Are You Supposed to Shake Kombucha? No & Here’s Why

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You shouldn't shake kombucha for two reasons. Firstly, it introduces air into the drink, prompting carbonation and making it fizzier. Secondly, shaking kombucha stirs up settled sediments in the drink, making the drink a little less palatable.

What Happens if You Shake a Bottle of Kombucha?

Shaking kombucha makes the drink fizzier and sourer. During the fermentation process, the yeast digests the sugar in the liquid, producing a small amount of alcohol and the fizz caused by the natural carbonation (CO2).

The CO2 usually settles at the top of the bottle of kombucha. However, the CO2 mixes with the liquid when shaking, making the drink fizzier. If you shake it too much, it could cause the the drink to explode upon opening.

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Exploding kombucha

The second reason many people don’t shake kombucha is to avoid the sediment at the bottom of kombucha. Kombucha is made from SCOBY (bacteria and yeast), starter tea, and sweetened black tea—and the bacteria and yeast found in the former two ingredients tend to settle at the bottom gradually.

Does Shaking Kombucha Cause the Yeast to Grow?

In a store-bought, refrigerated bottle of kombucha, the bacteria are present but dormant. Shaking the bottle will not wake them up or cause them to grow.

During fermentation, you can gently shake the kombucha to combine the ingredients. However, if you shake it too vigorously, the ingredients can become too active, producing a sour brew. It is best to leave the tea undisturbed for a week or two and let the kombucha SCOBY do its job.

If you’re not seeing any results during fermentation, something else may be hindering the development. Ensure you’ve precisely measured your ingredients, there is ample oxygen flow, your SCOBY isn’t more than six months old, and nothing is contaminated.

What Does It Mean if the Kombucha Is Cloudy?

If your kombucha is cloudy, the yeast and bacteria are overactive. This is usually caused by a higher emission of CO2 in the liquid caused by the yeast. While it may not look appetizing, a cloudy bottle of kombucha is still safe to drink— it will eventually restore itself to its original, undisturbed form if left untouched.

Leaving your homebrewed kombucha to ferment for longer will likely remove the cloudiness, but it also comes with the added risk of making the drink more acidic. So don’t leave it out for too long.

Furthermore, if there’s any sign of mold in the carbonated drink, you should discard the fermented tea entirely.

Is It Okay to Drink the Sediment in Kombucha?

While drinking these peculiar floaties in your kombucha may feel dubious, consuming them is perfectly okay. These are the naturally occurring yeast and bacteria produced from the mother batch. They are full of probiotics, antioxidants, and other gut-healthy bacteria.

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Floating sediment

That said, some people don’t enjoy the slimy texture of these tiny particles. If you relate with that group, you’ll still get a dose of healthy bacteria from drinking just the beverage, so you can remove these particles with a filter before drinking kombucha.

How to Mix Kombucha Without Shaking It

Stir, don’t shake! If you want those healthy sediments in your drink, give your kombucha tea a few stirs with a spoon and sip away.

Alternatively, gently swirl the kombucha bottle to allow the settled sediments to get suspended into the drink. This way, you’ll get an even larger dose of beneficial bacteria in each sip of booch.

I Accidentally Shook Kombucha- Is It Safe to Open and Drink?

If you ignored the “do not shake” warning on your kombucha before opening it, don’t worry, it’s still safe to open and drink within a week.

You’ll need to allot some time before opening the container, though, as there is a chance for the kombucha to spill due to the carbon dioxide buildup. The kombucha may lose some of its effervescence and be flat due to the shaking. Besides that, the health benefits and taste will remain intact within a week after shaking.


Joshua recently discovered flavored kombucha and has since become a fan of its taste and health properties. He's currently attempting to taste test at least 20 different kombucha flavors, and his current favorite is apple kombucha.

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