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Can I Use Whey From Straining Yogurt to Make More Yogurt?

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Preview: Have you ever thought about using whey as a yogurt starter to make more yogurt? I’ve tried it. Here’s all the information you need to know.

Making Greek yogurt produces a lot of whey in the straining process. Many people ask if they can use the whey to make more yogurt. Let’s talk about it.

I’ve tried it. Here’s all the information you need to know.

yogurt made with whey drained from yogurt

If you’ve never tried to make yogurt before, see this post or watch the video below to get started using my method.

After you’ve made a successful batch, come back and read about this variation. Here is my answer to lots of questions I’ve received lately about recycling whey.

What is yogurt whey?

Whey is that yellowish liquid that rises to the top of yogurt. Many people stir it back in, but I prefer to drain it off. The result is Greek yogurt….and lots of leftover whey.

whey drained from yogurt

Can I use yogurt whey to make more yogurt?

YES! Add 2-3 tablespoons of whey to 2 quarts of heated and cooled milk.  (More or less whey may also work–this is just what I do.) Whisk it well and incubate as usual.

In the picture below, I made the yogurt on the left with whey as the starter. I made the yogurt on the right with my homemade yogurt as a starter. The results were identical in taste and texture.

comparing yogurt made with whey as the starter and yogurt made with yogurt starter

Why you might want to use whey as a yogurt starter:


 If you make very much Greek yogurt, you will have more whey than you can use.

If you need some ideas, read this post for more than 18 Ways to Use Yogurt Whey.


You won’t have to “waste” any of your precious homemade yogurt as a starter.

Instead, you can enjoy eating every last drop.


Always save a little whey to make your next batch.

Consequently, you won’t have to worry about keeping some yogurt back to use as a starter. It’s also good insurance if somebody inadvertently eats the last of your previous batch of yogurt.


No lumps.

How long does yogurt whey last?

I get a lot of questions on this subject. In my experience, it’s good for at least three weeks but I’ve read it can last for six months. Although it may last longer, since I make yogurt twice a week, there’s no reason for me to keep it around.

Related to this question but not the same

How long does whey stay fresh enough to use as a starter?

Traditional yogurt starter needs to be used at least once a week to ensure the most vigorous starter. I’m assuming the same goes for whey.

If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: paula at

Hope to see you again soon!

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