Kombucha, the ultimate healthy fizzy drink with live bacteria and yeast, has been going viral in recent years. As with any drink, many people consider freezing kombucha. But what happens to the probiotics in kombucha when you freeze it?
Can you freeze kombucha? Yes, you can freeze kombucha. To make sure that the bacteria and yeast culture in it don’t die, you need to freeze kombucha using the proper freezing technique. Additionally, you shouldn’t freeze kombucha for extended periods of time.
In this article, we will give you step-by-step instructions for freezing kombucha so that the risks of killing the live cultures in it are minimal. We will also tell you how to defrost kombucha properly.
Should You Freeze Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fizzy drink made with tea. It is infused with healthy bacteria and yeast culture. This sweet-sour drink is believed to promote stomach health and has been gaining lots of popularity in recent years.
To keep the yeast culture alive, you normally store kombucha at room temperature. But so long as it is alive, the drink will continue to develop and become sourer and sourer until it starts to taste like vinegar.
But what about storing kombucha in the freezer?
While freezing kombucha is tricky, doing it is safe and may prevent the drink from going to waste in certain cases.
If you do decide to freeze kombucha, make sure to learn about the risks of damaging the healthy bacteria and yeast culture in it.
Knowing how to flash freeze kombucha is important too if you want to have more confidence in the survival of the probiotics.
What You Should Know Before Freezing Kombucha
Before you freeze kombucha, you should certainly educate yourself on the ongoing debate regarding whether freezing kills the probiotics in kombucha or not.
While some people think that freezing will cause the yeast culture in kombucha to die, many others find this to be the case only when you slow freeze the drink.
So, when freezing kombucha, it is recommended that you use the flash freezing method.
With this ‘instant’ freezing method, the probiotics have a higher chance of surviving the freezing and defrosting processes.
Freezing makes the bacteria in kombucha inactive or dormant. Thus, it is an effective way of preventing it from going sourer.
When you defrost the drink, they will come back to life and you will still manage to get the health benefits of kombucha.
With this said, it is not recommended to freeze kombucha for extended periods of time.
How To Freeze Kombucha
As we have mentioned above, flash freezing is the method to use if you have decided to freeze kombucha. Here are step-by-step instructions for freezing kombucha, both store-bought and home-brewed.
- Find the right container for freezing. This is especially important when you are freezing homemade kombucha. It is best to freeze the drink in a freezer-safe airtight glass container. You should leave some space for the drink to expand. You can also use airtight plastic containers or bags. Avoid using metal containers as they will react with the drink. As for unopened store-bought kombucha, freeze it in its original packaging.
- Fill a bowl with ice. Place the drink into the bowl and wait for it to chill.
- Add salt to the water. Adding ¼ cup of salt into the water will lower the temperature of the drink instantly.
- Label the drink with the date. To ensure that you don’t keep kombucha in the freezer for too long, label it with the date of freezing.
- Put kombucha in the freezer. Make sure the temperature of the freezer is at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t shake kombucha during the entire freezing process.
Note: When freezing kombucha, keep in mind that the freezing process doesn’t guarantee the survival of probiotics after you defrost the drink.
How Long Does Kombucha Last In The Freezer?
The optimal time for keeping kombucha in the freezer is 3 months.
While the drink may remain safe for consumption past that time too, the bacteria and yeast cultures in it may already be dead, and drinking it won’t have any health benefits.
How To Defrost Kombucha
Whenever you decide to enjoy the frozen kombucha, transfer it from the freezer into the fridge. While the drink would thaw quicker at room temperature, you should never expose it to drastic temperature changes.
Make sure to drink the kombucha as soon as it is defrosted. Don’t store defrosted kombucha at room temperature. Refreezing kombucha is not something we recommend you do either.
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