How to Make Coconut Water Kefir

How to Make Coconut Water Kefir

It’s no secret that one of my family’s favorite drinks is coconut water kefir. I started making it when my daughter was two years old and I found out she wasn’t tolerating dairy. Prior to that, she drank “milky” (milk kefir) like water! She’s come a long way and now tolerates cultured dairy, but she can’t give up her kefir water.

Coconut water kefir is a fantastic alternative to milk kefir for dairy-intolerant folks. It is loaded with minerals and assists in healing the digestive system and the liver. All in all, it’s a wonderful way to build up the immune system.

There are two ways to make coconut water kefir: 1) with a starter culture like Body Ecology or 2) with water kefir grains. If you are immune compromised, I highly recommend starting your water kefir journey with a starter culture and then moving to grains once you get stronger. Check out Young Coconut Kefir and Young Coconut Kefir 2.0 for recipes using a starter culture.

If you are generally healthy or are budget conscious, making water kefir with grains is the way to go.

How to Make Coconut Water Kefir // This House of Joy


Supplies Needed:

  • 8 cups coconut water
    • Budget conscious option #1: water from 2 young coconuts + 1 L tetra pack of coconut water
    • Budget conscious option #2: 1-12 oz bottle of raw coconut water (Harmless Harvest or Exotic Superfoods) + 1 L tetra pack of coconut water
    • Budget conscious option #3: Buy a case of coconuts from your local Asian market. My neighbors buy an entire case for $9.99!
    • Best quality: 8 cups Harmless Harvest or Exotic Superfoods raw coconut water

*I don’t recommend using all boxed coconut water because you will be missing out on all of the valuable enzymes found in raw coconut water. Make sure at least 20% of your batch is raw.


  • If you are using fresh coconuts, try to have them opened in the store to save yourself time. Our local Whole Foods does this no


  • You can use all fresh coconut or a combination of fresh and boxed coconut water. When I was really sick, I used all Harmless Harvest or Exotic Superfoods coconut water because it’s the best quality and bottled super fresh. Now, I use two fresh coconuts and then make up the difference with a 1-L bottle of boxed coconut water because it’s more budget-friendly.
  • Save the meat from your fresh coconuts to make yogurt!


Add 8 cups of coconut water to your 1/2 gallon jar. When using fresh coconuts, always pour the water out of each coconut into a glass measuring cup before adding it into the fermentation jar to make sure it’s not pink. If it’s pink, it’s not safe for fermenting. Return it if you can!

Young Coconut Kefir // This House of JoyYoung Coconut Kefir // This House of JoyYoung Coconut Kefir // This House of Joy

Add 6 TBSP water kefir grains to the jar and cover it with a dishtowel. Secure the dishtowel with a rubber band and let it sit at room temperature for up to 48 hours. Taste test it every 12 hours, because the fermentation time will depend on the temperature of your kitchen.

Young Coconut Kefir // This House of Joy

When it’s done, it will turn from clear to cloudy and be slightly effervescent.
At this point, you need to strain out the grains. Place your wide mouth funnel on top of a clean 1/2 gallon mason jar and set your fine mesh strainer on top of the funnel. Pour the finished kefir through the strainer to catch the grains. Store the grains in the fridge in sugar water until you need them again. I only do one batch a week, so mine hang out in the fridge the rest of the time.

Update: I am no longer putting them in the fridge between uses. They were doing fine for a long time, but suddenly stopped growing. It seems they don’t like being put into cold storage too frequently. So, I have started making regular water kefir in between batches of coconut water kefir. I use the regular water kefir to make my husband kefir soda. He’s so happy I am making it again! I’ll post about that soon.

Young Coconut Kefir // This House of Joy

Secure your mason jar with a tight-fitting lid and transfer it to the refrigerator. It is delicious served with a squeeze of lemon juice or a drop of lemon essential oil.

Young Coconut Kefir // This House of Joy

*You can do a second ferment to flavor your kefir and add more carbonation, but my little one prefers hers plain, so I skip this step for now! No sense making extra work for myself. Delicious options for second ferments include fresh strawberries or strawberry puree, lemon juice & fresh ginger, dried fruits such as raisins or cherries, and pomegranate concentrate. I’ll have to share about second ferments in a future post!

Well, that’s it! Have you made coconut water kefir before? Do you prefer culture packets or grains? Let me know in the comments!


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This post was shared with Allergy-Free Wednesdays and Wellness Wednesday.

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About This House of Joy

Wife & Mommy. Real food advocate. Essential oil enthusiast. Chocoholic. Lyme warrior. All things work together for good.


  1. What a wonderful tutorial…I love your pictures! I’m going to try coconut water Kefir again. I tried it with store-bought coconut water and now I’m thinking that I need to try it with young coconuts. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. I wish I liked the taste of coconut water! I need to be making this for my kids. Thanks for the tutorial, I feel like I should give it another chance!

  3. A friend of mine gave me water kefir grains today… Do u think they would be too strong for us to handle right now, Sherry?

  4. Sherry! I just fell in love with your darling site! I was searching for coconut water kefir instructions and found you. I love drinking Harvest’s raw coconut water. I’m so grateful our Costco carries it! I will be making this soon! xoxo

    • I am going to have to break down and get a Costco membership!! Between coconut water and Kerrygold butter, I think I could save a lot of $$. And, thanks so much for the kind words :) We share the same obsession for coconuts!


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