Making Vodka with Whey at OSU Pt 1

Making Vodka with Whey at OSU Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I'm Bob Larson. Can you guess what dairy byproduct is being used by researchers at Oregon State University to make vodka?

WAYNE-GARTH = 3 ... "No way! Way! Sheah!"

Exactly! A new OSU study shows using "whey" to make vodka could add value to smaller creameries while reducing environmental impact.

Professor Lisbeth Goddik says it's takes 10 pounds of milk to make 1 pound of cheese, leaving 9 pounds of the byproduct unused ...

GODDIK-3 = 19 ... "The large companies know what to do with their whey, but these processes cost millions, $20-million, $30-million dollars to build a whey processing facility. So, if you're working with a small artisan cheese company, they can not use those processes. So, they're really lost with very few options and certainly no value-added options for disposal of their whey."

Goddik says while it's expensive to process, it's relatively easy to transport ...

GODDIK-4 = 5 ... "It's not difficult at all. You fill a tanker truck with it and you drive it to the distillery."

Goddik says "whey" actually beats out grain in some ways ...

GODDIK-9 = 18 ... "So, part of what we did was looking at water usage and doing a lifecycle analysis of grain-based spirits versus whey-based spirits. And, actually, the environmental impact of whey-based spirits is lower than grain-based spirits so it's definitely an environmentally sound process to start on."

Goddik says with 22 artisan creameries in Oregon and about 70 in Washington, the impact could be significant.

Listen tomorrow for more on this new WAY of using WHEY to create adult beverages while adding value to an underused dairy byproduct and helping the environment.

Previous ReportWalla Walla Sweets Pt2
Next ReportMaking Vodka with Whey at OSU Pt 2