How to Make Virgin Coconut Oil With Milyn and Peter Christopher

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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

climb coconutIf 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.


collecting coconuts in Costa RicaIf 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.coconuts in sack on 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. milyn open coconut with machete 2 milyn open coconut with machete 3


milyn open coconut 5milyn open coconut 6



peter open coconut 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.



prepare the coconut for blending by cutting into small piecesThe 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!

blend coconut



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.strain coconut milkstrain coconut milk 1


fermented coconut milk

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.



coconut oil separates naturallyAt 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.warm coconut oil to separate it


coconut oil in refrigeratorThe 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!


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Just a note. If you HEAT the

Just a note. If you HEAT the coconut or the oil IT IS NO LONGER VIRGIN. You can extract the oiil from heating'; that's how my ancestors have been doing - BUT that's not VCO process. No heat involved = virgin coconut oil.

coconut oil

Hello thank u soo much pls help i m from india i made coconut milk than strained it and added the liquid ib the plastic bottle and it 48 hrs i see the fermentation has taken place i c bubbles and yellowish colour oil too but not at the top i just made warm water and pot the bottle in fr few seconds still the oil has not yer come on top pls help what should i do now

yeah its really a simple and

yeah its really a simple and funny step

Very good

I like the explanation It is very funny at the same time it is really step by step. Over all 5 star writer.

how to buy a good coconut

Usually coconut are not fresh when one would buy them at supermarket but you can spot good one and here's the trick. look at the eyes of the coconut, if the eyes are deep, they are good and mature, then look at the color of the coconut, if the color is already dark brown, that is bad coconut already, it must be lighter brown, that would be fresher coconut, just don't get dark brown. don't let it stay in your kitchen for three or four days, cut it at once.

coconuts perth

contact Paul in Northern austyralia he is the coconut expert there where they grow well. and fresh Paul Richardson PO Box 2269 Cairns, Qld 4870 Australia +61 (0) 422 751 761

My first try at making coconut oil at home

I want to learn how to make coconut oil but the result of my 1st attempt was not what I had expected. But I did get oil that looked great and smelled great. Here's what I did: 1) chopped the kernel into small pieces, blended and squeezed out the milk. 2) put in a corning ware pot and set pot on a hot plate, turned to the lowest setting 3) let it simmer 9 hours, checking every couple of hours - it was okay, not too hot 4) let is cool overnight 5) what's left in the pot is a mixture of clear oil (pale yellow in color) with what looked like melted chocolate, same color 6) scooped the mixture ( oil and the "chocolate" ) and strained it using an ordinary kitchen strainer 7) collect the oil which is thus filtered 8) what's left is the "chocolate" --- if I am patient enough, I can get some more oil out of the "chocolate" but I plan to mix it with oil for frying. I want to try another method described by others - let the coconut cream ferment.

Where can I buy coconuts in Perth, W, Australia?

I love coconuts. So I bought a dozen at the local supermarket, and threw away the receipt. They were all bad. So I bought a second batch, and kept the receipt. They were all moldy so I took them back and exchanged them for new ones. They were all moldy too. Does anybody know where I can buy fresh coconuts in Perth? If I used moldy ones for the fermentation process, would they work?


This looks like a great way to get pure coconut oil - probably more pure than anything you can buy in stores! - Coconut Oil King


oil floats its the stuff on top

Sounds exciting!

I always thought the process of creating coconut oil was much more complicated. You did a really good job explaining it. I can't wait to try it out. Maybe I'll wait until Coconuts are in season so that I can make a big batch. I grew up and Africa where Coconuts were plentiful. (Ivory Coast) now I live in the US is much more difficult to find good quality Coconuts. Half of the time, they are rotten before they get to the stores. you have any suggestions for picking out a good coconut when you go to the store? I'm learning a lot of new stuff about coconuts everyday. I'm kind of just starting, but I am pretty passionate about and so I think I might just make it. I actually have a blog that is brand-new. and this is my first link. Thanks for your post it was great!

Hi Peter,I have thoroughly

Hi Peter, I have thoroughly read the way to make the cocunut oil by fermenting and I am going to try it in the future and let you know how I go. However, untill now I have been making coconut oil by boiling the coconut milk and extracting the oil after cooking the it coconut milk for long hours. Do you have any idea about if coconut is oil made by boiling the coconut milk is as beneficial to health as the one made by fermenting and is coconut extracted by boiling the coconut is harmful to health. Waiting for your answer! :)

last step

hello i followed everything until the last step and poured it into a smaller container ( soda bottle ) and it looks just like your last picture when the bottle sits in the freezer but what i don't understand is wich part is coconut oil ? because the bottom looks like ( murky ) water and the top is the disposable part right ? so what part is the coconut oil ??

many thanks B

thank you for the recipe in

thank you for the recipe in making vco...i have run into ao problem and need your help....i followed all the steps as directed...after starining and seperating ...i put the vco in the fridge and it has not still remains kinda liquidy ...where did i go wrong there a process i forgot ...thank you for your help


Are there any classes that teaches you how to make Cold Press Virgin Coconut Oil?

How do you do seperate the

How do you do seperate the oil without putting in the fridge or frying? Like NO ELECTRICAL USE AT ALL. THANKS

Natural Yeast in the Old Coconuts

Firstly, the reason why the oil does not separate from coconut milk is probably because you use young coconut to make coconut milk. The coconuts that you took was not old enough. That brings to the next one... Secondly, there is very little natural yeast available in young coconut. And it does not help that much to separate the oil from coconut milk. The old coconut has the more sufficient amount of yeast than the young one. That's why Peter recommends using old coconuts so that we can see the separated layers more clearly, and we can get the exact layer of the oil after leaving it for 24 to 48 hours. I don't know how easy it is for you to find the old coconuts in Ghana. But this is what it takes to this matter. Anyway, make sure you have the old coconuts (the big brown one) before starting out the process. Just my two cents :-) Happy with coconut oil homemade! Taweew at

seperating oil from milk

Hi Peter and milyn,

i want to start vco very badly in my country Ghana and i need you help, the oil occasionally does not seperate what can i do ?????????????// i will love to have your telephone numbers if you do not mind so we can talk more.

thank jemilah,

My mother always make virgin

My mother always make virgin coconut oil because she let us to drink it when were a kids. The way she make it is she get the coconut milk and put in frying fan and put into medium hit of fire. She keep steering the coconut milk until the the oil separate from the fiver.But the color is brown. The place where i live have a coconut company that make coconut virgin oil and other product that made of coconut. My brother work in this company and he told me how to make a coconut virgin oil in a very simple way. Just get the coconut milk and put into a big container and just put into the sunlight until the oil comes up in the top which is white color.


Hi, it is a type of yeast that does the fermentation.  I suspect that it is present in small quantity on all coconuts mostly outside (if it gets inside it would damage the coconut).  But in the process of doing everything, some of the yeast gets inside, which then ferments everything.  You could try adding another type of yeast, and let us know what happens.

can we use yeast to fermant

can we use yeast to fermant coconut milk.\

home made vco

hi i'm jane
i am very interested in vco home made, we have enough supply of coconut here in the philippines, i tried making home made vco for almost 2 years, we use coconut grater and thats fine. my problem is i can't get the perfect way to separate the pure oil (white in color) so i usually cooked in a pan with the smallest fire as i could(about 30-50 degrees centigrade). i also observed that after 24 hrs of fermenting, there are 3 layers, the first layer is colored brown with a little oil in it so heat it separately in a pan for about 1 hour until i can see the golden brown bis particles. the 2nd layer is the white one which i believe it is the the pure oil which i also heat for atleast 30-45 mins with slow fire. then i put it in a plastic bottle if it is cooled. then i just throw away the first layer(bottom part).
I am now looking for an easier way to make vco. please help me. thanks

thanks very much for your

thanks very much for your reply. Can you give me the address of some people who is doing this in philipines. can we use yeast to get fermentation. also let me know when we can get centrifugal. rgds george

I want to start virgin

I want to start virgin coconut oil producing unit...can yoy please send me details to my id

Heat coconut milk then cool it.

Can this method be used to make virgin coconut oil? does the process of separating the oil is faster than natural fermentation? - what I do is i put cold coconut milk(raw material) into a tank and heat it (50C-60C). Then i put it into another tank to cool it (2C-4C) so that the oil will separate and float on top. will this process work?

Roasted cocnut oil

Ok After you have transformed your grated coconut into coconut milk , you have to cover it and let it set, it will be quicker in a cool place but in costs Rica over night will have the same effect , but you will have to bring it indoors before the sun could catch it. The oil will just congelled on the top like solid whipped cream scoop this off and place it into a deep pan, all the white bits of it.Now place the pan on the fire and cook stiring frequently as the remaining sedements from the coconut will stick to the bottom of the pan these sedements is what holds the oil..As the oil is extracted the sedements will begin to shrink. as it shrinks you have to keep stirring so it does not burn.This will then appears to become grainy approx to the size of a match head or slightly bigger and turn a goldern beigey colour.Your oil is now ready remove the pan from the fire and leave to cool.strain into clean bottle while still warm to get the maximum oil. The goldren coconut crumbs can also be eaten when mixed with sugar. It Taste very nice.enjoy and Good luck. This is how I extract my fresh coconut oil which smells soooooo delicious. The cooking time depends on the amount of contents in the pan , start off on a medium heat and adjust accordingly/ takes roughly about 1hr to 1and a half hour hope this is helpful.

Thanks you so much.

Thank you so much for taking out your time to give out a detailed method for the extrction. Getting coconut is not a problem in Nigeria. I'll try it out immediately. If it's isn't too much to ask for is there actually any home made method for processing coir into coco peat. I've als heard of Coir doormats and floor mats. Can you help me out with any information on them.

large scale

Hi George and others, we've seen medium-scale operations with a few full-time employees in the Philippines.  Essentially the process is the same, but you probably would want to get an industrial grinder rather than using a blender.  You can also use a centrifuge to extract the oil from the milk, as an alternative to fermenting it, but I've never had a centrifuge or seen one in action for this purpose.  Let us know how your plans progress.  As with any business, you need to have a steady market, steady supply of coconuts, and have mastered your production process before you can get anywhere near profitability, I'd imagine.


i have just come to know the wonderful nature of the coconut and i live in nigeria where we have loads of coconut but no one produces the oil, i will try this method today and im sure it will work, thank you for the step by step pictures and the ladies in the pictures do a great job, well done!!!!!!

virgin coconut oil

I live in Kerala India where got lot of cocouts. I want to start an industry producing virigin coconut oil . There are lot of ladies there without work and I want to use them.
So tell me how to do it in large scale.

nice info

Loved your description and photos, we are trying to put together a recipe for surf wax here in Brasil, i am also trying to get Sap from Jack fruit although i have never done it, any one have any ideas. keep it going Tico,s PS i was in C,R about 5 years ago loved it Cocovado lovely although I cant complain of my Braslian Base Porto Galinhas PE North east of Brasil with lots of coconuts. Bye for now

maybe to feed pigs

I think probably you wouldn't find the leftovers appealing, but possibly animals would like it.

After fermentation and

After fermentation and separation, can you still use the coconut milk without the oil?

I have just started using virgin coconut oil (that I bought) and it's wonderful. I want to start making my own.

Thanks for sharing.

Roasted Coconut Oil

Can you give any information about "roasted" or "toasted" coconut oil? This practice is done along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and involves cooking the separated oil over an open flame. The resultant oil is sublime. I'm interested to know what temperature the oil should be and for how long the oil is "roasted". Thank you

Coco nuts

That's a lot of coconut milk! And oh she;s way too cute to be your coconut husker. Lol

thank you!! i figured out

thank you!! i figured out that after i took it from the fridge and cut it out, i had to put it over low heat and then strain it. once it was free from the scums, then it worked thanks!!! i don't think that last step was included in your directions, which is why i was lost as to how to achieve the final product. but i figured it out!! thanks....the pictures were definitely helpful!

Definitely going to give this a shot

When I move. I love coconut oil for my hair, skin, you name it. It makes a nice base too for lotions and creams. And I spent my entire pregnancy oiling my stomach to avoid stretch marks and at a whopping 4'7" with an almost 9 pound baby, never got one. I credit coconut oil for that!

Coconut oil and aloe vera are two things I can never be without.

Different bad smells...

It's too bad we can't post a smell on the internet.  So much easier to post a picture or a few sentences of text... Because, it's hard to tell whether I would consider it a bad smell.  How long did it sit?  If just 1-3 days probably it is ok.  If you had it sitting for 1-3 weeks, then maybe it's nasty by now.  Also, usually when the oil separates properly, then you should definitely separate it out before making any judgment.  Take the separated oil after you've removed all the top and bottom scums, and after all those top and bottom scums are out of your memory, then maybe the oil itself will not seem bad at all.  The only time I felt I had a bad batch, there wasn't much separation at all, so I think when there is separation of the oil within a few days, it's probably good oil.

from guahan

Hafa Adai! I tried your recipe and just have one question. i know you said that if the milk smells bad BEFORE you begin the whole process to throw it out. what about after it ferments? the "nasty" milk smell has permeated the hardened oil, right? so does that mean the batch is bad?? right now the smell is making me less motivated to use it in my food let alone for my hair or skin. Help! sonia

it's not milk anymore

After removing the oil from the top, what you have left is a semi-fermented lowfat coconut curd, and below that, coconut whey. I wouldn't hesitate to give it to pigs (or maybe eat it if I was very starving) but it ranges from slightly nasty to moderately nasty and I wouldn't recommend it. It's not coconut milk anymore.

Can the milk be used?

After the oil has been separated from the milk, can the coconut milk still be used? Or is it considered waste at this point?


One time I tried to make it without straining it.  In my case it turned out to be a disaster and I was never able to separate that batch properly.  But you can strain it now and either use it for coconut cream, or continue waiting.  Maybe you'll be lucky and it will separate.   Depending on the size and oil content and your skills, you might need 10 or 100 to make that amount. 

Coconut oil

I forgot to strain the coconut mixture and put it away to ferment. It's been fermenting now for almost 24 hours. Is it to late to strane??? So how many coconuts do I need to  make 16 oz's?


Of course we are honored that you can find some inspiration from our coconut oil page, not annoyed at all.  Remember, there are as many ways to make coconut oil as there are people who make it - so you'll have to experiment to find the way that works for you.  Many people boil the milk to get oil, but I prefer to ferment it.  In Egypt I assume you can get fresh coconuts, so you should be able to use real coconuts, right?  Also remember that it takes a lot of coconuts to make coconut oil!  It depends on the kind of coconut, but in general one tablespoon per medium coconut is a reasonable estimate.

sorry for annoying you


can i tell u areal story ..  i am from egypt ... one of my friends is adoctor

his  msc thesis was about ( coconut oil and its health benfit on rats)..

it was great ... my friend suffer soooooo much to got coconut oil...

so i am trying to use it as afood .. i think it will be great

(in middle east there is olive oil .. no coconut oil)

if u got any idea plz tell me


F or C?

Your temperature is F or C?  Where are you?  Can you get real coconuts?  I recommend if possible you should use real coconuts - at least one real coconut for sure, just to get the yeast.

Also, why are you using hot water to mix?  You may be killing the yeast. 

Finally, I don't know how your coconut meat was dried.  If it already had anything extracted from it before drying, it won't work.

Remember the saying attributed to Edison: Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.  So keep trying again and again, until you find a way to make it that works for you in your climate with your available ingredients.  Let us know how it goes and what tricks you develop.

thank u very much


i hope u can understand my bad english ... i use one (1.00 kg) of dried coconut meat ..mixing with some hot water then blend it as u do ..the temp here  is 30- there any thing else i can do


hi - i hope you mean 'coconut milk' not water

I'll assume that you used coconut milk, not coconut water.  I'll also assume that you kept the coconut milk at room temperature for the 24-48 hours, right?  

Probably what you see is not oil, but another byproduct.  The white, yogurt-like foamy stuff is usually on top, under that is the oil, and on the bottom is water.

How many liters of coconut milk did you use? Did you make it with fresh coconut?  Where do you live?  This process requires the presence of coconut yeast which in general there would be some of if you used fresh coconut, but if you are not in a big coconut area it might take a little longer for the yeast to get going.  What is the ambient temperature there btw?

help plz

hi i cannot speak english well .. but can i ask u plz..i try to make the coconut oil as but after 24 hours i got awhite layer like yogurt on the water of coconut ... i only use some hot water surronding the bottle no direct heat is this the oil one here sell coconut oil ..plz i want your help to make the oil

coconut oil!

In Micronesia we use coconut oil to tan with! Its great! Yall should try it!. Not if your too fair skinned though. You would have to wait until you get a little color first. 

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