I use kefir whey as a starter for my lacto-fermented veggies (most especially beet kvass). I'm thinking of trying to eliminate ALL dairy to find out if I'm sensitive to it, and I'm wondering if that means that I need to stop using whey as a starter for my vegetable ferments?
I know that I can ferment without the whey, just with some salt, but I prefer to use the whey so I have more control over the fermentation process.
I don't know if this makes any difference, but I drain the whey from the kefir in a fine sieve, and then run that through a coffee filter so that there's only the clear liquid that goes into my veggie ferments.
asked byJanknitz (8395)
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on December 02, 2012
at 10:07 AM
Why use whey in sauerkraut? It ferments beautifully with just salt. Worth reading this link
on November 03, 2012
at 09:57 PM
Yes, I think there is still lactose in the whey. How much varies, but I don't think that just a coffee filter would get the levels down all that much. I've never had a problem with just salt fermentation, but if you want to use a starter, you could try http://www.culturesforhealth.com/caldwell-starter-culture-for-fresh-vegetables.html which has only trace amounts of dairy (it says 17ppm). Since it doesn't seem like much research has been or could be done about the lactose content of whey from kefir drained at home, I can't say for sure, but I'd think 17ppm would certainly be less than what you'd get from home filtration.
And, that's just about the lactose. If you are sensitive to dairy, it might not just be lactose. If you want to do a whole 30 or something to see, may as well go all the way for a bit and see!