sure the veggies are well-preserved and don't rot before fermentation takes off. I've seen recommendations to not wash the veggies when using organic veggies since there's usually already beneficial yeasts that help protect the veggies on the surface (like the chalky film on grapes) that should help get the fermentation going.
 

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the few times i have used whey, my stuff has come out mushy. my mom makes sauerkraut all the time with brine (salt water) and, providing she adds 2" of horseradish root (or a sprig of cherry or oak leaves), it never comes out mushy or very salty.
 

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Use some of liquid from your salsa batch instead of whey. I did that with the ketchup recipe (can't use dairy at all because of DD's food intolerances) and it turned out fine. I don't normally use whey unless the recipe says I have to--I've made salsa, pickles, and sauerkraut without it and they all turn out fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
To clarify:
  • I know I can lactoferment without whey but I don't want to use the "extra" salt recommended by NT because I don't like the flavour
  • I don't want to use any dairy-based method of getting whey because it's not economical for us if we're not using the remaining portions of kefir, yoghurt, etc.
It sounds like
  1. it's OK to use the minimum amount of salt recommended in NT and use no whey but you would risk a higher rate of spoilage
  2. I could use the liquid from a lactofermented batch of salsa or other food instead of whey (same amounts?)
What about using yoghurt starter to kickstart things?
 
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