Kombucha and water kefir can be kept either refrigerated or at room temperature for up to 2 years (consume within 10 days of opening), although watch out for the build up of naturally occurring carbonation if kept at room temperature! beware exploding bottles. The naturally acidic pH of ripe Kombucha means conditions are favourable for the growth of the kombucha culture, and inhibit the growth of moulds and bacteria. In fact, as long as your Kombucha/kefir has been kept in an appropriate container (glass is best) it will just continue to mature and will eventually become like vinegar which has a multitude of uses of its own: use it in salad dressings, as a hair tonic / rinse to de-toxify and get rid of product build-up, as a non toxic cleaner or as a marinade.
BEWARE EXPLODING BOTTLES!!!
WE CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH THE IMPORTANCE OF USING FERMENTING BOTTLES WHEN STORING KOMBUCHA AND WATER KEFIR. PLEASE ENSURE THAT THE BOTTLES YOU USE ARE APPROPRIATE FOR FERMENTING.
If you have ordered ready made kombucha IN WARM WEATHER PLEASE ALLOW YOUR KOMBUCHA TO SETTLE BEFORE OPENING. The kombucha will get jiggled around in transit, this can make a drink that is fizzy already even fizzier. Open with care if you do not leave to stand or refrigerate.
IT IS BEST TO REFRIGERATE YOUR KOMBUCHA/KEFIR BEFORE OPENING WHEN THE WEATHER IS WARM. This will prevent you wearing it!
As the weather gets warmer, the kombucha/kefir will naturally get more carbonated. At Happy kombucha we have experienced this ourselves and bottles have been known to empty their entire contents over the ceiling (yes really!) if the following steps aren't taken into account:
There are a few things you can do to minimize loss or wastage when you open them! Keeping them somewhere cool will help (i.e. not next to the oven / radiator). Even if they are kept at room temperature they will be fine, but it is a good idea to "burp" the bottles. This just means holding the stopper down but releasing the lever slowly until you hear the "pssst" of some of the air escaping. Then secure the lever quickly to retain the liquid. You will start to be able to tell by the ferociousness of the "psst" whether it's a lively bottle or not! If it is, then you may want to do this a few times until it calms down enough to open it - don't worry, it will still be fizzy when it's poured out). Lastly, when you are ready to drink it, making sure it's very cold (has been in the fridge overnight or for a least a few hours) will also minimize the overflow. And of course.... open with care :)
Avoiding adding ingredients to your second ferment that contain additional sugar will also help.
Chill the bottles for at least 12 hours before fully opening and always open over a sink and away from your body. We do not advise using champagne style corks, the swing lids are best as they do not go flying off when the pressure gets too great!.