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. Christine Avatar

    If bad bacteria supposedly feed on sugar, then isn’t using sugar to feed this bacteria denoting that it’s bad bacteria within the kefir grains? I’m so confused. A lot of health experts say, “bad bacteria thrive on sugar!” then why are we drinking probiotics that are using sugar to fuel said bacteria? Any clarification would be so helpful.

  2. Katie Avatar

    Hi, I’d like to make add ginger. When should I add it? Does the second fermentation take place in the bottles or the initial jar?

  3. Liz Avatar

    I have been making regular water kefir the last few weeks with no problem. It’s been coming out perfectly. I tried this recipe, and it came out with a white film on top, and a yeasty smell, so I threw out the batch of coconut water kefir. I brewed for 48 hours, and only put one teaspoon of sugar in each jar, because I have a food sensitivity to cane sugar (I know the grains eat most of the sugar, but I wanted to use as little as possible). I missed the part that said to only brew for 24 hours if you omit the sugar. Do I need to throw out my grains and get new ones? I don’t know if it was just yeast or mold? I found this information on another site “If mold does develop, immediately toss the entire batch, including the water kefir grains. Do not try to salvage a moldy batch, even if you do not see mold on the water kefir grains themselves. Doing so may be dangerous to your health. Obtain a new set of water kefir grains, clean the jar thoroughly, and try again another day.” Thanks!

  4. Natasha Avatar

    Hi, This sounds delicious. I was wondering how long would it last?

  5. Connie Avatar

    Did a little more research and the white film is kahm yeast, Is it drinkable or do I throw it away. Still not sure after all of the reading. I think it is okay, just skim as much as I can.
    Would like some confirmation on this.

    1. Layla Avatar

      I personally do not like too much yeast or white film on top. When that happens, I rinse my grains and make sure the cups you’re using to ferment are as clean as possible, and ferment for less time like 12 hours instead of 24

  6. Connie Avatar

    Just a question, why is there white, which looks like mold, on the top of my coconut kefir that has only been sitting out for 36 hours????

  7. Cosette Avatar

    5 stars
    Could you also make water kefir from Aloe Vera Juice?

    Also, I’m sorry for the zero stars on my previously made comments. I did not see the stars there before. Any post of yours that I have read thus far (many) is amazing. Keep up the good work, your are an inspiring force.

  8. Mike Avatar

    Anyone tried this using Inner Eco Probiotic Coconut Water (Kefir)? Not sure where to get kefir grains…

  9. Naomi Avatar

    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

  10. Jaimeanne Avatar

    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?

  11. danylle Avatar

    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!

  12. Judy Avatar

    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.

    1. Annemrie Robinson Avatar
      Annemrie Robinson

      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

      1. Jenn Avatar

        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?

  13. Tanzie Avatar

    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?

  14. maria B Avatar

    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!

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