Make Your Own Whey Powder!


As always, I keep trying to lower my expenses…I started experimenting with homemade whey protein powder. The process just requires buttermilk, skim and (lots of) time. The outcome is many times cheaper then buying off the shelf protein, and I personally feel better knowing exactly what I am consuming.

If anyone is interested in the process or outcome, let me know!

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Wow sounds great. This could really cut down my costs week to week.
Can you outline the process? Really appreciate you posting!


I used a method for creating cheese curds that I found somewhere online a few weeks ago.
Basically you use a tablespoon of buttermilk (make sure its not the ultra-pasteurized kind) to inoculate 1 quart of fat-free skim milk.
This just requires leaving it out on a loosely closed container at room temperature (about 22deg Celsius) for 24hrs.
After this you take a gallon of the skim milk and bring it to room temp, then add half a cup of the inoculated mix to it in a big bowl. I leave this out for another day with a few layers of cheese cloth draped over the bowl.
The next day you will start to see that the mix has now become, almost a big glob of gelatin. These are curds, and they are suspended in, you got it, whey! There is a trick to cutting the curds nicely.
It’s kind of hard to explain in words, so I’ll link you to this video. Once its cut, heat it to 50deg for 15min.
You’ll notice that the curds start to thicken. Once this happens remove from heat, and let cool. Once its cool enough to handle, collect the curds and whey in a piece of cheesecloth and let it drain into another bowl.
This drainage should be some pretty nice whey. You can keep the curds for other uses, and repeat the whole process with the rest of the skim/buttermilk.

Take the whey liquid and boil it down until it turns into a dark yellow or brown goo. Spread this out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Let this sit out at least over night, and you should get nice brittle pieces of dried out, concentrated whey.
After mostly dried, put the chunks into your fridge and let it dry completely for a few more days.
Then just grind the fully dried whey into powder and enjoy!

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anyone have an opinion on whey vs hemp protein?


Hemp protein does not come in isolated form, so you end up with a calculation nightmare to adjust your intakes based on all the filler in the hemp powder.


Interesting. I used to make homemade Greek-style yogurt and I always ended up with lots of whey that I just dumped down the drain because I didn’t have any other use for it. I should have been drying it to make whey powder.

But I’m a little confused because I thought the whey was the “bad” part (or at least not as good as the solid part). The reason Greek-style yogurt has more protein and fewer carbs than regular yogurt is because the whey is drained off.


I’m not sure what a “regular” yogurt would be, but I can assume that it’s probably made from another base product then what they use for Greek-styled yogurt. I stuck with cow dairy, and kept the base fat content as low as possible to make a “lean” end product. Don’t hold me too much to this, my main way to judging quality was by confirming that the powder came out completely flavorless and dry as a bone.

All the hemp protein I find online has a significant bit of sugar and most have lots of added “proprietary” stuff, so it’s hard to tell it’s benefits, if any over whey. I like whey for its simplicity and background of information.

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Yes, but even many whey protein isolates have nontrivial amounts of other nutrients, especially calcium. If you’re making a high-protein mix (like 150 g vs. 50 g), other minerals can start to become significant as well. So be careful assuming whey protein is pure protein!


Agreed. Although there isn’t much risk of over consuming something dangerous, miscalculating your overall intake can really throw off numbers. If you’re going to be experimenting, the least I can advise is for you to keep a periodic tabs on your weight and even blood results as often as possible.

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I’d be concerned about food safety, e.g. bacteria forming a civilization in there somewhere. But I don’t know anything about cheesemaking and the like.


Are you using heat to dry it? what temperature are you using?
I am concerned that some protein might be suffering from the heating process.

I am using unflavored WPI, bought in bulk from an Australia suplier, it is less expensive than buying brand ones.

I am also experimenting with Micelar Casein. Did anyone try this?



I let the reduced whey dry out, more or less at room temperature for a good day or two. Then the brittle semi-dry pieces go into the fridge for 4-5days to fully dry before grinding. I store the finished product in the fridge once its collected, but I think I can be left out if sealed and used constantly. Since the process takes such a long time I would started the process over each day for a new batch, so i had a sort of assembly line going on for a week here. Next time I need to make a batch of whey I’ll make sure to document the entire process.

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@christinerenee3, I think you’re onto something.

@jcanuet, I think what you’re getting at the end of this process is whey powder, but not whey protein. There are different kinds of whey, so I might be mistaken here, but I believe it’s generally true that whey contains lots of carbs in the form of lactose, and some protein. The powder you’re creating is quite possibly mostly lactose with a significant but minority percentage of protein.

And that’s actually great, I think – I’m experimenting with “sweet whey powder” for my main source of carbs, and it’s quite possibly the same thing as what you’re making here – but I wouldn’t assume that it’s mostly protein, unless you’re doing some additional step to remove the lactose.


Wouldn’t it be easier and quicker to just use a cheese making process to generate the whey?
I usually just pour the whey out when I make cheese.

I’ll try this process, which I’ve thrown together loosely from some cheese recipes:

-Heat milk to 185 F
-Mix in some sort of acid (citric acid, vinegar, etc)
-Mix, allow curds to form
-pour pot into strainer with cheese cloth in it, let drain into pot
-lift cheese cloth, squeeze out remaining whey
-collect homemade cheese, yum
-boil down whey
-scrape, grind, and bag powder

I have never tried this, but I’m going to see how well it works. Don’t really know what I’m doing.


Curious to hear how this turns out. If it works, would love to know more exact amounts. Sounds like an interesting experiment to try.


@moniker7: Bacteria inoculation (here, via buttermilk containing live and active cultures) and rennet is used to make most kinds of cheeses. Curdling directly with acidic liquids produces a similar whey, but there are differences, and the curds can only be used for some kinds of fresh cheeses.

@zach: The bacteria from cultured buttermilk are meant form a civilization; this acidifies the milk and allows it to curdle. Good news is that it’s practically impossible for harmful strains of bacteria to compete in this environment, so your milk is automatically protected from spoiling.

There’s a lot of speculation here, so I thought I’d link a reference for the chemical makeup of dried whey (spoiler alert: it’s over 70% sugar):

The micronutrient content of dried sweet (bacteria) and acid whey is given on, but I imagine these numbers vary wildly depending on the pH, temperature, etc. when curdling the milk.

Whey protein powder has undergone processing to separate it from the lactose, and heat will denature the proteins. I don’t recommend using cooked whey as a protein source because is it mostly caramelized/burned sugar. Bad luck!


how many minutes do you boil the whey until it turns to dark yellow or brown goo?


While you are right in saying that the proteins are denatured by the heating process, this may not be as bad as you think. In order for proteins to be absorbed by the body, they are broken down into amino acids through pepsin enzymes in the stomach. Pepsin requires acidic conditions of approximately pH 1 to function, which is provided by gastric juices present, comprised mostly of hydrochloric acid. This hydrochloric acid will denature the proteins you consume anyway, in assistance of the pepsin enzyme. Therefore, by consuming denatured proteins, a large portion of time is saved in the process of digestion. This could be very beneficial when considering the importance of ingesting protein quickly and efficiently, when carrying out strenuous exercise such as bodybuilding. You may very well be right in examination of the nutritional content of homemade protein powder, although I should add that this is very dependent on the milk used, and other processes carried out.



It’s not so much the proteins that get damaged as the amino acids they are made out of. Digestion doesn’t denature the proteins it hydrolyze them. Basically breaking the proteins up into their amino acids. This process doesn’t denature the amino acids like heat does.


Hydrolization is breaking down protein chains into constituent amino acids, but that doesn’t happen until the protein is unfolded from the natural ball state to a chain.

The unfolding is called denaturing, and doesn’t chemically change the constituent amino acids.

In your stomach, protein is denatured by acid before it is hydrolyzed by enzymes. The enzymes can’t work on a folded-up protein.