How can you tell if kombucha has gone bad?

Answered by Arthur Reyes

As an experienced sommelier and brewer, I can assure you that determining whether has gone bad can be quite straightforward. One of the most obvious signs is the presence of greenish or pinkish “stuff” floating in the liquid. This can indicate the presence of mold, which is a clear indication that your kombucha has gone bad.

When it comes to mold, it's best not to take any chances. Mold can be harmful and may produce toxins that can have negative effects on your health. Therefore, if you spot any greenish or pinkish growth in your kombucha, it's advisable to err on the side of caution and discard the entire bottle.

While mold is the most evident sign of spoilage, there are a few other indicators that your kombucha may have gone bad. These include:

1. Foul odor: Kombucha typically has a slightly sour and acidic smell, similar to vinegar. However, if you notice an overly pungent or unpleasant odor, it could be a sign that the fermentation process has gone awry, and the kombucha is no longer safe to consume.

2. Unusual taste: Kombucha has a unique tangy and effervescent flavor profile. If you notice any drastic changes in taste, such as an overly or unpleasant taste, it could suggest that the kombucha has spoiled and is no longer enjoyable or safe to consume.

3. Excessive carbonation: While kombucha is naturally carbonated, if you notice an excessive amount of fizz or carbonation when opening the bottle, it could indicate an over-fermentation process. This can lead to a higher content and a potential risk of the bottle exploding due to the build-up of pressure. In such cases, it's best to discard the bottle to avoid any accidents.

To avoid the disappointment of spoiled kombucha, it's essential to store it correctly. Kombucha should be kept in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and excessive heat. Refrigeration can help to slow down the fermentation process and extend the shelf life of your kombucha.

The presence of greenish or pinkish floating “stuff” is a clear indication that your kombucha has gone bad and should be discarded. Additionally, foul odor, unusual taste, and excessive carbonation can also be signs of spoilage. By paying attention to these indicators and storing your kombucha properly, you can enjoy a fresh and delicious brew every time.