Almost every bottle of kombucha you find at the store has a “Do Not Shake” warning on it. Which made me wonder, what happens if you do shake a bottle of kombucha?
It's recommended you don’t shake kombucha before opening it because it's a carbonated drink and can explode if shaken up before opening. You can however stir or swirl kombucha before opening to distribute the healthy bacteria and yeast sediment that sometimes settles at the bottom of the bottle.
It’s a pretty simple answer, but if you’d like to learn more about why not to shake kombucha, and what exactly that sediment is at the bottom of the bottle, you’re gonna want to read on.
What Happens if I Shake Kombucha Before Opening It?
Just like when you shake a carbonated soda before opening it, if you shake kombucha it will probably explode when opened. If you’re like me and would rather drink your kombucha than wear it, shaking is something to avoid.
“I’ve Shaken Kombucha Before and It Didn’t Explode”
Kombucha is carbonated in a different way than sodas or sparkling waters. While these drinks get their carbonation injected into them artificially, kombucha’s carbonation develops as a natural result of the fermentation process.
During a process known as 2nd fermentation, the bacteria and yeast culture ferments sugar from flavorings into alcohol, acids, and carbon dioxide. Because the kombucha is in an air tight bottle, the CO2 can’t escape, and so pressure builds up until the CO2 forces itself back into the liquid, creating carbonation.
Now the reason that you may have been able to shake kombucha before without an explosion is because the level of natural carbonation in a bottle of booch can vary depending on the brands length and temperature of 2nd fermentation, flavoring used, and activity level of bacteria and yeast.
This means that unlike artificially carbonated drinks like Coca Cola that have the exact same amount of carbonation in every can, kombucha's carbonation level can vary dramatically depending on how it's made.
So if you’ve shaken a bottle before and nothing happened, you may want to be careful in the future in case you get one that has fermented more and is more highly carbonated.
How to Spread Out the Sediment at the Bottom of Kombucha
The main reason that people want to shake their kombucha in the first place is to spread out the probiotic sediment that settles at the bottom of the bottle.
This sediment, although it looks scary to some, is actually a sign that the kombucha was made properly. It means that the booch was made with a live culture of bacteria and yeast and has healthy probiotics in it.
When you drink kombucha you’re drinking tiny pieces of these probiotics that are spread throughout the bottle. People like to drink the bigger pieces of sediment at the bottom because they’re a more concentrated form of the healthy probiotics already spread throughout the booch.
The sediment doesn’t really taste like anything. It’s really more of a texture than a flavor, although you may get a little yeasty aftertaste if you take a sip that’s mostly yeast.
You don’t have to mix up or drink the sediment at the bottom, but if you would like to get the sediment mixed throughout the booch without shaking the bottle, you can just swirl the bottle and it should get picked up off the bottom and spread out in the booch.
If on the other hand you don’t want to drink the bacteria and yeast sediment at the bottom you can either not shake it, or pour the kombucha through a strainer into a glass to filter it out.
What Brew Dr. Says about Shaking Your Kombucha
“NO! You wouldn’t shake a beer or a soda, so don’t shake your kombucha. If you see bits of mystery ingredients settled at the bottom of your kombucha bottle, those are naturally-occuring bacteria that make kombucha kombucha. You can gently tilt your closed bottle back and forth to distribute, or leave the happy particles right where they are.”
You can shake your kombucha if you want, but just know that it could excite the carbonation and cause an explosion when you open it. If you want to spread out the probiotic sediment on the bottom, swirl the bottle instead.
That’s pretty much it. If you’d like to learn more kombucha tips and even how to brew it yourself, be sure to check out the rest of my website! Have a great day!