Coconut Water Kefir Recipe

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How to make probiotic rich water kefir with cocnout water
Wellness Mama » Blog » Health » Coconut Water Kefir Recipe

Water 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 similarity 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:

How to make probiotic rich water kefir with cocnout water

Coconut Water Kefir Recipe

Delicious water kefir made with coconut water for additional electrolytes and nutrients.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 1 day 5 minutes
Calories 48kcal
Author Katie Wells


4 cups



  • Add the sugar to a half gallon glass jar, if using.
  • Add the coconut water to the jar.
  • Stir thoroughly to dissolve the sugar.
  • Add the hydrated kefir grains to the sweetened coconut water.
  • Cover the jar with a plastic lid, cloth cover secured with a rubber band, or fermentation cap.
  • Let sit in a warm place (70-78°F) for 24-48 hours to ferment. 
  • If the sugar is omitted, taste it after 24 hours. If using the sugar, allow for 48 hours. It should taste like tangy coconut water.
  • Strain out the kefir grains with a cheesecloth or non-metal strainer. The grains can be used to immediately start another batch of water or coconut water kefir.
  • Once the grains are removed, you may add flavors for a second fermentation or drink plain. See notes for a link to flavor options and instructions for a second ferment.
  • Store the finished product in the refrigerator and enjoy chilled!


Nutrition Facts
Coconut Water Kefir Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 48
% Daily Value*
Sodium 48mg2%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


White sugar and organic evaporated cane juice crystals are the best choices with the coconut water.
You can use frozen coconut water or coconut water from tetrapaks (cartons). 
Check out this post for details about flavoring water kefir in a second ferment

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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?

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


76 responses to “Coconut Water Kefir Recipe”

  1. Kathleen Avatar

    Would you add ginger or another flavoring at the beginning, or after 24 hrs.?
    I started some yesterday, without ginger, and it has tiny bubbles this morning.
    Thank you.

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      Once the grains are removed, you may add flavors for a second fermentation or drink plain. See notes for a link to flavor options and instructions for a second ferment.

  2. Norm Avatar

    4 stars
    I gave you 4 stars because you mentioned ‘Sugar’.
    Add some natural, organic and unsweetened coconut milk, instead and you got 5 stars 😉

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      Coconut milk may negatively effect the fermentation process. Sugar however is necessary for the microbes to feed on and after fermentation little to none remains in the water kefir. Longer ferments use up more of the sugar, which is why they taste tangy when done. For example, in yogurt making the yogurt cultures feed on the naturally occuring lactose sugars in the milk in order to ferment and turn it into yogurt. Coconut water has naturally occuring sugars to feed the kefir cultures but added sugars help to create more probiotics and needs a longer ferment time to process out the sugar.

  3. Lindsay Avatar

    Hi, someone gave me “coconut water kefir grains.” Can I use them with regular water to make kefir water? Or are they only effective with coconut water?

  4. Roy Data Avatar
    Roy Data

    If we have a first ferment with normal water, can coconut water be successful used with the second ferment?

  5. Zelda Avatar

    Hi Katie A weird thing happened to my kefir
    I followed you friend Hannah s Coconut Water kefir
    Exactly. I used a 1/4 cup of sugar on Sunday. This is what I did
    Strained my kefir grains at about 11 o clock on Sunday 9 th May then followed Hannah a recipe using coconut water. I let it rest from Sunday until now Tues 11th at 2.30. Not even 48 hrs later.
    My kefir water turned into Slime. I could not even strain the kefir grains from it through a muslin cloth or dig. It looks like most of the kefir grains are dissolved or dissolving????
    I ve never seen this happen before. I have made coconut water kefir before.
    I’m blown away!!
    Can you tell me what the reason for this???

  6. Agata Avatar

    Hello there,
    I am very excited for my first bubbly coconut water kefir. I only have one questions in relation to this part:
    “we recommend resting them every few batches in sugar water.”
    When I rest my grains in sugar water, do I rest them in an air tight jar and do I keep the jar in the fridge or room temperature?
    Thank you

  7. Donna Avatar

    Hi Katie
    I purchased some grains from local health shop, refrigerated. I am concerned as there is yeastlike looking grains in top. Smells fermented. Is this normal? I’m worried about mould but it doesn’t look like mould it looks like yeast?? Can you advise. Should I scoop them off and use the liquid? I’m struggling to find information on this problem.
    Many thanks

  8. Terri Avatar

    I’m a bit confused. In your article you state I can lower the amount of added sugar 25% IF I use coconut water. But in the ingredients, you show with coconut water, I can choose to eliminate all the added sugars. Please clarify. Thank you.

  9. Heather Avatar

    I made an unfortunate mistake while following your directions. I read the cap instructions & interpreted them to mean my glass bottle’s cap could be used to seal the jar. This worked just fine for my newly rehydrated grains first batch but on the second round the more active grains blew the bottle to pieces all over my kitchen. There was glass embedded in cupboards across the kitchen & a dent in my stove to name just a few things!! God kept myself & 3 kids out of the kitchen during the terrifying blast. It would have definitely caused some serious injuries if we had been in the room during it. Soooo if you could, please help others learn from my mistake & put a warning near the cap instructions that the fermentation process does create pressure & if not released can become a serious safety issue. I feel so dumb for not knowing this, but i guess a combo of mom brain & inexperience with fermenting led to this. Thanks for all you do!

  10. Kacey Avatar

    I would love to recreate one of my favorite coconut water kefir drinks. But it has stevia and Apple cider vinegar. Could I add these to this recipe, and if so, when and how?

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