How long does kombucha last after opening? (+3 ways to tell)

In this article, we will answer the question “How long does kombucha last after opening?”, and how to tell if the kombucha has gone bad?

How long does kombucha last after opening?

Once the seal of the kombucha bottle is broken, the deterioration process will take place rapidly. It will lose its fizziness and the taste will no longer be the same. It is recommended to transfer the kombucha to an air-tight bottle to keep it fresh for longer. After opening the bottle, it is advised to consume the kombucha within a week to enjoy optimum flavor. 

In the fridge 
Store-bought kombucha(unopened)2-3 months past the date on the label
Store-bought kombucha(opened)1 week
Homemade kombucha 1-3 months 

How to store kombucha?

Store-bought kombucha can either be stored at room temperature or in the fridge. However, the best storage practise is to store your kombucha in the fridge. If you store it at room temperature, heat from sunlight and temperature fluctuations will damage the quality.

The microbial culture present in kombucha grows rapidly at room temperature producing more and more carbon dioxide and acid and your kombucha will end up tasting like vinegar. Homemade kombucha must be refrigerated.

How to tell if kombucha has gone bad?

Mold

If you see fizzy or foamy colored spots near the cap or on the surface of kombucha, it is a clear indication of spoilage. Discard it right away.

Vinegar-like taste

Kombucha that tastes very vinegar-y is a sign that the kombucha is overly fermented. You might want to discard such kombucha due to quality reasons but it is safe to consume.

Floaties 

Floaties are normal. They often appear in the form of brown colored grains or strings. These are the yeast strains that fermented kombucha.

What is kombucha and how it is made?

Make SCOBY

SCOBY is an abbreviation of Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. It is the essence of the Kombucha and is sometimes referred to as mother or mushroom. To make your own SCOBY, follow the guidelines below.

Ingredients

  • 7 cups or 1.6 L clean water
  • ½ cup white sugar (100 g)
  • 4 bags black tea (or 1 Tbsp loose tea)
  • 1 cup (235 mL) unpasteurized, unflavored store-bought kombucha
  • Glass or ceramic container (two jars holding at least ½ gallon (1.9 L) each, or one jug holding at least 1 gallon (3.7 L)). 
  • Tightly woven cloth (coffee filters, paper towels, napkins, cheesecloth)
  • Rubberbands

Instructions 

  1. Heat water in a pot. Remove it from heat and dissolve sugar in it. Do not substitute sugar for honey as it increases the chance of Botulism.
  2. Add kombucha tea and let it steep until the water comes to room temperature. 
  3. Transfer the sweetened kombucha water to a jar and cover it with tightly woven cloth. Secure the cloth with rubber bands.
  4. Keep the jar in a dark, somewhere between 21-24°C for 1-4 weeks or until ¼ inch SCOBY has formed.

The first fermentation

Ingredients

  • 14 cups (3.5 quarts, 3.3 L) clean water
  • 1 cup white sugar (200 g)
  • 8 bags black or green tea (or 2 Tbsp loose-leaf)
  • 2 cups (470 mL) unflavored kombucha 
  • 1 or 2 SCOBYs (Use 1 per container)
  • Glass or ceramic container (two jars holding at least ½ gallon (1.9 L) each, or one jug holding at least 1 gallon (3.7 L)). 
  • Tightly woven cloth (coffee filters, paper towels, napkins, cheesecloth)
  • Rubberbands

Instructions 

  1. Boil water in a pot and dissolve sugar in it after removing it from heat. Add kombucha tea and let it steep until the water comes to room temperature.
  2. Transfer the SCOBY to a sterilized plate with clean hands.
  3. Pour the sweetened and brewed tea into a sterilized jar followed by unflavored starter kombucha and finally SCOBY.
  4. Cover the jar with tightly woven cloth and secure it with rubber bands. Keep the jar in a dark place somewhere between 21-24°C for 6-10 days.
  5. Test your kombucha on the 6th day using a straw. It should taste somewhat sweet and slightly vinegary. 
  6. Keep 2 cups from this batch to use in the next step as a starter.

The second fermentation

Ingredients 

  • Reserved kombucha from the first fermentation
  • Sweetener (fruit, honey, or sugar). 
  • A few flip-top fermentation bottles Alternatively, you can use canning jars, though they are not completely airtight.

Instructions

  1. Strain kombucha and fill it into bottles using a funnel. Leave 1-½ inches at the top.
  2. Add a sweetener of your personal choice and seal the bottle tightly.
  3. Place the bottle/s in a dark place. Let it ferment for 2-10 days at room temperature.

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question “How long does kombucha last after opening?”, and how to tell if the kombucha has gone bad?

References

https://www.doesitgobad.com/kombucha-go-bad/

https://www.drinkfiltered.com/posts/drinking-expired-kombucha

Sana Ameer

Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.

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