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1. There are many recipes for making ricotta cheese from fresh whey leftover after cheese. Although I searched Google trying to find making ricotta from powdered whey, I couldn't find anything. A soft cheese, paneer, can be made from powdered milk (much improved with adding a little butter to the hot milk first) which makes me wonder about using powdered whey.

I didn't want to make the question title too long but since my question is still about making ricotta from whey.

2. Could ricotta be made from the whey left after making paneer since I make paneer?

Traditional cheeses are made from milk curdled by the addition of rennet. Paneer is made from milk curdled by adding vinegar or citric acid (lemon juice). I'm not certain if the whey from these methods are different enough to affect outcomes where one would work and the other wouldn't. Does anyone know or tried either method?

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Disclaimer- I haven't tested either so this is guesswork. I have made ricotta with the whey of a variety of cheeses but never these particular combinations. If someone has already tried these their answer would carry more weight.

Ricotta works because some of the water soluble proteins in milk don't bind up with the cheese (of whatever type) unless they are heated almost to boiling first. Bringing the whey to a boil forces those extra proteins to coagulate and they are strained out.

1. I imagine it might vary from product to product. If the whey was produced just from drying regular whey then rehydrating and boiling should be enough to curdle its proteins. I suspect that its processing includes heating steps that alter the proteins. I would be surprised if this was possible.

2. Many cheeses use rennet but most also rely on acidification of some sort, either bacteria or acid added directly. As with #1 it depends how the paneer was made. If it was made with warm milk and acid then there will be protein left. If it was made with boiled milk and acid then there will not.

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    Regular cheese is made from coagulated milk casein. Casein isn't water soluble but is a stable suspension in milk. It's important to remove bits of curd from whey before making ricotta as it makes for harder bits. The proteins in ricotta are albumin and globulin, both water soluble. Interestingly, they're the same proteins that are part of our blood's components.) Your 2nd answer is encouragement enough to try making ricotta from whey left from making paneer. Recipes call for the milk to be boiled but I don't heat it that high as I like a softer paneer. I'll post later results. – Jude Apr 21 '17 at 23:52
  • Most people aren't interested in the actual names of the proteins so I leave it out of my answers on the subject. I learned my lesson after killing a few conversations by getting too enthusiastic about cheese. – Sobachatina Apr 22 '17 at 0:29
  • With me, you can be as detailed as you'd like and I'd never think it's overkill. I'm a science nerd at heart! --- I've read more since I last commented and most sites don't think it's possible to make ricotta from acid whey but I'm willing to try in the name of science (and my love of food). I'm giving up on the idea of using dried whey though as I found pure dried whey is much too expensive for me. – Jude Apr 22 '17 at 4:49
  • I thought I'd made ricotta from paneer whey, and I bring the milk to the boil for paneer before adding the lemon juice off the heat. Maybe I'm mistaken, and it was after making a different acid cheese. Either way it made very little. – Chris H Apr 22 '17 at 8:13
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    I don't know if I should post this as a comment ir answer. Those more experienced here please let me know. -- I made a soft crumbly paneer today as I'm making lasagne on Monday which I'll use instead of buying the insipid expensive ricotta in stores. My whey wasn't clear - slightly milky looking but normal whey colour. Right after, I started on the ricotta. Right method but no tiny curds formed. I tasted it and increased citric acid but nothing. I WILL try again but vary my method! In the meantime, I used some of the whey to make bread today and the rest will use later for baking this week. – Jude Apr 22 '17 at 23:49

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