The almighty kombucha. Dating back as far as the Silk Road era which was around 200 BC, the drink first became popular in China.
A delicious drink that is a healthier alternative to soda, its popularity has been rising for the last few years.
Whether home-brewed or store-bought, consumers are falling for the delicious flavors and subtle fizz of the booch. Sales in the US are consistently rising.
Kombucha is cultured using live bacteria, which means it can have the predisposition to grow mold or go off. Have you ever wondered does kombucha go bad or how long does kombucha last after opening?
Keep reading to find out all you need to know about the lifespan of this drink.
What Is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink. It is made using tea and sugar, and the fermentation process is made by a live bacteria called a SCOBY, also known as a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast.
If you get hold of a SCOBY, which you can buy online, you can make your own kombucha. All you need is tea and sugar.
However, most people buy their kombucha at the store. You can buy tonnes of different flavors from carrot and turmeric to lemon and ginger, green tea, raspberry. You name it; there will be a flavor!
Is Kombucha Healthy?
One of the many reasons so many people drink kombucha is because of its supposed health benefits.
The drink contains bacteria, lactic-acid bacteria to be precise, which is a probiotic. This is great for promoting the good bacteria in your gut.
As it is made from tea, kombucha is rich in antioxidants, especially if it’s made from green tea. Green tea is one of the healthiest drinks you can consume due to its high levels of polyphenols.
Antioxidants are important to help reduce inflammation in the body, which is the cause of many diseases.
Kombucha can also help give you an energy boost, help you maintain a healthy weight, and control blood sugar levels.
That being said, there have been little to no actual clinical trials on humans to assess if any of these claims are true or not.
Due to the acidity of kombucha, it is possible to drink too much of it. You can overconsume anything however healthy! As long as you don’t drink several bottles of kombucha a day, you will be fine!
You also shouldn’t drink kombucha when it has gone bad. More about how to tell if it’s bad or not later.
How to Store Kombucha
When you buy kombucha at the store, the bottle will guide you on the best way to store it. This is usually in the fridge. Storing kombucha will depend on the purity of the kombucha you buy.
Some store-bought kombucha will contain preservatives that allow it to be stored in a cool dark place for as long as six months.
If you brew your own kombucha, you will need to keep it in the fridge in a sealed bottle. The lifespan of homemade kombucha is a few weeks after preparing it.
When does kobucha go bad? It is hard to put a specific time frame on this, as every batch is slightly different. As a general rule, once your bottle of kombucha is open, you should drink it within a few days.
If you buy your kombucha in a non-resealable can, you should drink it the same day. Not only will the taste go bad, but it will also start to lose the delicious fizz that is one of the endearing qualities of the drink.
Does Kombucha Go Bad?
The answer to this question is yes. It can be hard to tell if it has gone bad, but there are a few tell-tale signs that your kombucha lifespan is over.
For store-bought kombucha, you should follow the use-by date. If it is past the date on the label, it is most likely bad. Here are some of the other ways to tell:
Other signs your kombucha has gone off include clearly visible mold around the cap or in the bottom of the bottle.
Don’t confuse the floating cultures in the bottle with mold! Floating brown pieces in the drink are normal. Mold will be noticeable as it grows around the inside of the bottle.
The other way to tell if kombucha has gone bad is the smell. If you open the bottle and there is a strong, overpowering acidic smell, chances are it has gone off.
If you take a sip of your kombucha and have a rancid vinegary taste, it has gone bad. Of course, the drink is supposed to taste slightly acidic, but it should be a subtle taste, not an extreme one!
Throw your kombucha away if you notice a rancid taste.
What About Home Brewed Kombucha?
When you make your own kombucha, you want to keep it out of the fridge during the initial fermentation process. This is because the bacteria are most active and work best at room temperature.
When you brew kombucha yourself, the longer you leave it fermenting, the more the flavor profiles change. However, it is possible to over ferment, and the drink will turn into vinegar or become overly carbonated.
Overfermenting your kombucha can have health risks associated with it. So, make sure you always follow the instructions on your homebrew kit or a tried and tested recipe. The typical amount of time to ferment your own kombucha is between 7 and 10 days.
Understand how to correctly sterilize your bottles before transferring your kombucha too.
Enjoy Kombucha Safely
As with most foods, it is pretty apparent when kombucha has gone bad. Food has a clever way of making itself taste disgusting to humans when it is no longer good for us!
When wondering ‘how long does kombucha last after opening,’ you should always follow the instructions on the label. It is typically 1-3 days.
Don’t over ferment home-brewed kombucha, and keep your kombucha in the fridge. If you follow these simple tips, you can enjoy the health benefits of this delicious drink without worry.
Looking for some inspiration for meals to drink your kombucha with? Try out one of these delicious international recipes.