©David B. Fankhauser, Ph.D. 
Professor of Biology and Chemistry 
U.C. Clermont College 
Batavia OH 45103 
boiling down the whey
Created 20 August 2002

This page has been accessed Counter times since 20 August 2002. 
Finished gjetost

Gjetost literally means "goat cheese" in Norwegian.  The name is often applied in the United States to an unusual cheese made by evaporating down whey left over from making more traditional cheese.  (I am told by a Norwegian fellow that the more correct name for this whey cheese is mysostHere is his email to that effect , with links to pictures of gjetost.)   What follows is a description of how to make mysost, apparently incorrectly termed gjetost in the States.

By reducing whey by simmering in an open pot, the salts, sugars and protein left in solution after separating the curds from the "curds and whey" are concentrated.  This produces a cheese which is a combination of sweet, salty and caramel.  You may want to try some gjetost from a local cheese speciality shop before you commit the time and energy to make it.  It is a "cheese" unlike any other.  It takes a long time to boil down the whey.  (Not dissimilar to making maple syrup.)

Click all images to enlarge:

A stainless steel pot wtih a thick heat-dissapating bottom (either aluminum or copper).  It should be  larger than the amount of whey you will boil down (1.25 gallon capacity in this case) 

A greased pan into which to pour the finished product.

1 gallon of fresh whey from making regular cheese

1. Pour fresh whey into the thick bottomed pot (with a capacity larger than the amount of whey you will reduce).
2.  Bring to boil over high heat with stirring (some protein precipitated out for me, but this may not be usual).
3. Lower the heat so that it simmers and leave uncovered for as many hours as it takes to reduce the volume.  (Sorry, the thermometer is out of focus)
4.  When the consistency has become more viscous (about 5-6 hours for me), watch closely, and stir regularly to prevent from burning or sticking.
5.  When the constency resembles fudge, remove from heat, stir vigorously (whisk?), and pour into a buttered pan.  (I used wax paper, but the paper stuck to the finished cheese.)  [Matthew Vanderpool, who followed this recipe, reports that rapid cooling is one of the tricks to smooth finished product.  His mysost was grainy, so he reheated it, stirred well, and rapidly cooled it in an ice cold buttered container.  He reports that it turned out "smooth as can be."]
6. Allow to cool.  Refrigerate until you use it.   Slice it thinly.  The Scandanavians serve it on Ryekrisp crackers.
   Mine was quite salty, sweetish, granular (not whisked enough), but definitely in the same family as gjetost...  I believe that the granularity was because I did not whisk it adequately as it was cooling, allowing the salts and sugar to crystalize.  I suspect that making gjetost it is similar to making fudge in the final stages.

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