Does sauerkraut go bad?

In this brief study, we will answer the question, “does sauerkraut go bad?”. We will also discuss the shelf life, and storage methods of sauerkraut.

Does sauerkraut go bad?

Yes, there is a limited shelf life for sauerkraut. However, it takes some time to go stale.   The veggies are preserved in a solution of sugar and vinegar. This solution is proven to prolong any product’s shelf life, even side dishes such as sauerkraut. It helps to make sauerkraut very stable. Bacterial growth is inhibited by the pickle solution. This implies that the item is not readily spoiled. The only true way sauerkraut can go wrong is if it is kept incorrectly.

How long does sauerkraut last? 

Depending on where you store it and whether it is pasteurized or unpasteurized, sauerkraut exhibits different shelf life

SauerkrautPasteurized, OpenUnpasteurized, OpenPasteurized, Unopened Unpasteurized, Unopened
PantryBest before date + 3 months
Fridge5 – 7 days4 – 6 monthsBest before date + 3 months

How can you tell whether it is bad?

These are some clear indications that sauerkraut is spoiled.


Sauerkraut gets blackened because it is exposed to oxygen or is kept just above saltwater. But you may still safely eat the remaining by carefully removing the darkened color part.

If you see greenish-blue spikes above it implies that your sauerkraut is moldy and therefore not safe to eat.


Another indication that your sauerkraut is spoiled is that its texture is unusual. Make sure to discard it quickly.


If you smell the sauerkraut, be sure it does not smell rotten and cause unpleasant smells. That is why it is time to discard the scent in the container if it is very different from what you anticipate.


If the flavor is undesirable, do not consume since the sauerkraut may have become mushy and some of its qualities have dropped.

Ways to Prevent the Mold

• Use clean machinery. 

Clean is not sterile. The key is to create a fermenting environment in which beneficial bacteria can compete rapidly with harmful bacteria. The sanitization of objects sometimes kills the bacteria required for the correct fermentation environment to be destroyed. Just wash your jars and appliances with mild dish soap and water. Rinse thoroughly.

• Fill Jar pack 75-80 percent.

Excessive air in your container may lead to mold and yeast development, although it might take some time for the bacteria to produce gases. These carbon dioxide gases push the oxygen from the container. Put more cabbage or transfer to a relatively small jar to prevent it.

• Colder fermentation at cooler temperatures. 

This is particularly essential in the first few hours of fermentation when lactic acid bacteria create the lactic acid that is required to maintain your sauerkraut. Search around for a cooler place or ferment in a colder season. It is ideal to achieve a range of temperatures of 65-70°F (18-21°C).

Tips to avoid powdery yeast

• Sufficient use of salt.

 It may be a great way to raise the quantity of salt in fermentation at higher than optimum temperatures. Use a tablespoon heap instead of a tablespoon or 2.5% if salt is weighed.

• Give your veggies easy access to sugar for lactic acid bacteria. 

A quick increase in acidity in your jar decreases your likelihood of holding Kahm’s yeast. The amounts of acid increase when bacteria digest sugars naturally present in your veggies.  By cutting the cabbage thinly, you make it simpler for the bacteria to get inside the sugars.

• Submerge and seal your ferment.

Because yeasts develop when air is present, make sure that your ferment is submerged under the salt and a cover in your fermentation jar is used. 

Other FAQs about Vegetables which you may be interested in.

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Tips to store sauerkraut

Sauerkraut may best be kept in the refrigerator. Cooling helps limit bacterial development and minimizes the danger of spoiling.

In hot, damp conditions the sauerkraut does not keep well, therefore you must store it at refrigerated temperature. With the item in the refrigerator, you may further prolong the storage life of sauerkraut.

You may use its original box to keep sauerkraut in the fridge. However, you have to move the product into a glass container if the sauerkraut has been placed into tins rather than glass containers. Cans are not suitable for cooling. Put the product inside the fridge in the coldest place and you are set!

If stored in the fridge, sauerkraut may remain fresh 6 months longer if the temperature remains steady. After each usage, it is essential to keep the jar firmly closed.

We also suggest that the product not be kept at room temperature. Although the beating solution may prolong the vegetable’s shelf life, the shelf life will not last as long due to the unstable temperature.

Can you freeze sauerkraut?

Like other food, sauerkraut may be frozen. Freezing is not required, though. First of all, cooling is sufficient to prolong the product’s shelf-life. Freezing may also change the texture and taste of sauerkraut.

Frozen sauerkraut will not be as delicious as cooled sauerkraut. But if you decide to freeze the food, ensure that the sauerkraut is placed in a refrigerator-safe container or jar.


In this brief study, we answered the question, “does sauerkraut go bad?”. We also discussed the shelf life and storage methods of sauerkraut.