Kombucha is a does kombucha need to be refrigerated before opening drink made of sweetened tea and a SCOBY, which are symbiotic colonies of bacteria and yeast. These cultures transform the element of the tea into a light, fizzy beverage with anti-microbial properties that can boost your immune system and lower bad cholesterol levels. Kombucha is said to have a variety of other health benefits, including reducing joint pain, preventing cancer and strengthening the bones, among many others.
When refrigerated, kombucha stops the fermentation process and remains at its original acidity and alcohol level. If left out, however, kombucha will continue to ferment and can become dry and vinegary. In extreme cases, the bottle may explode, resulting in what’s called a “Bottle Bomb.”
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Whether it’s store-bought or homemade, kombucha should always be refrigerated before opening to avoid spoilage and keep its fresh taste. It’s also a good idea to consume it within a week of opening to get the most out of its beneficial properties.
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It’s best to refrigerate your kombucha when the weather is hot and humid as well, since these conditions encourage yeast growth and can make it go bad faster. In addition, kombucha can be damaged by UV rays. If you’re storing a batch of your own, a dark location is ideal to avoid any damage from UV rays.
Even though kombucha is naturally low in sugar, some brands may add more during the brewing process for flavor and added sweetness. This is why it’s important to check the label for the ‘best by’ or’sell by’ date. If it’s past this date, your kombucha will still be safe to drink, but it might be a little more tart than usual or you might notice some funky mold.