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I had a lovely bunch of young coconuts. I extracted the water of most of them, and I blended all the meats and enough of the water (in the right proportion) to make something like 3 gallons of coconut milk.

The only issue is that the milk has tiny coconut particles that I need to be rid of. I tried a fine cheesecloth (with multiple layers), but draining it is going to take days and if I force it, the tiny particles slip through. I thought about using a kitchen centrifuge, but I don't have one (if they make them).

Any ideas to extract a completely smooth solution from what I've got? The 100mL of said nectar I got from the cheesecloth after much patience, has tantalized me.

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5 Answers 5

Alton Brown made coconut milk on his show Good Eats a few years ago, and he suggested using a clean tea towel and squeezing the pulp until it has given up all the liquid.

Here is more on it: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/coconut-milk-and-cream-recipe/index.html

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I frequently keep t-shirts and woven shirts that are unusable as clothing just for straining things like this. –  sourd'oh Aug 12 '13 at 17:00

If the bits settle to the bottom of the container, you might be able to decant it rather than straining -- just let it settle, then ladle the liquid off the top.

You can also use the disposable plastic bag separating technique if it's type 1 settling (quick separating, don't have to let it sit for hours)-- place the liquid in a clear bag, suspend it with one corner facing down, then after settling, poke a hole above where it separated.

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Interesting, I did not know about the different types of settling. From what I could tell, the liquid is more a Type 3 sludge. The particulates weren't separating on their own. Perhaps this is why my original draining technique wouldn't have worked. –  ash Aug 14 '13 at 18:37

You could try a food mill using the smallest hole set it provides

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I had to return and answer this myself. The tea towels broke first, and then the shirts (even heavy cloth ones). They broke under the stress of squeezing the coconut milk out.

Then I realized I had an immersion blender. The resulting milk after using the high setting, was smooth and delicious.

A fool-proof method:

  1. Blend in normal blender, to make a gritty milk.
  2. Finish smooth with an immersion blender.
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Gel clarification, either with agar or with gelatin. In both cases the idea is that you make a gel which traps the particles but allows most of the liquid to escape.

With agar Dave Arnold demonstrates in the post linked above that you can make a gel with 0.2% agar, whisk, and then strain through a cheesecloth. This relies on syneresis.

With gelatin the standard approach is to make a solution too weak to gel directly (about 0.5%), freeze, and then defrost slowly in a container with holes in the bottom.

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