How To Make Fizzy Coconut Water Kefir

Water kefir (“keh-fear”) grains — also called sugar kefir, tibicos, tibi, Japanese water crystals — are similar to kefir grains, which are used in milk to make a fermented dairy drink.

Water kefir grains tend to be translucent, whereas milk kefir grains will be whiter, looking a little bit like cauliflower. Because water kefir grains tend to be used in a variety of liquids, they will sometimes appear different colours, depending on the colour of the liquid.  So in this video I use dark molasses and coconut sugar, which turns them brown.  If you use white sugar, which I don’t like to, because it’s been refined, they’ll turn white.

No two batches of water kefir drink or grains are exactly the same in their bacterial makeup. This also means that you may find some variance in taste between two batches that you make, even with the same grains.

Like kefir grains, water kefir grains are a mix of bacteria and yeasts, which feed on the sugar in many different sugary liquids to produce lactic acid, very small amounts of ethanol, and carbon dioxide, which carbonates the drink on the second stage fermentation, as I show in this video.

The main benefit of this process is that probiotics are produced in the final drink. These are beneficial to the human intestines, creating an environment that aids digestion.

Water kefir grains cannot be grown from scratch; they have to come from a donor. The good news is that you only need a very small amount to start growing them from that first batch.

Here are the instructions for growing kefir grains. The grains need a high amount of sugar to feed on.

For making water kefir and growing more grains

  • 6 cups spring water
  • 1/4 cup water kefir grains
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
  • 1/8 teaspoon sodium bicarbonate
  1. Place all ingredients in a glass jar and cover with a breathable tight mesh material, such as a nut milk bag.
  2. Allow to stand at room temperature for up to 48 hours.
  3. Strain the liquid and reserve the grains.
  4. The resulting water can be drunk as is or added to smoothies for an extra boost of probiotics.
  5. You should notice an increase in the volume of the kefir grains that came out, compared to when you started.
  6. Repeat this process until you have enough grains to keep this process going and also make coconut kefir.

Young coconut water doesn’t have enough sugar to actually make the kefir grains grow very fast, but it does have enough sugar to make the coconut water ferment into kefir.

When you team up growing the grains with the next instructions on how to make the actual kefir, you should be able to provide your daily kefir requirements on a ongoing basis.

For coconut kefir

  • 1/4 cup kefir grains
  • 6 cups young coconut water
  1. Combine the water kefir grains and the coconut water in a jar.
  2. Allow to stand for up to 48 hours at room temperature. You can check every 12 hours to make sure the fermentation isn’t going too far. You’ll know if it’s strong enough by taste testing. (The longer you leave it, the more pungent and sour it gets.) After you’ve made a few batches, you’ll get a feel for how you prefer it. The more grains you have in the water, the less time it will need to develop. Warmer room temperature will also result in quicker fermentation.
  3. Strain the coconut water kefir from the kefir grains, reserving the grains for another batch or to grow more. Set the coconut water kefir aside for a second stage fermentation.


Second stage fermentation

  • Coconut kefir (instructions above)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup juice of your choice
  1. Combine the coconut kefir and juice in a bottle that has a tight-sealing lid.
  2. Leave to stand at room temperature for 48 hours. This will cause a second stage fermentation, where the kefir will break down the sugars in the juice and go fizzy.
  3. If your kefir is already quite fizzy or you just like the taste of the kefir with the juice without actually fermenting for that second stage, then you can simply add the juice and put it straight in the refrigerator, which will slow the fermentation down.


Things to look out for

  1. Rinse the grains after each brew, avoiding tap water as it may contain contaminants that harm the grains.
  2. You can store kefir grains in the fridge in sugar water for up to a week.  You can also freeze them for up to 6 months.  If you have too many grains, you can add them directly to a smoothie.
  3. The only metal that can touch your grains is stainless steel, as this is nonreactive.
  4. During fermentation, you’ll see the grains rising and sinking, as they produce gas when growing. This is a good sign.
  5. To get a fizzy second stage fermentation, you must use a tight-fitting lid on the bottle.
  6. The water and coconut kefir will keep for several months in the fridge.
  7. If your grains aren’t reproducing, it’s because you’re not using enough sugar in the mixture. Use the recipe for growing the grains, in those amounts, to revive and get your grains going again.
  8. After freezing the grains, it will take several harvests to get the grains reproducing fully again.
  9. You can buy grains from eBay in most countries.  Just search for ‘water kefir grains’.



Click Here to Download the Recipe PDF

Just click here and enter your name & email

Want to know when we publish a new recipe?

Enter your name and email to get an email every time we publish a new recipes.

...PLUS, I'll send you my 10 Most Popular Recipes as an eBook, totally free.


  1. Fel Cassieli

    Hello Russell,
    thank you so much for sharing your video.I was wondering if I can make bigger amount of the coconut kefir from the same amount of kefir grains.Or do I need to add sugar if I use more coconut water ?
    Thank you so much!FEL

    • Russell

      Hey Fel, it depends on how much you want to add extra. Just a little is fine, but anything more I would add more sugar and potentially more grains.

  2. Marlon Balcarcel

    Hey russel, I’m a little confused, if i don’t want to use a juice in the second fermentation stage for coconut kefir, can I just add brown sugar? If so, how much brown sugar woukd you suggest I add?
    Thank you

    • Amy

      Absolutely. The kefir just needs a little more sugar at the second stage to continue fermenting and in order for it to go fizzy. I’d say start with a tbsp and see how it goes.

  3. coralie

    Hi Russell!
    About making coconut water kefir ; I was wondering if is it possible to make a new coconut kefir from a previous brewed one, without the grains? ( mixing 50/50 coconut water + water kefir ) Do you think it will work?
    Thanks in advance for your help/advice!!

      • coralie

        Oh, alright! I thought it would grow as a kombucha scoby do. I tried 2 days and it got foggy, but taste good. I’ll see how it goes.Thanks!!

  4. John Marris

    It is pure coconut water that is flavored with only natural fruit and coconut. The smoothie, consisting of coconut water, mango, and orange juice, has a sweet and light flavor.It is nutrition with originality.

  5. LiftedWolf

    You shouldn’t drink the first soak water. Also, kefir must be anaerobically prepared. Need a proper glass jar with a bubbler/burper on the lid.

    • Russell

      Hey, LiftedWolf. Can you clarify what you mean by ‘the first soak water’?

      Also, I’ve never had an issue doing it without lid as you described.

  6. Clare Godfrey

    Hi Russell
    I have bought some frozen Kefir grains that resemble talcum powder “dust” and set it away in filtered H2O, coconut sugar, molasses and sodium bicarbonate. I am now on my fourth change of sugary water (over a week of growing) and everything is bubbling nicely…… But no grains evident when straining fluid……. How long does it take the grains to become visible to the human eye!!
    Many thanks

  7. Vienna Tan

    Hi Russell. I have several questions to ask. First, can i use a stainless pot and a glass jar as vessels in fermenting coconut water kefir? Should I wash the kefir grains after fermentation? Then if I store the kefir grains in sugar water, should I rinse the grains again before reusing them? Thanks a lot for the informations you’ve shared!

    • Russell

      If you use metal is does need to be stainless, as any reactive metal will harm the grains.

      I’ve seen people say you do need to wash and some say not. I’ve done both and it’s still inconclusive. At the moment, I am tending to give them a quick rinse in filtered water.

  8. Meg McManus

    Hello Russell
    Thank you for your great site!! I was just wondering if it’s possible to ‘kill’ your grains and if so how would you know if you have? I went away for a few weeks and forgot to store them in freezer. They were on their first ferment.
    Thank you!

    • Russell

      It is possible. They usually just turn to mush and then a fine dust-like texture. It’s pretty obvious when they’re dead 🙂

  9. Tenna Anette

    Hi Russel,

    Thank you so much for sharing. Can you please let me know how long the water kefir last with added juice (I added grapefruit juice to 2nd stage)
    Love your work.

  10. Amy Nossum

    Hi Russell,
    (had to correct a few errors on my first question- submission)
    Just ran across your site, it’s absolutely informative! I’ve got my first batch of Coconut Kefir brewing, awaiting 2nd stage. My question is, I want to make Kombucha (any flavor is fine)…. how would I give that a go? I don’t have a SCOBY but read online how to make one from initially purchasing a plain bottle of Kombucha, but I can’t find unflavored Kombucha locally. Would you think I could make it from a flavored one to get me started? Is it possible to make Kombucha another way? I’m a big fan of probiotics, and have noticed quite the improvement in my health & my son’s. Thank you!

    • Russell

      Hey Amy, we cover all that good stuff in our Fermentation course. You do need a SCOBY. I have heard people using a previous batch of kombucha, but that’s only because you can sometimes get a strand of SCOBY in there. It’s easy enough to get a SCOBY online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to incorporate raw food into
everyday living?

Check out my online Raw Food Academy Courses below

Weekday Raw

Raw Chef at Home

Raw Desserts at Home

Raw Chocolate

Raw Fermentation

Raw Food Styling