How to Make Virgin Coconut Oil With Milyn and Peter Christopher
Here is the basic process we use to make virgin coconut oil at home. Try it!! There are also some pictures. For the full description, follow along with the pictures.
Summary of How to Make Virgin Coconut Oil At Home
Step I: Make Coconut Milk
Step II: Ferment overnight (the separation occurs naturally during fermentation).
Step III: Use your VCO coconut oil!
Detailed Explanations With Pictures of Making Your Own Homemade Virgin Coconut Oil
This is a page by Peter and Milyn Christopher of how we make virgin homemade coconut oil in the Philippines and in Costa Rica.
(Before Step 1) Collect Coconuts
If you are fortunate enough to have coconut trees in your yard, the first thing is of course to climb the tree, as my wife Milyn demonstrates here.
The coconut she is carrying down is actually a young coconut. For making coconut oil, use only old coconuts (brown) - when they are about to fall off the tree, or just after they have fallen down.
If you don't have any coconut trees, let's hope you live near a beach where it is legal to collect coconuts. When we lived in Uvita, Costa Rica we had to resort to collecting the coconuts on the beach. But we enjoyed our time at the beach, so we can't complain! Can't process your own coconut oil in Vermont, no coconuts!
On the way home, we had to put the sack of coconuts on the motorcycle.
I rode it by myself around the mud patch, but on the main road, my wife and baby also rode along with me and the sack of coconuts.
Make Coconut Milk
When you are ready with the coconuts, you need to open them up. You can take off the husk following Milyn's example, if you want.
Or you can simply open the coconut with the shell still on. Depends on your preference. In any case, afterwards you need to remove the coconut meat - a screwdriver works well for us. If any coconut smells bad, do not use it. Just throw it out.
Peter loves using the machete.
The next step is to blend the coconut. If you don't have a very strong blender, get one! If that's not a possibility, you'll have to figure out some way to shred the coconut. We have a 600W blender, and as long as the pieces are of reasonable size, with sufficient water in the blender (about 3 cups of water for 2 cups of coconut pieces) it has no problems.
Then you blend!
The next step is to straing the coconut milk. Use something strong and clean - a freshly washed T-shirt or pillowcase works fine. You should also squeeze out as much milk as you can. With the coconut powder flakes, just give them to your animals.
Now that you have finished making the coconut milk, you must leave it 24-48 hours to ferment. You'll need to leave it in an enclosed container. We have used stainless steel, and we've also used plastic buckets. Occasionally the oil does not separate properly (I think because the correct yeast is not present in sufficient quantity). But usually after just 1-2 days the oil will be near the top, thanks to the action of natural yeasts that hang out near coconut plants.
At this point, you can pour it into a more convenient (narrower) container to get the oil off the top. Here we have poured it into a 1.5 gallon clear jug so you can see it. After a few hours, the oil will separate naturally. If it doesn't (sometimes if it is under 75 degrees) you can warm it up just ever so gently for 10 minutes and it will promptly separate.
The final step is to put the coconut oil in a separate container. We have done this successfully in two ways: with a small hose, siphoning it out; and cooling it in the refrigerator. You can also try to pour it, but it doesn't usually work very well in my experience. After just a few hours in the refrigerator, you can cut the bottle and slice out the coconut oil.
Then you're all ready to use your virgin coconut oil. Try it with popcorn, any type of cooking, or use it for salad, or any other time you want to use oil. Enjoy your coconut oil in Costa Rica, Philippines, Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Thailand, or wherever you may be!