How long does open sake last?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long does open sake last” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of the open and unopened sake. Moreover, we are going to discuss the ways to tell if the sake has gone bad and the tips to properly store the sake.

The Japanese wine, sake, is made from fermented rice and is quite popular especially in Japanese households and restaurants. Moreover, no sulfur-based preservative is added to the sake, so if you have an open bottle of sake with you and are wondering “how long does open sake last” you need not worry as we are going to tell you everything about the shelf life of sake.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long does open sake last?

The opened sake lasts for about 1 week in the fridge at or below 40 °F. But we recommend you to consume the sake in the first 3 days to enjoy its peak taste and quality. You should always store the sake in an air-tight bottle or container to minimize its air exposure.

Once the sake gets opened due to its exposure to the air, it starts oxidizing. It is worth mentioning that the rate of oxidation in the sake is slow as compared to the wine.

You can read the dos and don’ts of keeping the sake here.

How long does unopened sake last?

The unopened sake bottle lasts for about 12 months if kept in a cold, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight and heat. Moreover, if the unopened sake bottle is refrigerated then it lasts for about 2 years. Thus you can store an unopened bottle of sake in the refrigerator for almost 2 years from the “bottling date”.  

How long does unpasteurized sake last?

The unpasteurized sake has a shorter shelf life as compared to the pasteurized sake and it is advised to store it in the fridge. The unopened bottle of sake lasts for about 6 months when stored in the refrigerator at or below 40 °F.

Moreover, you should always keep in view the fact that the process of maturation of sake is faster in the warm/hot temperature as compared to the cold temperature. Therefore it is advised to refrigerate the sake for preserving its quality and flavor for a long time. 

What are the factors that impact the shelf life of sake?

Several factors have an impact on the shelf life of sake.

  1. The temperature at which the sake is stored
  2. Pasteurized or unpasteurized sake

Why are sake bottles colored?

The sake is stored in green or brown colored bottles to protect it from the harmful effects of the UV radiation present in the sunlight.

Moreover, care should be taken as moisture, air and sunlight are the enemies of the freshness and quality of the sake.

Other FAQs about Sake which you may be interested in.

How long does sake last?

How to tell if sake is bad?

You can tell if the sake has gone bad by considering its appearance, color, smell, and taste.

Appearance

If you see particles floating in your bottle of sake or if there are some particles present in the bottom of the sake bottle, then it is the indication that your sake has gone bad. 

Color

In normal conditions, the fresh sake is transparent but if you see hues of yellow in it, then it means that the sake has gone bad due to the oxidation reaction taking place in it.

Smell

If you notice a pungent, rotten, or any other odd smell while taking a sniff test then it is an indication of a bad sake and you should get rid of it.

Taste

Take a small sip of the sake and if you feel any off-flavor or something that does not quite taste like the sake itself then it means that your sake has gone bad. 

How to store sake properly?

  1. You should always store the sake at 40 °F or below as the colder the temperature the slower is the rate of oxidation and maturation.
  2. It is recommended to wrap a newspaper around your sake bottle and store it in the fridge.
  3. Unpasteurized sake should always be stored in the fridge.
  4. It is not recommended to freeze the sake.
  5. Unopened sake bottles can be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight and heat.
  6. The opened sake should be kept in the fridge in an air-tight container or bottle.
  7. It is better to store the sake on one of the shelves of the refrigerator rather than the door as there is a lot of temperature fluctuation at the door of the fridge.
  8. You should store the sake the same way as it was stored in the market. For instance, if it was stored in the refrigerator in the market then you should also refrigerate it as the temperature fluctuations can negatively impact the quality of the sake.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long does open sake last” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of the open and unopened sake. Moreover, we discussed the ways to tell if the sake has gone bad and the tips to properly store the sake.

Citations

https://www.sakeshop.com.au/pages/how-long-does-sake-last

https://www.doesitgobad.com/does-sake-go-bad/

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.