How to Store Kombucha
At Equinox, we have always brewed our kombucha the authentic way, which means it contains living bacterial cultures that are beneficial for gut health and overall wellbeing. This blog explains how our living kombucha must be stored. Let’s find out more… Do you need to refrigerate Kombucha? How long can you keep Kombucha out of […]
At Equinox, we have always brewed our kombucha the authentic way, which means it contains living bacterial cultures that are beneficial for gut health and overall wellbeing. This blog explains how our living kombucha must be stored. Let’s find out more…
- Do you need to refrigerate Kombucha?
- How long can you keep Kombucha out of the refrigerator?
- Can you store Kombucha outside during the winter or in a cool cellar or garage?
- Can you store Kombucha in the freezer?
- Is Kombucha still drinkable after being left out?
- Does it matter if you store Kombucha in a can or bottle?
Do you need to refrigerate Kombucha?
Yes, real living Kombucha should be kept refrigerated. By keeping it in the fridge, you will slow the natural, ongoing fermentation process by deactivating the living enzymes and reducing the rate of organic acid production. You will also help to keep the associated carbon dioxide production at lower levels, ensuring that your kombucha maintains just the right amount of ‘fizz’ and does not explode – this is especially known to happen in unregulated home brewing!
Our Equinox kombucha range and our River Cottage range are made from fermented, organic teas. So, like most other living Kombuchas, the living fermentation process will continue after our booch is bottled or canned, something that will speed up exponentially if the kombucha is warm.
By keeping our kombucha chilled, you will also ensure that it continues to taste fresh and delicious. Over-fermented booch can become very tart and vinegary which is definitely not to the liking of most taste buds! You can find out more in our blog ‘What does kombucha taste like?’.
How long can you keep kombucha out of the refrigerator?
Generally, in the UK, it is fine to leave Kombucha out of the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days at room temperature, however, any longer than that it may become fizzier and develop a different taste due to over-fermentation. In warmer climates, the higher temperatures can cause fermentation to happen faster so watch out if you are drinking booch on your hols.
Can you store Kombucha outside during the winter or in a cool cellar or garage?
The optimum temperature to store Kombucha is below 8 degrees celsius, which means a cool cellar or garage may not be suitable as the fermentation process will still slowly continue in the warmer months. Kombucha will be fine kept outside, in a garage or cellar in the cold winter months. As the temperature begins to rise, it’s important to put it into the fridge.
Can you store Kombucha in the freezer?
You should not store Kombucha in the freezer as that would be far too cold. Like most other liquids, Kombucha will freeze in sub-zero temperatures, causing it to expand and burst the container. Likewise, it is not advisable to freeze Kombucha as it can have a negative impact on the SCOBY cultures, causing the cell membranes of the yeast and beneficial bacteria to rupture and taking away the amazing benefits of the drink. Obviously, we want to ensure that your living cultures remain that way – find out why in our health benefits of fermented tea blog.
Is Kombucha still drinkable after being left out?
All of the above being said, if you have a power cut or simply have to leave your shopping out on the counter for a short period of time, do not despair! Kombucha left out of the fridge will not spoil like other fresh drinks, like milk, however it may not be the same drink you purchased. If left out for longer than 2 or 3 days, it could start to lose flavour, develop a vinegar-like flavour or be extra fizzy. Left out any longer than this, the fermentation process may restart to a degree and affect the flavour. That said, if the Kombucha has been kept extra cold by the retailer then it takes a little longer for the fermentation process to kick in again.
Thankfully, this means that you can definitely take your Kombucha with you when you travel or in your lunch, without worrying that it will go bad. If you are going to be in a warm environment however, we do recommend packing your Kombucha with an ice pack to keep it chilled, for a better taste and a more enjoyable refreshment.
Does it matter if you store Kombucha in a can or bottle?
A real, living Kombucha, whether stored in glass, aluminium or plastic, must still remain in the fridge to preserve its taste and prevent over-fermentation.
If you are home brewing Kombucha, you will need to leave about 2 inches of space in your container or bottle, to allow room for carbon dioxide which may be produced during storage, even when in the fridge. If you do not leave this ‘headspace’ for your booch to grow, you may have the container explode and cause some damage to humans and non humans alike!
So, in summary, if you are buying or making a real living Kombucha, you will need to make sure that you have enough space in your fridge to keep it fresh! For most booch lovers, this is something that comes naturally once you realise the benefits of drinking a living Kombucha.