I actually stumbled upon kombucha vinegar early on in my kombucha experimenting days.   I had left a batch of kombucha to ferment for too long.  Instead of dumping it, I decided to go ahead with the bottling and second fermentation.   Immediately after trying it, my entire family complained in unison how “vinegary” it tasted.  I ended up drinking the batch on my own, but had to agree with them!

I did some more research and discovered that kombucha vinegar is actually a thing (I didn’t invent it!!!).  This makes sense, as the by-product of the bacterial cultures found in kombucha is acetic acid, which is responsible for the sour and pungent taste of vinegar.  While kombucha vinegar is only about 2% acetic acid (commercial vinegar is between 4-7%), it still has a bite and pleasant, almost fruity flavour.



I now always reserve a bottle or 2 from a finished kombucha brew to “age” to make vinegar.  I use it in my vinaigrettes, as well as in marinades and as a condiment.  In addition to the delicious flavour, kombucha vinegar has the bonus of the enhanced nutrition and probiotics found in kombucha tea. kombucha-vinegar-2


Aside from food, there are other uses for kombucha vinegar.  It is a natural disinfectant and can be used as a cleanser.  Mix 1 cup kombucha vinegar with a few drops of essential oil in a spray bottle.


Kombucha vinegar can also be used as a facial astringent.   It reportedly helps to balance the skin’s pH and also kills bacteria that could clog pores resulting in acne.  I actually saw a skincare line at my local health food store last month that is using kombucha in their products.  Save some money and use your own brew!

Many rave about using kombucha vinegar as a hair rinse, claiming it leaves their hair softer without stripping the natural oils found in our scalp.

There are many more uses for kombucha vinegar.  www.kombuchakamp.com or The Big Book of Kombucha (Hannah Crum & Alex LaGory) are excellent resources for more information.

So, the next time you mistakenly let your kombucha ferment for too long, don’t lament!  There are many fantastic options with this amazing brew!



  1. Reserve an entire batch or portion of finished kombucha
  2.  Place in a jar and cover the top with a coffee filter or dish towel.
  3. Let it sit at room temperature until the desired level of acidity and tartness are reached.
  4. The vinegar can be stored at room temperature.  Refrigerating will slow down the bacteria, reducing the souring of the vinegar. 

Option 2:  (Courtesy of The Big Book of Kombucha: Hannah Crum & Alex LaGory)

  1. Reserve a batch or portion of finished kombucha.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of sugar per pint of kombucha every 2 weeks for a period of 6 weeks.
  3. The vinegar can be stored at room temperature.  Refrigerating will slow down the bacteria, reducing the souring of the vinegar.

19 Responses

  1. i always add a squirt to my horse feed to ferment overnight…they look awesome!!! also i made pickled beets using the vinegar just by slicing up the cooked beets and covering with kombocha vinegar and a couple of spice cloves and they are perfectly pickled in my opinion.

  2. Is it possible to make a Kombucha vinegar from store bought Kombucha? I read that I could as long as it was plain and had some SCOBY’s in it… but what do I do with it? It’s been refrigerated. Do I leave it out on a shelf with added sugar? Or just leave it on a shelf to consume the remaining sugar without adding anything? I want to use for all the uses you’ve listed, especially the skin toner. I haven’t taken the plunge in making my own Kombucha yet, so I wasn’t sure if I could use store-bought or if I need to wait until I make a batch myself. I just stumbled on your blog and love the information you have on here! Looking forward to incorporating more into my home/diet/lifestyle. Thanks for the help!

    1. Hi Nidia- thank you so much for your support- glad you like the blog! You can try using the plain, store-bought kombucha you mentioned, but leave it at room temperature as is (do not add any additional sugar). If you leave it in the bottle, I suggest to remove the cap and cover the bottle with a small cloth, secured with a rubber band. This will allow oxygen to circulate and prevent any “surprises” from any built-up carbon dioxide produced by the yeast in the culture.

  3. This is exactly what I was looking for. I want to use kombucha for its probiotic benefits but don?t want the sugar content. The best option would be letting it ferment until the sugar is consumed. For sufferers of Candida the no sugar or low sugar content is primary. I wonder if these probiotic benefits would be lost when it turns to vinegar. I haven?t found anything online over this. Thanks

    1. Great! Glad you found this article helpful! I have not had my vinegar tested, but I have seen SCOBYs form in my vinegar, which is a good indication that the microbes are still active!

  4. Hi
    I forgot my kombucha like months. i dont even know how long has it been. I want to know can i use the scobys to make new kombucha all over again or what else i can do with all these scobys.

    1. Hi Rey- if you don’t see any mould, it is likely that the culture is still viable. Try making a batch of kombucha with a SCOBY and liquid from your stored SCOBYs. In the meantime, start a SCOBY hotel with your stored SCOBYs by adding some sweet tea to your stored SCOBYs to give them some nourishment. Here is the link to starting and maintaining a SCOBY hotel https://theculturedfoodie.com/scobys-how-to-start-and-maintain-a-kombucha-scoby-hotel/. It is good to have a reserve of backup culture in the unfortunate event that you lose a culture due to pathogens, etc.

  5. Hi Courtney,
    I’ve been making great kumbucha for a couple months. My frig is stocked, so I want to make vinegar. If I allow the remainder in my container to turn to vinegar will it harm the scobie for future kumbucha batches?
    Thnak you,

    1. Hi Cynthia- thanks for your interest and question. Glad to hear your kombucha batches have been successful! YOu could technically leave in your SCOBY when making the vinegar, but it’s best to remove it so that you don’t stress out the culture and risk losing it. Remember that you are not feeding the kombucha during the vinegar-making process as you want the culture in the reserved brew to consume the the residual sugar to achieve vinegar.

  6. Hi, Do you leave the scoby in the container you are using when making the Kombucha vinegar?


    1. Hi Simon- thanks for your interest and question. No, I remove the SCOBY when making the vinegar. Another one will likely form on the top as the vinegar is aging, and I often find mini ones in the bottles of my finished vinegar. You could leave the SCOBY in, but I like to remove it to try and preserve the integrity of the SCOBY.

  7. Hey there! Love your blog! Do you use any natural preservatives when using the vinegar for skincare? Or do you just use within a certain amount of time or refrigerate? I want to make an herb infused facial toner but I read conflicting things!

    1. Hi Ally- thanks for your interest! I keep my kombucha vinegar on the counter. I have plain and also rosemary, and thyme-infused kombucha vinegars and have never had an issue with them spoiling. If you are using the kombucha vinegar as a toner, you might want to dilute it a bit as the pH is quite low.

  8. Hi,
    Can the Kombucha Vinegar be stored in a pantry like Braggs ACV or does it have to be refrigerated? And how long is the shelf life?

    1. Hi Courtney- thanks for you interest and question. Yes, absolutely store kombucha vinegar at room temperature. It will continue to ferment and become more acidic and flavourful, but be sure to keep the lid loose (if you are using a lid) and it will continue to produce CO2! I usually use a bottle with a spigot, but I have had a lidded bottle spit up on me! As far as my experience goes, the shelf life is indefinite!

  9. You saved 2 gallons of kombucha that I forgot about, I?m going to start making vinegar on purpose now, thank you!!

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