The health benefits and refreshing flavor of kombucha have made it a popular choice among wellness enthusiasts. But one question that often arises is how long is kombucha good after opening?
This article will delve into the specifics of kombucha’s longevity after being opened, providing insights on how to store it properly to maintain its flavor and potency.
So let’s get started and unravel the mystery surrounding this fermented tea’s shelf life!
How Long Is Kombucha Good After Opening a Bottle?
Once you’ve cracked open a bottle of kombucha, it typically stays fresh for about one week, provided it’s well-refrigerated and sealed. Keeping it in a cool environment and ensuring the lid is tightly closed helps maintain its effervescence and health benefits.
This is assuming that you’re purchasing a store-bought kombucha, as homemade batches of this fermented tea can last for several weeks at the right temperature and with proper storage.
Even though it’s generally safe to consume kombucha after a week, the flavor and beneficial properties may not be as potent as when you first opened it. As time passes, more of the compounds found in kombucha will start to break down, including probiotics, enzymes, and antioxidants.
I have personally consumed my store-bought kombucha up to 2 to 3 weeks after opening it. I would say around 7 days, opened kombucha in the fridge will lose its carbonation.
Since I brew my own kombucha and am familiar with signs of spoilage, I’m not overly concerned about consuming it after 2 weeks.
Choose for yourself if you think it’s ok to consume kombucha after that point based on your experience and your overall tolerance for the beverage.
And if you don’t want to overthink it, stick to the rule of thumb: Keep kombucha in the fridge and drink it within a week of opening.
Tips for Storing Kombucha
To keep your kombucha as fresh as possible, follow these tops:
1. Keep Your Kombucha Refrigerated
Maintaining a cool temperature is essential for prolonging kombucha’s freshness. Place your kombucha bottle in the fridge right away after opening it.
2. Seal the Bottle Tightly
Ensure the lid of your kombucha bottle is tightly closed. This helps retain its effervescence and prevents potential contamination.
You’ll be able to enjoy your kombucha bubbles later on when you’re ready to drink it.
3. Check for Signs of Spoilage
Knowing the signs of bad kombucha, such as an off smell, is crucial. It’s always safe to discard if you’re unsure.
4. Opt for Dark Storage Places
Store your kombucha in a dark place to maintain its quality. Light can degrade the quality of your fermented tea. Kombucha is generally ok with light for a small amount of time, but try to get it in the fridge or at least a cool area in your home as soon as possible.
5. Don’t Freeze Your Kombucha
While it might seem like a good idea, don’t freeze kombucha. Freezing can kill the beneficial bacteria and yeasts, reducing its health benefits and overall shelf-life.
6. Poor Your Kombucha Into Another Glass
If you’re not planning on drinking all of your kombucha at once, don’t put your lips to that lid! Instead, pour a small amount into a glass. This helps to reduce contamination on the bottle, which can help your kombucha last after opening.
7. Opt for Store-Bought Kombucha
Homemade kombucha typically has a shorter shelf life compared to store-bought brands. So if you want to drink kombucha that is more shelf-stable, go ahead and purchase it instead of making kombucha at home.
If you do want to make your own kombucha, hooray! It’s a wonderful process that results in high-quality and affordable fermented tea.
But make sure to find a kombucha starter kit to avoid potential contamination issues if it’s your first time.
8. Buy Your Kombucha From a Reputable Source
When it comes to purchasing kombucha, be sure to buy from a reputable source. This helps ensure that you’re drinking the freshest and most flavorful product possible.
FAQs: How Long Is Kombucha Good After Opening it?
If you have a few lingering questions about kombucha’s shelf life, here are some answers:
How do you know if kombucha is still good?
You can determine if kombucha has gone bad by looking for signs of spoilage, such as mold cloudiness, or an off-putting smell. And when in doubt, throw it out!
How long does unopened kombucha usually last?
Room temperature kombucha will only last a day or two when unopened. And how long does kombucha last when it’s stored in the fridge?
The label will usually have an expiration date, but you can assume that your kombucha will stay fresh for 6 to 8 months if you can’t find a date on the label.
Can I drink expired kombucha?
Yes, if you have stored your kombucha properly in the fridge, and don’t notice any signs of spoilage, it should be safe to consume a week or two after expiration.
Can expired Kombucha make you sick?
Consuming old kombucha beyond its best-by date is generally safe, provided it’s been stored in the fridge and shows no signs of spoilage.
However, if the kombucha has been expired for a substantial period, it may develop a sour taste that might not be to everyone’s liking, as well as a higher alcohol content
Final Thoughts: How Long Is Kombucha Good After Opening?
As with most things Kombucha and fermentation-related, freshness is determined by how well it’s stored and its contact with oxygen.
It’s a living organism that’s best enjoyed fresh, so plan on drinking your kombucha within a week of opening.
But remember, if you have kombucha stored in the refrigerator that is a bit older, if it looks and smells ok, don’t hesitate to give it a try.
You may find that your kombucha is still flavorful and beneficial and get to enjoy the full bottle!
Want to Try Brewing Your Own Kombucha?
I’ve taken my love for kombucha to the next level by brewing it at home. The process is surprisingly simple and the results are delicious! Interested in giving it a go? This starter kit from Cultures For Health has been personally vetted and has everything you need.