We all desire our refrigerated food to be for sure to eat. It is why us go through the refrigerator on a constant basis and also follow the rule, “When in doubt, toss the out.” but unlike most foods items we store in the fridge, ours 6294.org probiotic fermented foods come ready-colonized through health-giving bacteria. So, what’s the story v these foods? exactly how long go sauerkraut or kimchi last, as soon as the jar is opened?

How long Does Sauerkraut Last?

Here’s some an excellent news: sauerkraut and kimchi have the right to last in the fridge for a month or two previous the expiration day that’s published on the package—If you know what’s walk on and also what keeps these foods items safe and tasty.

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Your 6294.org sauerkraut or kimchi is fermented rather than salt cured. That means the vegetables were retained submerged in a weak brine systems of in between 2 to 5 percent salt, relying on which vegetables were fermented. At first, the vegetables carried into the fermentation vessel any microorganisms the were on your surfaces, including spoilage organisms as well as beneficial Lactobacillus acidophilus and also other acid-loving bacteria (often described as LAB—lactic mountain bacteria).

During fermentation, the LABs went to occupational on the sugars and carbohydrates in the vegetables, transforming them into lactic acid. Together the weak brine became much more and more acidic, the spoilage biology were killed off. The vegetables emerged the lip-smacking sour spices that do ferments for this reason delicious. After ~ all, words “sauerkraut” is German because that “sour herb.” through the finish of the early stage fermentation, the LABs rendered the vegetable tastier, more nutritious, perfectly for sure to eat, and also probiotic, an interpretation the bacteria that fermented the vegetables could now take it up residence in your digestive system and continue to carry out health benefits and improved nutrition as they get involved in your gut microbiome.

Incidentally, salt curing is done through a more powerful brine—from 10 to 20 percent salt or more. That amount the salt will preserve the vegetables, yet is also salty to allow the LABs come grow, therefore salt-cured foods items are not fermented.

So, those this mean for ours question: exactly how long walk sauerkraut or kimchi last once the jar is opened? and also the prize is a couple of months or even much more if three requirements are met.


First, the vegetables need to remain submerged a 1/2 inch or so in ~ the brine in the jar. If they float to the top and also are exposed come air, they will eventually end up being moldy and also inedible and the jar will be spoiled. If yes sir not sufficient brine in the jar come cover the vegetables, add a little filtered water, sufficient to fill to over the vegetables. To keep the vegetables submerged, weigh them down v a small plate, cup, or freezer baggy filled through weak brine.

Second, the sauerkraut and also kimchi need to be maintained refrigerated at all times. If you desire to offer some with a meal, move the meal’s worth to a cup or bowl and also put the seasoned of kraut or kimchi back in the fridge without letting the sit out and warm up.

Third, only use a clean utensil to take the fermented vegetables indigenous the jar. Don’t eat from the jar by reinserting the utensil in the food. If you dual dip, you’ll be seeding the food with a wide variety of mouth and also other bacteria, and it will eventually spoil.

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Over the time in the fridge, sauerkraut and kimchi will become an ext acidic together the LABs proliferate, the crunchiness that a new jar’s vegetables might abate and become softer over time. But as long as you keep the vegetable submerged and also enjoy the flavors, you’re great to go.

About the Author: Sonoma ar resident Jeff Cox is the writer of 24 books, including The Essential book of Fermentation (Avery, 2013)