How Long Does Sauerkraut Last?

Many of us think Sauerkraut has its origin in Germany, as “Sauer” means sour and “kraut” means cabbage in German. Instead of that, they were invented in China. But, how long does sauerkraut last? This is the biggest question arising when we talk about its shelf life. 

These fermented cabbages were made for the laborers building the great wall of china around 2000 years ago. Now, the question “how long does sauerkraut last?” bugs everyone. Let us discuss.


How do you know when sauerkraut is bad?

This depends on the type of sauerkraut we buy. Predicting when it will turn bad gets easy. The refrigerated and unopened sauerkrauts can stay for a year. The refrigerated and opened one can remain healthy for half a year. And unrefrigerated and unopened can stay for 3 months at least on the shelf. While opened and unrefrigerated sauerkraut should be consumed within 6-7 days.

How Long Does Sauerkraut Last? 

It is important to know whether the sauerkraut has turned bad or not. It may cause some digestion issues. The following are the signs you may monitor to tell whether the sauerkraut has turned bad:

  1. If you see bubbles on the top or if you get an off odour from it. 
  2. If the sauerkraut turns dry and tasteless. It’s time to discard it right away.
  3. If you see mold forming, that’s a sure sign of decay.

How do you know if homemade sauerkraut is bad?

The homemade sauerkraut tends to go bad early as compared to the airtight commercial ones. We can see the change in colours and bubble formation as it turns bad. In packaged sauerkrauts, the addition of preservatives adds to their shelf-life.

Can sauerkraut make you sick?

Due to its histamine content, excess consumption of sauerkraut may lead to diarrhoea and allergic reaction. It may also cause internal inflammation. Some study also suggests that it can cause anticarcinogenic effects. But all this can happen only when consumed in excess amount.

What do I do if my sauerkraut is too sour?

If it turned sour, simply rinse the cabbage or the better option is to squeeze out the juice. And then the sauerkraut is ready to eat. Also, you can drain out the liquid content that may make the taste lighter.

Should sauerkraut be rinsed?

In case of sauerkraut getting sour, you can rinse it with cold water and squeeze out the liquid content. This will make the sauerkraut lighter and ready to eat. Rinsing only washes out the acidic content of the sauerkraut. To avoid you should make sure that the sauerkraut is not fermented for long. Also, you can use big cabbages as they taste sweeter.


1. What is the difference between regular sauerkraut and Bavarian sauerkraut?

Ans. The Bavarian is milder and sweeter in comparison.

2. Will heating sauerkraut kill the probiotics?

Ans. As high temperature kills micro-organisms, it may kill probiotics. But cooking at a low temperature won’t do much harm.

Also, checkout Does freezing kill bacteria? How Can You Freeze Mint Leaves in Different Ways? and Can You Freeze Cottage Cheese? to know more about these common questions.

Kelly Anne

Kelly Anne

Hey there, I am Kelly Anne. Thank you for being here. Hope you like the website and it was helpful. I am a working mother of 2. I love to cook and feed people. My hobbies include cooking (obviously), reading, and rock climbing.

With so many machines and accessories in the market to help you cook it become quite overwhelming to choose from. I own a lot of these kitchen equipments and tried out the others. I want the best for my kitchen and I am helping you find the best for yours.

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