Does Kombucha Have To Be Refrigerated? Can It Be Left Out at Room Temperature?

Kombucha is a fermented tea that many people enjoy. One question that comes up often is, “can kombucha be left out of the fridge?”

This article explores this question and provides some advice on what to do with your kombucha if you plan to leave it out of the fridge for an extended period.

Does Kombucha Have To Be Refrigerated? Can It Be Left Out At Room Temperature?

If you are brewing your own kombucha at home, it is safe to leave it out during the brewing and fermentation process. If your brew gets too cold during this time, it won’t ferment correctly.

Authentic, store-bought kombucha is a live, raw, probiotic product. Ideally, fully fermented kombucha should stay refrigerated between 34-38 degrees Fahrenheit until you are ready to drink it.

That said, kombucha can be left out for a little bit and enjoyed at room temperature (some may taste better at room temperature).

There are some things to keep in mind, though.

What Happens When You Leave Kombucha Out?

Kombucha may be stored at room temperature for a few hours without altering its taste profile. If it is left outside of the refrigerator for anything longer than that, variations in fermentation will occur inside of your bottle and affect some aspects of the flavor.

If you leave your kombucha out of refrigeration, it will eventually start fermenting again and change the flavor. This is due to the remaining sugar being converted by the yeast and bacteria into more kombucha – more alcohol and CO2 gas will be created as well.

Leaving unpasteurized, live Kombucha out of the fridge for too long can cause the pressure to build up, which may make it fizz all over the place when you open it and, at worst, lead to an explosion. Because of this, it is highly recommended to NOT keep your kombucha at room temperature for too long.

Here are some things that start to accelerate when your kombucha is left out at room temperature:

  • The live bacteria in kombucha will begin to eat whatever sugar is still in the bottle
  • The caffeine will start to decrease as the bacteria do their thing
  • The alcohol content will increase
  • Carbonation will increase

The above actually happens in the refrigerator but at a MUCH slower rate.

What To Do If You Accidently Left Your Kombucha Out Too Long

If your kombucha gets too warm and has been out for a while, don’t open it. Instead, place it back in the fridge as soon as possible. When you have chilled the kombucha to an appropriate temperature, you can pull it from refrigeration. Always take caution when reopening a bottle that has been left out of refrigeration and then re-chilled.

About The Author

Picture of Stephen aka “Kombucha Coach”

Stephen aka “Kombucha Coach”

My goal with Kombucha Coach is to help teach people about kombucha and start their journey into home brewing it themselves.