Coconut Water Kefir Recipe

How to make probiotic rich water kefir with cocnout waterWater kefir is the easiest way that I’ve found to make sure that my children get enough probiotics.  It is a naturally fizzy and mildly sweet drink that is created when the grains (not actual grains but a symbiotic colony of yeast and bacteria) interact with the natural sugars in the water to create probiotics and enzymes.

The finished water kefir can be flavored in a secondary ferment with juice, ginger root, fruit or other natural substances and this step creates natural carbonation (and a texture very similar to soda).

Water kefir can also be brewed with coconut water which is naturally high in electrolytes, enzymes and nutrients. This is brewed exactly like water kefir, though the sugar can be reduced to 25% because coconut water is naturally sweet.

My friend Hannah of Kombucha Kamp shares her favorite coconut water kefir recipe and answers some frequently asked questions… Enter Hannah:

5.0 from 4 reviews
Coconut Water Kefir Recipe
 
Delicious water kefir made with coconut water for additional electrolytes and nutrients.
Author:
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Add ¼ cup of sugar to the jar, if using.
  2. Add coconut water to the jar.
  3. Stir thoroughly to dissolve the sugar.
  4. Add ¼ cup of kefir grains to the sweetened coconut water.
  5. Cover with a plastic lid, cloth cover or Fermentation Cap.
  6. Let sit for 24-48 hours - no longer than 72 hours or the grains will begin to disintegrate.
  7. Coconut water kefir is like tangy coconut water. If the sugar is omitted, taste it after 24 hours. If using the ¼ cup of sugar, allow for 48 hours.Once the grains are removed, you may add flavors for a second fermentation or drink straight.
  8. Repeat & enjoy!
Notes
White sugar and organic evaporated cane juice crystals are the best choices with the coconut water.

Coconut Water Kefir FAQs:

Is this different than regular water kefir?

Coconut water kefir is a simple adaptation of water kefir – instead of water, we use coconut water along with a reduced amount of sugar to make a bubbly, hydrating, digestion boosting beverage. Some prefer to omit all of the sugar, and those drinking coconut water kefir for a candida cleanse should leave it out, but we recommend using 25% sugar for the best flavor.

Can you still flavor it?

Yes! Coconut water kefir has a delicious natural tang that many people enjoy on its own. Of course, any number of fruits, herbs and spices may also be added for additional benefit and to create unique flavors. Try a little lemon and ginger or maybe a few cut up strawberries to start, then let your imagination run wild from there!

Does fermentation affect the nutrients in the coconut water?

Coconut water is incredibly nutritious – here is a short list of some of what it provides:electrolytes – replenish the body

  • cytokinins – phytohormones that promote healthy cell functioning (anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic)
  • amino acids – building blocks
  • enzymes – help with digestion and metabolism
  • mineral rich – calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium and zinc
  • B-vitamins – essential and in a living form

Fermentation applies healthy bacteria and yeast to the substrate (in this case coconut water) and acts like the first step in the digestion process by breaking down all of these elements into an easier to absorb form making them bioavailable. Nutrition in a living form often takes a different shape (chemical structure) than its chemicalized form (found in supplements, added to food, or in pill form). So when the body receives nutrition in the shape that it has evolved to recognize, uptake of that nutrition happens seamlessly. Chemicalized nutrition may not have the exact same chemical structure which means it may have to be used differently or it may not be absorbed at all depending on how the body “interprets” the shape. (This is also one of the reasons why consuming GMO’s is also so harmful; the body doesn’t recognize the GMO and creates an autoimmune response to it thinking its an invader – which of course, it is.)

Fermentation is the ultimate enhancer. It makes nutrition easier to absorb thus aiding the body in repair and maintenance at all levels.

Do you have to use pure coconut water since it is more expensive?

Coconut water kefir may seem like a luxury due to the high cost or limited availability of coconuts in any particular region. For those who need the additional nutrition, it can be well worth the expense and far less costly than other supplements or pharmaceutical treatments. Coconut water also comes in many different forms including frozen, in tetrapaks or fresh. We have taste tested and found that fresh coconut water tastes best fresh and frozen or tetrapak coconut water tastes better as kefir.

Those wanting the benefit on a budget may dilute coconut water by half to stretch it longer. If that is the case, then use 50% of the sugar called for in the recipe. The good thing is that the kefir grains, once they get going, will continue to perpetuate themselves indefinitely.

IMPORTANT TIP – Resting the grains

Coconut water kefir, while delicious, does not provide the appropriate environment for kefir grains to reproduce. In order to keep the grains going, we recommend resting them every few batches in sugar water. If you notice that the grains are receding or change shape (less crystalline), that is a sign that they need to be rested.

Do you drink water Kefir? What’s your favorite flavor?

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Reader Comments

  1. Is the sugar necessary? White sugar is highly refined and not good for the body in many articles I have read. Organic does eliminate GMOs, but it is still processed.

    Thanks so much.

  2. Does coconut sugar or maple work with these or does it need to be a white sugar?

    • NOOOOOO! Coconut sugar makes the water end up smelling like vomit!

  3. Hi katty, what exactly water kefir taste. I am making my own, but I am not sure if I making right. I did a second fermentation, but it is not carbonated.

    • I’m having the same problem. No carbonation.

    • When second fermenting, you have to make the environment anaerobic so you need an oxygen proof jar

  4. I have been wanting to try this for so long. The only issue I have is the sugar. I want to make it without it. Is there any further info on not using it? She said to taste after 24hrs. We love coconut water and my kids want to make coconut soda, they do not like regular soda. Thank you for all your help :).

    • The sugar is needed for the formation of the probiotics and enzymes but is mostly fermented out

      • I have a question kind of unrelated, will adding DE to any probiotic drink alter health benefits or kill the bacteria?

      • For the second fermentation how long do I let the fruit stay in the coconut kefir water?

  5. Can I get the Coconut Water Kefir at a health food store locally? Is it safe for little ones?

    • I have not seen it in stores, but you could look for it near you. And I let my kids drink mine… they really enjoy it!

    • Yes you can buy coconut water kefir at whole foods or other organic a groceries. The brand is called KeVita, they have many awesome flavor a but mine is the coconut & lemon ginger

      • It’s a bummer they have other additives in there. I almost bought one today but wasn’t fond of the added ingredients like “natural coconut flavor” and stevia. I wish they would make a plain one and we could add our own flavoring. I’m just going to have to make my own 🙂

      • Kevita is not made with coconut water.

  6. I’d love to try this, but I have a few questions. In step #7 of the recipe, it states, “If using the ¼ cup of sugar.” Something seems missing here. There is an “if” statement, but no “then” statement. The next sentence states, “If you prefer a tangier brew, the water kefir may be 2F to yield a deeper flavor.” I don’t understand what “2F” means. Finally, the directions say, “Once the grains are removed…,” but it doesn’t say how to remove them. What do you do with the grains? How do you keep the? What is meant by “resting” the grains? To add flavors, do you add whole fruit, juice, or something else? And, what is a second fermentation? Do you just recover the jar and let it sit for another 24-48 hours? Would this be without the WT grains this second time? Does it sit at room temp or refrigerated? I guess that’s more than a few questions….sorry. Thanks for any clarification you can provide.

    • you don’t need a then after an if statement. if the sugar is omitted, taste it after 24 hours. you don’t need the then before taste. it’s implied.
      “1. Add 1?4 cup of sugar to the jar, if using.” Just reverse this in your head: If using the 1/4 cup of sugar, then add it to the jar. It just means you don’t necessarily have to add the sugar if you don’t want to.

      7. you remove the grains in step 7. after they are removed you can add flavours and do a second ferment.

  7. How many probiotics would you say is in this recipe?

  8. How do you do a second fermentation? Thanks!

  9. Hi Katie,

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! In step 7 you state:

    “Coconut water kefir is like tangy coconut water. If the sugar is omitted, taste it after 24 hours. If using the ¼ cup of sugar. If you prefer a tangier brew, the water kefir may be 2F to yield a deeper flavor. Once the grains are removed, you may add flavors for a second fermentation or drink straight”.

    What do you mean by ” the water kefir may be 2F to yield a deeper flavor”? Would you please clarify this?

    Thank you!

  10. How long does the kefir keep in the refrigerator once the fermentation is done?

    • I’ve never tested it past a couple weeks, as my family drinks it too quickly!

  11. Hi Katie
    My husband suffers from lymphoma which is in remission. Sugar I understand feeds cancer, so would water kefir be suitable if it’s fermented in sugar?

  12. Hi Katie! Thanks so much for all of the great info you share. I am having a hard time understanding the recipe and the sugar. It says 1/4 cup, so when you say use 25% sugar, do you mean use 25% of the quarter cup? Also, there is an incomplete sentence in step 7 of the recipe. I have been wanting to try this and I have water kefir grains sitting in my fridge just waiting to be activated. I don’t think there is a whole quarter cup, though. Do these keep multiplying like dairy kefir grains? Thanks in advance for your help!

  13. I tried making coconut water kefir once. I didn’t add any additional sugar, just used the coconut water and let it ferment for 48 hours. The mixture got SUPER slimy, I had to rinse the grains really well a couple times. The mixture smelled pretty yeasty and not that great, so we dumped it. I’ve been too scared to try it again, even though I know other people have had success with it!

  14. Hi there,

    As several people have commented before me, Step 7 is very unclear. There is an incomplete sentence “If using the ¼ cup of sugar.” Also, in “If you prefer a tangier brew, the water kefir may be 2F to yield a deeper flavor,” what is “2F”?

  15. How often should an adult drink this per week? Children?

    Would you say this probiotic drink is just as powerful to the body as kombucha?

    Thanks.

  16. What size jar do we mix this all together in?

  17. Looks perfect! I would definitely going to give these a shot.

    Bookmarked.

  18. I’m new to your wealth of information and so far love what I have tried. In regards to the organic coconut water kefir do I have to use white sugar or can I use stevia? I read somewhere that the fermenting process needs the sugar but once it’s done fermenting is the sugar still there or ??? Confused……thanks for your help with this issue.

    • You do need the sugar to feed the beneficial bacteria but almost all of it ferments out.

  19. You posted that the recipe was updated, but it still has the problems in #1 & 7. Also how to you takes the grains out or do you just leave them in the jar and pour out the finished product into a separate container? I understand the resting periods that it needs sometimes. Thank you in advance Katie.

  20. Can I make kefir by adding a starter such fermented coconut inner-eco to an herbal tea (with sugar)? I usually to this with juice and use a second fermentation but has anyone ever done it with herbal tea?

    • I wondered if you could make more by using the inner eco as well. What proportions do you use?

  21. Hi, I read that water kefir thrives in an acidic environment? Is this true? If so, coconut water is alkaline. Would it help to add an acid during the first ferment or the second ferment? I am developing a kahm yeast on top of my brew and I am trying to figure it out! I do rest the grains in sugar water between coconut water brews and I only add a tiny bit or coconut suger while brewing so it is quite tangy and sour. Almost salty! I want to add something during 2F to give it a better flavor. Any ideas? thanks!

  22. Is this safe for pregnant and nursing women to make and drink? How often?

  23. What kind of container is best make the coconut water kefir in?

  24. Hi
    If you don’t use the sugar and need to allow the grains to rest/multiply in sugar water every few days, what are the measurements for the water/sugar mix and how long do they need to rest in order to multiply?
    Thanks

  25. I buy my coconut water from Costco, 100% pure, and have been making my kefir with it for a few years.The difference is I use milk kefir grains to make it…works a treat. I only add about 1/8th teaspoon of sugar to 300mls of coconut water, just enough to feed the grains.

    • Judy, your comment is what I been looking for 🙂 I was wondering if one can use the Costco coconut water. To make sure I understand this correctly, you use MILK KEFIR instead of WATER KEFIR grains and it works out great. Also you add about 1/8 teaspoon of sugar to every 300 mls of the Costco coconut water. The rest of process is just like making water kefir. Do you have to refresh your grains every so often in sugar water to keep them going or do they stay strong and grow with just the coconut water with the little sugar added. Thanks

      • I have some milk kefir grains that I want to make Kefir with coconut water because I’m going off dairy for a bit. Did you find any more info to your question?

  26. can you use coconut water with jelly if so do you still use the sugar

  27. I love coconut water. It helps to hydrate after my morning jogging. I used this one for the recipe: http://amzn.to/1nAbF8r

  28. Can one use canned coconut water for making the kefir water? Thanks

  29. will the coconut kefir water maintain its benefits if i freeze it? i was wanting to freeze it into ice cubes to put into breakfast smoothies – but i wasn’t sure if that would kill the benefits. thanks so much!

    • I have tried it and like the protein one best!

  30. So just to clarify is fresh coconut water best left as is (i.e. don’t use this to make water kefir?) and frozen and tetra packs are the ones best to use for making kefir?

    Also I’ve made my first batch using fresh coconut water and sugar, it became highly carbonated very quickly and smelled like beer brewing. I’ve wondered from my previous batches which were made using tetra packs about the alcohol content of them (they taste like alcoholic tangy coconut water). Could they have gone too far? Are they safe to drink whilst pregnant?

  31. Today I made a mistake and I added the fruit and juice to the first ferment, with the coconut water and kefir grains. Will it work or do I need to throw it out and start over? Please respond soon. Thanks. Naomi