How Long Can Kombucha Be Left Unrefrigerated? (When It Needs to be Refrigerated)

How long can kombucha be left unrefrigerated

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Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been enjoyed for centuries in Asia. In recent years, it has become increasingly popular in the West as a health drink. Kombucha is made by adding a starter culture of bacteria and yeast to sweetened tea. This mixture is then left to ferment for a period of time, typically around two weeks. During fermentation, the bacteria and yeast produce acids and enzymes that give kombucha its distinctive taste and health benefits. Kombucha is rich in probiotics, which are beneficial for gut health, and it also contains vitamins and minerals that can boost energy levels and immunity. Thanks to its many health benefits, kombucha has become one of the most popular fermented beverages on the market today.

However, kombucha can go bad if it’s left out of the fridge for too long. After 48 hours, kombucha may become fizzier and taste different. So, if you’re looking to enjoy the benefits of this tasty beverage, be sure to keep it refrigerated.

What happens to my kombucha when it’s stored outside of the refrigerator?

Kombucha is a fermented tea that is stored in a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). The SCOBY acts as a natural probiotic, providing the kombucha with beneficial microbes that help to promote gut health. However, kombucha also contains a small amount of alcohol, which can increase its shelf life. When kombucha is stored outside of the refrigerator, the fermentation process continues and the alcohol content increases. As a result, kombucha that has been stored at room temperature may have a slightly different taste and may be more potent than kombucha that has been refrigerated. However, both types of kombucha are generally safe to drink. If you are concerned about the alcohol content, you can always store kombucha in the fridge to slow down the fermentation process.

How to store kombucha and extend its shelf life:

While kombucha is generally a pretty resilient beverage, there are still a few things you can do to make sure it lasts as long as possible. First and foremost, kombucha should be stored in a cool, dark place – the fridge is ideal. This will help to slow down the fermentation process and prevent the growth of mold or bacteria. If you’re purchasing kombucha from a store, make sure to check the expiration date before you buy it. Once you open a bottle of kombucha, it will start to ferment more quickly, so it’s best to consume it within a week or two. However, if you find that your kombucha is starting to taste sour or vinegary, this is a sign that it has gone bad and should be discarded. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy delicious kombucha for weeks or even months!

Does kombucha have any preservatives?

Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been consumed for thousands of years. Unlike many other fermented foods, kombucha does not use any preservatives. The fermentation process itself prevents contamination and preserves the kombucha. During fermentation, bacteria feed on starch and sugar to produce healthy organic acids and also reduce the pH of the brew. For example, kombucha will always have a pH of <4. At this low pH, it is almost impossible for pathogens to inhibit, survive, and contaminate the kombucha, which is why governments all around the world allow fermented foods to be sold without preservatives. Kombucha is a delicious and healthy drink that can be enjoyed by everyone.

How long does kombucha actually last?

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that is said to have many health benefits. It is made by adding a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) to sweetened black tea and allowing it to ferment for 7-30 days. After this time, the kombucha is bottled and can be enjoyed on its own or flavored with fruits or herbs. But how long does this probiotic-rich beverage actually last?

If kombucha is left unrefrigerated for extended periods of time (weeks), pressure will begin to build up inside the bottle due to the ongoing fermentation process. This could cause the bottle to burst, so it’s best to refrigerate kombucha if you won’t be consuming it right away. However, if it’s only been a few hours since you brewed your kombucha, there’s no need to refrigerate it – the flavor and culture content should not have changed significantly. So go ahead and enjoy your kombucha at your leisure! Just be sure to store it in the fridge if you won’t be finishing it within a few days.

Tips for storing kombucha and keeping it fresh:

1. Store kombucha in the refrigerator to slow down the fermentation process and prevent contamination.

2. Check for signs of spoilage, such as a sour or vinegary taste, mold growth, or changes in texture or color.

3. Keep unrefrigerated kombucha away from other foods (such as fruit) that could be contaminated with bacteria or yeast cells from the SCOBY.

4. Consider using an airtight container to store kombucha if you won’t be drinking it within a few days, as this will help to prevent oxidation and ensure freshness over time.

5. Use clean utensils and bottles when handling or storing kombucha, to reduce the risk of contamination. With these tips, you can enjoy your kombucha safely and happily for weeks or even months!

Recipes for using leftover kombucha:

1. Make a kombucha smoothie by blending kombucha with fruit, yogurt, and ice.

2. Add kombucha to salad dressings or marinades for an extra zing of flavor and probiotic goodness.

3. Use it as the base for fermented sodas or cocktails, such as a ginger beer or kombucha margarita.

4. Mix equal parts kombucha with vinegar and use it to pickle vegetables like carrots, radishes, or cauliflower.

5. Freeze leftover kombucha in popsicle molds to make healthy frozen treats that are packed with beneficial bacteria!


Kombucha is a refreshing, fermented beverage enjoyed by many for its health benefits. It doesn’t have any preservatives, but the low pH and fermentation process make it resistant to spoiling or contamination. However, if kombucha isn’t refrigerated and left out for an extended period of time, the pressure can build up in the bottle and cause it to burst. Therefore, storing kombucha in the fridge prolongs its freshness and prevents any complications.By following these steps, you can drink kombucha without any safety concerns and for extended lengths of time! What’s more, there are countless recipes that call for leftover kombucha, so you don’t have to worry about a single drop going to waste.


Can kombucha be left out at room temperature for too long?

Yes, if kombucha is left at room temperature for too long, it can continue to ferment, leading to a change in flavor and possibly even a rise in acidity. It’s best to refrigerate your kombucha to maintain its quality.

Should raw kombucha be refrigerated?

Yes, raw kombucha needs to be refrigerated, especially if it’s unpasteurized. Leaving raw kombucha unrefrigerated for extended periods can lead to the buildup of carbon dioxide, potentially causing the bottle to carbonate and even explode.

Can kombucha go bad if left outside of refrigeration?

Yes, kombucha can go bad if it’s left unrefrigerated for too long. The yeast and bacteria present in kombucha can continue to ferment at room temperature, resulting in a sour taste and potential changes in carbonation. It’s best to keep it in the fridge for preservation.

Can kombucha sit outside of refrigeration during a picnic?

If you’re taking kombucha on a picnic, it’s recommended to keep it in a cooler or insulated bag with ice packs to maintain a cooler temperature. This will help prevent the buildup of carbon dioxide and maintain the kombucha’s readiness to drink.

Can the carbonation in kombucha cause pressure to build up if left unrefrigerated?

Yes, leaving kombucha unrefrigerated can lead to a buildup of carbon dioxide, causing increased carbonation and pressure within the bottle. This can potentially lead to the bottle becoming overcarbonated and even exploding if left unattended for too long.

Can kombucha be left unopened at room temperature?

Kombucha can be left unopened at room temperature for a short period, but it’s best to refrigerate it to preserve its flavor and prevent over-fermentation. If left unrefrigerated for too long, the kombucha may undergo changes in taste and carbonation.

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