Adventures with homemade coconut milk

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Well-Known Member
Sep 6, 2013
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Hi everyone, so... Uh... Help... Find the perfect recipe is hard work but I almost did it... Almost... The recipe is for a goat milk soap that is moisturising, mild, cleans well...but the bubbles are too low. In an attempt to make it bubble more I added 5% castor, 3% sugar. Then I read that coconut milk was also good. Where I live coconut milk is hard to come by. Several googles later I found that you can make your own by soaking shredded coconut in water. I tried soaping with it by dissolving the lye in it. 1/2 coconut, 1/2 goat milk. First time turned out really nice. Fluffy bubbles beautiful colour. Second time I made the lye water but I had to walk away for about half hour. When I came back the lye water separated. There was a gooey disk on the surface and clear water underneath. Obviously reacted with the coconut. I mixed it and added it to my oils. The batch took forever to reach mild trace. I poured it three hours ago and the soap is still gel like consistency. Any idea why this happened?
I've had the same thing happen when using coconut milk, I think its the fat/oil in the milk saponifying. When I use coco milk now, I try and use the lye mix as soon as I can so it doesn't sit around and get lumpy.
regular coconut milk separates like that all the time. that's why most canned stuff uses emulsifiers to keep things together. good canned coconut milk will be separated in the can.

btw, I make my own coconut milk with fresh coconuts (I live in tropics), and the milk starts separating in just a few minutes of sitting on the counter. i'm assuming your coconut milk lye water was just doing that...
yep, that happened to me too if i took a bit of time to use the mixture. i just stir it back in with a spatula and pour. the soap was fine.

3 hours still gelling, i reckon that's normal. give it a time and wait overnight. i'm sure it'll be okay.
I make my own coconut milk like that too, as Neeners and seven said, it's normal. Your other option would be to add the coconut milk later.