tempered-kokum-butter

 

 

 

Tempering kokum butter

Nov 24, 2023 | The basics

I have to say that I have had bad luck with butters lately. I had at least three different butters from the suppliers and this makes it hard to formulate. One of them is kokum butter and today I want to show you how you can temper it.

TEMPERING kokum butter

1. INITIAL KOKUM BUTTER APPEARANCE

So, first of all – how to know if your butter needs tempering? It is quite simple answer – look carefully at the butter, at is appearance, try to squeeze it between the fingers (if possible). If it is not uniform and you can see or feel small/big grains, you definitely have a grainy butter.

There is nothing wrong with the butter itself, it is not mold or anything else. It is just a nature of ingredient itself. Due to differences in temperature the butter may melt and then solidify at slow rate which then creates these grains.

The grains are just some fatty acids clumped together and using grainy butter in formulations will probably lead to a grainy product. Especially if the product is anhydrous.

kokum-butter-2

2. WHY TO TEMPER BUTTERS?

I have made several formulations with grainy butters such as balms or lotions and I can tell that even when heating for longer periods of time (20-30 minutes) and ensuring proper cooling techniques these formulations still went grainy. And it is such a hassle each time to formulate with a grainy butter.

So, the best solution is to temper the butter yourself (get rid of the grains and make the butter uniform) and keep it in low temperature (fridge is enough). 

kokum-butter-1

3. TEMPERING KOKUM BUTTER

I had a 100g batch of kokum butter which had huuuge grains visible to the naked eye. It definitely needed tempering. This time I have also used a cold water bath for the cooling phase, though I placed the molten butter for 2 seconds in a cold water bath and got it out. I have repeated this until the temperature dropped to 30°C/86°F. However, the end result is not that smooth because of this step.

I don’t recommend keeping the hot butter in a cold water bath for longer as it results in grainy butter once again. Just the grains this time would be very small.

A cold water bath helps to cool the molten butter faster, however as only the sides of the beaker get in touch with cold water it creates too big of a difference in temperatures in those areas. And the small clusters start to form (you cannot see it with the naked eye at this point).

kokum-butter-on-fingers

Procedure:

  1. .Place all the butter in a beaker.
  2. Heat it in a water bath for 30 minutes at 80°C/176°F after all the butter has melted. The high temperature is needed to erase crystal memory.
  3. Mix the molten butter during heating
  4. After 30 minutes get the beaker out of the water bath and stir all the time when cooling.
  5. Pour the butter into designated container and put it into the fridge/freezer to cool it quickly.  Leave it there for at least 1 hour (depends on your batch size).
  6. Get the container out of the fridge/freezer and leave it to reach the room temperature.
  7. Store the tempered butter in a fridge for future formulations.
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kokum-butteer-in-a-spoon
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4. SOME TIPS FOR TEMPERING

A lot of factors come into play if you have bigger batches of butter to temper. I have only used 50g, 100g and 300g of butters for tempering.

1. The heating for 30 minutes starts when all your butter has been melted. Do not start counting 30 minutes when you just have started heating.
2. Measure the temperature of the melted butter. Please use a thermometer that goes straight into the butter as this will be much more accurate. And do not overheat – keep the temperature at 80°C/176°F.
3. Stir the butter while heating.
4. The cooling down phase is very important. Mix all the time while cooling down. Try to reach every side of the beaker, not just stir in the center.
5. The cooling down time depends on the batch size. If you have a small batch, then it will cool faster, if you have a bigger batch, then it will need more time to cool down. 
6. The actual temperature of when to pour the butter may differ, but 30°C/86°F is a good starting point to experiment.

If you are interested of how I tempered my shea butter, read this blog post:
– how to temper a butter?

5. TEMPERED KOKUM BUTTER

The tempered kokum butter looks much better that the initial one but because I added a cold water bath it does appear a bit grainy. Though it does not feel like It. The butter can be rubbed between the fingers easily and it melts after several seconds.

I know that kokum butter is said to be a brittle butter, but the one that I have looks more like shea butter – so soft that you can actually smoothen it out. And the photo below shows how easily it is smooshed back into container.

Pracaxi-oil

6 Comments

  1. Sophia

    Hi there,
    Thank you for this article. I am curious before I start this experiment, is this process is to make the kokum butter harder and solid?
    Also, in the cooling stage, do I need to place the beaker in the ice bath, or just doing it at the room temperature until the butter cool down to 86 degree F?

    Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    • Vaida

      Hi Sophia,

      you should only do this when your kokum butter (or any butter) is filled with grains – small or large ones. Tempering may get your butter harder, but it will be solid either way , even when you don’t temper it. If your butter is nice and smooth, it does not need tempering. Just use it in your formulations as it is 🙂

      When you are cooling, just do it in the room temperature without ice bath. You will get better results 🙂

      Reply
      • sophia

        Thank you Vaida!

        I did tempered the kokum butter followed your article. Unfortunately it doesn’t stay rock solid in room temperature. When I squish it in between my 2 fingers, it started melting.
        Do you know what I can do to create rock solid kokum butter in room temperature?

        Thank you in advance.

        Reply
        • Vaida

          Hi Sophia,

          what is your room temperature? Also, may I ask why do you need it rock solid? According to this paper, you can try to cool it even faster, but I am not sure how to do that. Maybe in an open refrigerator? Another way is to leave your tempered kokum butter in fridge for a week and see if it became more solid.

          Let me know if anything has worked for you 🙂

          Reply
  2. Sophia

    Hi Vaida,

    Thank you! I will keep trying different method.

    Reply
    • Vaida

      Hi Sophia,

      how is it going with getting harder kokum butter? Also, I forgot to mention this before, but you can also try to get kokum butter from a different supplier. If they have this information, look for the one that has higher amounts of saturated fatty acids such as stearic, palmitic fatty acids. This could help a lot as I have super hard mango butter which should be a soft butter, something like shea. So, trying different suppliers may be your next move for getting hard kokum butter.

      Reply

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