Whey production can be an economic and environmental problem for small creameries and acid whey producers. The fermentation and distillation of whey not only eliminates the cost of disposing whey as waste while minimizing environmental impact but adds a revenue option through production of a value-added product. Kluyveromyces marxianus is typically utilized to ferment the pasteurized and pretreated whey. The fermented product contains approximately 3% ethanol v/v. Various options for distilling may be utilized such as a simple two-pot system or a more complex four-stage system to assure production of a neutral spirit. Quality of the distilled spirit is impacted by whey source, whey pretreatment, fermentation conditions, and the distilling process.
Hughes, P., Risner, D., & Meunier Goddik, L. (2019). Whey to Vodka. In Whey - Biological Properties and Alternative Uses. IntechOpen. https://doi.org/10.5772/intechopen.81679