How Long Does Kombucha Last After Opening? GUIDE

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How long does kombucha last after opening? That’s a good question! If you love fun fruit and fizzy kombucha flavors as much as we do, you may be wondering what is the best way to hold onto your favorite kombucha drink.

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We get it!

In this article, we will explore the many ways you can store kombucha and whether or not kombucha will eventually “go bad” after opening. So, let’s get started. 

 kombucha fermenting

How Long Can You Keep Kombucha in the Fridge After Opening?

You can keep kombucha in the fridge for approximately 5-7 days after opening for the best quality and flavor.

Remember that kombucha is meant to be effervescent and have a light taste. Due to the way that kombucha is made, it is particularly sensitive to heat and must be refrigerated after opening.

Once your kombucha has been opened, it is imperative that you either consume or re-refrigerate your drink. This will keep it a good consistency and at best quality. Neglecting to do so can leave you over-carbonated, tangy, and even vinegary kombucha that doesn’t taste good. This may even do harm to your health. 

Does Kombucha Go Bad Once Open? 

Kombucha can go bad once opened, but it might not be in the way that you’d think.

Since kombucha has already been fermented, it is unlikely to “go bad” in the traditional sense if you open it.

It will, however, begin to lose its flavor, grow mold and even increase in carbonation after time. 

The reason you may find that your kombucha changes after having been opened is due to the way that kombucha is processed.

If you open your kombucha and leave it out to sit, you may still be able to enjoy your kombucha for 48 hours before it starts to change in taste. Oddly enough, it may not lose its effervescence, but may actually increase in carbonation during this time.

Why?

Because kombucha is naturally fermented at room temperature. Thus, leaving your kombucha out to sit after having been opened is going to continue the fermentation process. It will cause more bubbles and even the risk that your bottle could eventually explode!

two clear drinking glasses kombucha

How Can You Tell If Kombucha Has Gone Bad?

Bad kombucha will smell, taste, and possibly even look funny when it has gone bad.

Bear in mind that bits of brown floating strings are normal in kombucha and typically aren’t a cause for alarm. Rather, these brown strands are an indicator of live cultures within your drink. As such, is actually a good sign! 

In fact, if you find that your kombucha is completely clear it likely means that it has been pasteurized. There may be little to no probiotics in it, which negates much of the point of drinking kombucha. 

Does Refrigerated Kombucha Go Bad?

Most sources say that refrigerated kombucha does not, technically, go bad. 

Because kombucha is already fermented, sources state that kombucha can stay good for up to 2-3 months past the expiration date. This is as long as the bottle remains unopened and refrigerated.

On the flip side, commercially-bought kombucha that has been opened and stored in the fridge will only last about 1 week at optimal taste and quality. After this, the quality will decline and it may no longer taste as fresh as it once did.

Be sure also to keep a lookout for mold. It may be fizzy and floating in your drink after a long while (not to be confused with stringy live cultures!)

Note: Homemade kombucha should be stored in the fridge just as commercially-bought varieties. However, homemade kombucha may last a lot longer. If you eventually find your kombucha to be a bit too fizzy, consider how to decarbonate a drink to get a better consistency.

The general consensus is that you can get up to 1-3 months out of properly refrigerated homemade kombucha. Though you’ll want to follow the directions of your kombucha kit which typically details how long your kombucha will actually last.

What Happens If You Drink Old Kombucha?

Drinking old kombucha may not hurt you, especially if refrigerated. But if left at room temperature, you’ll likely hate the taste.

In addition, drinking anything that has expired has the potential to bestow unseemly effects on your health. According to Poison.org, there are serious risks associated with drinking homemade kombucha.

Thus, a person making kombucha must be careful to carry out the process carefully. 

Risks associated with homemade kombucha include:

Note: If you or someone you know is experiencing unwanted symptoms after drinking homemade kombucha, be sure to contact your local healthcare provider, immediately. 

Can Expired Kombucha Make You Sick?

Probably not.

If you think you’ve consumed kombucha that’s has potentially made you sick or has given you diarrhea, you may find yourself asking questions like, Is green tea good for diarrhea?” while also considering other homemade remedies to provide you some relief.

However, when properly stored, kombucha shouldn’t make you sick. It can stay for quite a while at best quality, especially if it has been unopened.

If, however, your kombucha is open, you will want to ensure that it stays refrigerated and is consumed within one week. After that, the kombucha won’t taste as good.

Still, there are risks associated with drinking homemade kombucha, many of which are listed in the segment above. Always use precaution when choosing to drink kombucha made at home.

orange and green labeled bottles of kombucha

FAQ

Can you drink kombucha after 5 days?

As long as your opened kombucha was stored in the fridge, it is safe to consume kombucha between 5-7 days after opening.
Remember that store-bought kombucha generally stays at best quality for up to one week after opening in the refrigerator.
Homemade kombucha lasts even longer, up to 3 months, but your kombucha kit will give you a definitive amount of time for which you can keep your kombucha in the refrigerator.

How Long Does Kombucha Last After Opening? It Depends! 

How long kombucha lasts after opening really depends on the type of kombucha it is and how it is stored.

Generally speaking, kombucha that is store-bought and refrigerated will last about one week. Homemade kombucha will last anywhere from 1-3 months.

No matter what kind of kombucha you choose to drink, the key to keeping kombucha fresh is to keep it cold. Neglecting to do so will only continue the fermenting process. It will eventually cause your kombucha to turn acidic and cause more carbonation to form. 

By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

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