We all want our refrigerated food come be safe to eat. It is why us go with the fridge on a continual basis and also follow the rule, “When in doubt, toss the out.” yet unlike most foods we save in the fridge, our rebab.net probiotic fermented foods come ready-colonized by health-giving bacteria. So, what’s the story v these foods? how long walk sauerkraut or kimchi last, when the jar is opened?

How long Does Sauerkraut Last?

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

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

During fermentation, the LABs walk to work on the sugars and also carbohydrates in the vegetables, transforming them into lactic acid. Together the weak brine became much more and much more acidic, the spoilage organisms were eliminated off. The vegetables occurred the lip-smacking sour flavors that do ferments therefore delicious. After ~ all, the word “sauerkraut” is German for “sour herb.” by the finish of the initial fermentation, the LABs calculation the vegetables tastier, much more nutritious, perfectly for sure to eat, and also probiotic, meaning the bacteria that fermented the vegetables might now take up residence in your digestive system and continue to provide health benefits and improved nutrition as they take part in her gut microbiome.

Incidentally, salt curing is done through a stronger brine—from 10 come 20 percent salt or more. That amount the salt will maintain the vegetables, yet is too salty to enable the LABs to grow, for this reason salt-cured foods are not fermented.

So, what’s this average for our question: just how long walk sauerkraut or kimchi last once the seasoned is opened? and also the prize is a couple of months or even much more if three demands are met.


First, the vegetables have to remain submerged a 1/2 customs or so beneath the brine in the jar. If castle float to the top and are exposed to air, they will eventually become moldy and also inedible and also the jar will certainly be spoiled. If yes not sufficient brine in the jar to cover the vegetables, add a tiny filtered water, enough to to fill to above the vegetables. To keep the vegetables submerged, sweet them down with a tiny plate, cup, or freezer baggy filled through weak brine.

Second, the sauerkraut and kimchi should be preserved refrigerated at all times. If you want to offer some v a meal, transfer the meal’s worth to a cup or bowl and 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 native the jar. Don’t eat from the seasoned by reinserting the utensil in the food. If you double dip, you’ll be seeding the food with a wide selection of mouth and also other bacteria, and also it will eventually spoil.

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Over that is time in the fridge, sauerkraut and kimchi will become more acidic together the LABs proliferate, the crunchiness the a fresh jar’s vegetables might abate and also become softer over time. But as lengthy as you store the vegetables submerged and enjoy the flavors, you’re an excellent to go.

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