Pickle juice is getting popular day by day. But, several questions are often asked about the shelf life of pickle juice namely, does pickle juice go bad? How long does pickle juice last? Can you freeze pickle juice?
Today we are going to cover everything you need to know about pickle juice’s shelf life, storing process and many more.
Does pickle juice go bad?
Yes, pickle juice goes bad if not preserved properly. It contains vinegar which is highly exposed to bacteria to grow faster.
If you preserve your homemade pickle brine or juice at room temperature for longer periods and don’t keep the juice container in a dark and cold place, chances are that it can go bad sooner.
At room temperature, it turns moldy and unstable. The natural color of pickle juice is yellow. When it is expired, it becomes a bit cloudy and slimy.
In the case of store-bought shelf-stable pickle juice, the manufacturers tag expiration date or best by date.
You can preserve unopened pickle juice at room temperature for longer periods. Once you opened it and store it at room temperature, it can spoil soon.
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Does pickle juice need to be refrigerated?
Yes, pickle juice needs to be refrigerated. In a warm environment, harmful bacteria can grow fast and spoil your homemade pickle juice soon. The cold temperature slows down the fermentation process of pickle juice and gives longevity.
Normally, bacteria can grow fast over 40° F temperature. But, the ideal temperature of a fridge is between 35° F-38°F and which gives high shelf life.
If you preserve the homemade pickle juice or brine in the refrigerator, make sure to seal the jar tight and store it in a sealed crisper drawer which is a cold place in the fridge.
Don’t store the jar close at the door and don’t open the fridge frequently. In the case of, shelf-stable store-bought, you needn’t preserve unopened pickle juice in the refrigerator.
Most of the store-bought pickle juice is pasteurized and the manufacturers use the preservative to enhance juice shelf life. Once you opened store-bought pickle juice, make sure to preserve the jar after every use.
When you open the jarred juice it loses its preservatives and naturally attracts bacteria when comes contact into with air, heat, and light.
Can you freeze pickle juice?
Yes, you can freeze pickle juice as well. You can preserve pickle juice in the freezer for more extended periods than refrigerate it. In the freezing points of 0° Fahrenheit, bacteria remain inactive and can’t grow for a long time.
As a result, pickle juice can’t go bad for longer periods. Make sure to pour homemade pickle juice into a mason jar leaving 1-inch space from the top. When you freeze pickle juice, it may expand and the jar may break.
Pickle juice or brine contains solutions of water, salt, and vinegar. We all know water expands when it is frozen. That’s why leave some space from the lid while pouring the Mason jar with pickle juice. Seal the lid tight save from freezer burns.
Write down the label and date and freeze the jar for more extended periods than the fridge. Whenever, you will use the juice after thawing, make sure to seal it tight and freeze it again as bacteria may be active and grow fast when it comes into contact with heat, light, and air.
You needn’t store a store-bought pickle juice jar in the freezer unless the jar is unopened. Because store-bought juice is pasteurized and manufacturers use preservatives for getting longevity at room temperature.
Once you open the jar, it comes into contact with air, light, and temperature, and the preservatives lose their efficacy and bacteria grows fast when you preserve it at room temperature again.
Therefore, freeze opened store-bought pickle juice immediately after every single use if you want its highest shelf life.
How long does pickle juice last?
The longevity of pickle juice depends on so many factors. How you preserve it, where you store it, and so on. At room temperature, you can store homemade pickle juice for a few weeks but store-bought pickle juice can be stored for up to 1-year if it is unopened.
You can fridge homemade pickle juice for up to 2-3 months while store-bought pickle juice can be refrigerated for 1-2 months once opened.
You can freeze homemade pickle juice for up to 8-12 months. You shouldn’t freeze unopened store-bought pickle juice at all. But, once you open the jar, you can store it in the freezer for up to a year or more.
How to tell if pickle juice is bad?
How to tell if pickle juice is bad? Well, you can easily detect whether your pickle juice goes bad or not by noticing some obvious signs.
- The obvious sign is mold in the pickle juice. If you see any yeast-like mold floating on the pickle juice, discard it right away. It’s already gone bad.
- Look over if you get foul smells specifically sharp bad smells than its natural smell; throw them away as it’s expired already.
- If you see some small bubbles floating on the pickle juice without shaking, chances that it is gone bad. Discard it right now.
- The natural color of pickle juice is light yellow. Notice the color closely if you see any radical color change it may be expired.
- Taste your pickle juice if you feel bitter taste or no taste at all, chances that it’s already spoiled.
- If you buy store-bought pickle juice, see the best by date or pickle juice expiration date. Best by date means the dates you can get optimal quality juice. If the expiration dates have already passed, you can still use it but see the other signs of spoilage before drinking pickle juice. If you get any sign of bad pickle juice, discard it.
What happens if you drink bad pickle juice?
When pickle juice goes bad, some bacteria called pathogens grow fast. These harmful bacteria cause several food-borne illnesses but are not that critical.
Drinking expired pickle juice may cause food poisoning which leads to stomach upsets, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and gas problem.
If you face these illnesses after drinking bad pickle juice, call your doctor or go to the local hospital and consult the doctor immediately.