Does the fruit in kombucha go bad?

You’ve flavored your second fermentation with deliciously sweet fruit but now you’re wondering…can this fruit go bad?

So you took weeks (maybe even months) to make your SCOBY. Then you went through the whole process of the first fermentation. And then you flavored your kombucha with fruit or fruit juice and it’s perfectly tasty. But now you’re wondering…does the fruit in kombucha go bad? Will this fruit rot and ruin all of my hard work?

This is a questions I’ve been getting often, so I thought I’d hop in and answer it once and for all! The answer: if all is done correctly, the fruit doesn’t go bad.

Why the fruit in kombucha doesn’t go bad

When you add fresh, non-moldy fruit into your kombucha, you’re plopping it into an environment that should be free from bad molds or bacteria. Not only that, but it’s an environment that’s pretty acidic, which prevents rot from occurring. So by adding fruit, you’re effectively preserving or pickling your fruit, and it will not go bad.

After the second fermentation is complete and the kombucha has a good level fizz, transfer the bottles (fruit and all) into the refrigerator to stop the fermentation. They will stay good in the fridge for many months.

(Pro-tip: If mold is going to happen, it’s almost always in the first fermentation, not the second fermentation. More on kombucha mold here.)

Can you eat the fruit pieces in kombucha?

You can even eat the fruit that was used to flavor your kombucha! The taste and texture will have changed, becoming soft and taking on the acidic flavors of the kombucha.

If that’s not your thing, simply strain the fruit out before serving. You can strain it then pour back into fermentation bottles, or pour the kombucha through a small mesh sieve directly into your serving glass.

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23 thoughts on “Does the fruit in kombucha go bad?”

  1. I added fresh fruits into my kombucha, it taste fine but it does not smell too good. The fruits were floating above the surface. Is that normal?

  2. i put 2 cups of dragon fruit puree not 1 cup in my 1 gallon brew mixed with some brew to make it puree better. i tasted it and it was good so i bottled it yesterday. well today i noticed the caps were bulging up so i put into fridge. my question is did i ruin it by putting to much puree in the brew that i bottled, like will it mold or anything?

  3. I’m definitely going to try kombucha pickles now. I’ll let the first fermentation go extra, extra long, and then add pickling spices and cucumbers before fridging it. I’ll let you know how it went in a couple of weeks!

  4. I have a question! My second fermention went beautifully (thanks to you guys), and I am just wondering, could I re-use the fruit from my first batch? It’s already in my bottles and I’m tempted to just refill it and let it ferment. Is that gross? Crazy? I also used so much fruit that it maybe feels wasteful to do it all again with fresh fruit.

    Let me know 🙂

    • Not gross, you can totally do that! The fruit may just start losing its sugar so it may not give it as much flavor and fermentation on the next batches.

  5. I can vouch! The fruit doesn’t go bad- I have several batches going (guava+ginger) (ginger+turmeric) – and am on my 4th reuse!

    What I do is I leave 2 inches of second ferment at the bottom of each bottle with the fruit/any scoby formed- then I’ll top it back up with 1st ferment and it gets going right away!

  6. I put blueberries and lavender in mind that is one of my absolute favorites as well as my teenage daughter and husband!!! Hands-down the best

  7. I put raspberries, apples, and blueberries in my latest batch. During my second fermentation the fruit floated into the necks of the bottles. I just strained and it came out in a jelly like lump. Is that spoiled or norma? Maybe baby scobys or mold? Thanks a million.

  8. How long after I put my flavored Kombucha into small bottles do I need to put them into the refrigerator ?
    Or can they be left out like Mead ?
    And how long are they good for ?

    • They stay at room temperature until the desired carbonation level is reached, at which point you’ll need to put them in the fridge to stop the fermentation 😀

  9. I added blue berries or raspberries to my second batch bottles and I can’t tell if there is mold. There is like white floating tissue like stuff at the bottom and circling the fruit. Could it just be baby sconces? Help! Even some of the raspberries have gone WHITE!

  10. Hi there,
    For my second fermentation I used fresh apple juice made with a juicer. The juice had a bit of pulp in it which stayed afloat. Having left space at the top of the bottle now I’m scared that the pulp has gone bad?! It has a dark color. How can I tell?

    • Hi David! It’s pretty unlikely that the pulp went bad. The high acidity of 2nd fermentation kombucha + lack of oxygen doesn’t make it a great place for mold to grow. With that said, feel free to pop a photo in our Facebook group to get some opinions there!

  11. I recommend eating it! My first batch was Blueberry Cherry and the fruit in the bottom of the bottle was really yummy!