How to Tell if Sauerkraut is Bad?

If you’re unsure how to tell if Sauerkraut is good, read on to learn the basics. Sauerkraut is made using a fermentation process and is generally a safe food. However, some kinds of Sauerkraut can turn bad over time. Here are some tips to help you decide whether your Sauerkraut is good or bad. Once opened, Sauerkraut should be consumed soon, stored in an airtight container, and kept in the fridge. Unpasteurized Sauerkraut is alive and contains bacteria that can cause it to spoil, and it may lose its crunch over time.

How to Tell if Sauerkraut Is Bad

You can store unpasteurized Sauerkraut for up to four to six months, but it will degrade over time as it remains covered in brine. On the other hand, pasteurized Sauerkraut is safe to consume after seven to ten days. But it would help if you still ate it within that time frame.

Botulism is a bacteria that causes symptoms of illness, and a bacterial infection can cause botulism in fermented food. Symptoms of foodborne botulism include weakened facial muscles, drooping eyes, difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. Fortunately, it is unlikely to cause you harm, but it’s important to watch for the symptoms.

What is Sauerkraut?

Sauerkraut is a pickled food that is essentially pickled cabbage that has been fermented to give it its distinct flavour. Sauerkraut is a versatile side dish high in important vitamins and nutritional fiber that goes well with various meals. Furthermore, because Sauerkraut is a fermented food, it is high in probiotics, which might help with digestion. The fermentation also helps with digestion. So kraut is fermented cabbage in brine (shredded cabbage).

The brine used to make fermented Sauerkraut, like all fermented vegetables, is a part of the fermentation process. Unpasteurized Sauerkraut becomes edible after fermentation. Fermentation is a method for increasing beneficial bacteria while decreasing harmful bacteria. If properly prepared, homemade Sauerkraut can be a delightful vegetable. In mine, I like to use the red cabbage leaf. The probiotic microorganisms aid digestion.

How to Tell if Sauerkraut is Bad?

Another way to tell if your Sauerkraut is bad is to look for signs of mold. During the first few days of fermentation, look for bubbly liquid. While this may look and smell like mold, it’s nothing to worry about. Sauerkraut is made from fermented vegetables that are not pasteurized. If you see a cloudy layer or specks of colour, it’s probably fermented properly. Sauerkraut is a fermented food that has technically gone bad. Another warning sign that your Sauerkraut is bad is the smell. Unpasteurized Sauerkraut has live bacteria that cause it to ferment. It will change texture and taste over time.

If you are unsure whether your Sauerkraut is bad, However, if you’re not sure, you can always try to remove the outer layer of the fermented food to find out if it’s safe to eat. Check for any changes in color or texture, as these are also indicators that your Sauerkraut has gone bad. If the texture or color of the product changes significantly, you should discard it. Furthermore, if you observe any green or blue specks on top of the food, this is mold, which signifies the item is no longer safe to eat.

Because Sauerkraut is pickled, it is easy to store and keep for a long time due to its long shelf life. However, it will not last indefinitely and, like many other meals, will go bad at some point. A moldy ferment will be round, grayish, or black. This may be a sign of mold, but it can be removed safely. If you notice any greenish-blue spots, this is a sign of mold. The other sign is a weird texture. If you find any of these signs, you should throw out the pickles and kraut. So don’t forget to skim it off!

What is the Best Way to Store Sauerkraut?

One of the best methods to store Sauerkraut is in the refrigerator, where it will be protected from bacteria growth and spoilage. This product will not last long in a hot or humid climate, so it should be stored cold. This will increase the product’s shelf life even further. If the packaging is not suited for refrigeration, you should try to maintain the product in its original packaging or transfer it to an airtight container. Sauerkraut can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months, but it can last even longer under consistent conditions. Once you’ve opened your Sauerkraut, refrigerate it in an airtight container to prevent air from getting to it and speeding up the aging process.

How to Tell if Sauerkraut Is Bad

Refrigerating Sauerkraut is the best way to keep it fresh. Refrigeration helps to reduce the danger of spoiling by inhibiting bacterial development. Sauerkraut does not keep well in hot, humid surroundings, so it must be stored in the refrigerator. You may extend the shelf life of Sauerkraut even further by storing it in the refrigerator. You can keep Sauerkraut in its original packing in the fridge. You’ll need to transfer the Sauerkraut to a glass or plastic container if it comes in tins rather than glass containers.

Can you Freeze Sauerkraut?

Although Sauerkraut can be frozen, it is rarely necessary. Simply storing it in the refrigerator will keep it fresh for months, which is generally more than enough time to consume your leftovers. Freezing it could modify the taste and texture of the Sauerkraut, which isn’t always a good thing. Sauerkraut that has been frozen and defrosted will not taste as delicious as Sauerkraut that has been refrigerated.

Sauerkraut, like any other food, can be frozen. Freezing, on the other hand, is not required. For one thing, chilling is sufficient to lengthen the product’s shelf life. Furthermore, freezing Sauerkraut may change its texture and flavor. Sauerkraut that has been frozen and defrosted isn’t as good as Sauerkraut that has been refrigerated. However, if you still wish to freeze this product, make sure to put it in a freezer-safe container.

Why does my Sauerkraut Smell Like Alcohol?

This is normal and indicative of good fermentation. Is it very yeasty, alcoholic, metallic, or paint thinner-like? When your ferment is too warm, this is a common issue. The majority of fermentation should take place at room temperature, around 72°F. Everything is fine if your ferment smells sour, like vinegar, fresh, or tangy. If Kahm yeast has taken up residence, it may smell yeasty, beer-like, or alcoholic. Compare the odors to some sauerkraut from the store.

How Long will Sauerkraut Last?

Even though it has a long shelf life, it will not last permanently, but it will take a long time before it entirely spoils. Sauerkraut is a sort of food preserved in a vinegar and sugar solution, two components that have been shown to enhance the shelf life of any product. Another reason this food will not degrade quickly is that the pickling solution helps limit the formation of bacteria. The most prevalent cause of sauerkraut spoilage is improper storage.


Sauerkraut has technically gone bad because it is a fermented dish. However, there are instances when the product gets too ripe to eat. Off-smelling Sauerkraut is one of the first symptoms that has gone bad. The Sauerkraut has gone rotten if it exudes a strong decaying stench. Examine the fermented cabbage for a strange texture or color. Discard the product if it has a lot of texture or discoloration. If the pickled vegetable has greenish-blue spots on top, it has become moldy and is no longer safe to consume.

When you purchase a jar of Sauerkraut, be sure to keep it in the refrigerator. It won’t keep as long if it’s in a warm, humid environment. Fortunately, Sauerkraut can be stored for years if you keep it refrigerated. If you’re worried about the flavour, add filtered water or a few tablespoons of vinegar to your jar.