Can Cold Brew Go Bad?

Cold-brew is a delicious option for your daily coffee as it is made to be strong, refreshing, and a wonderful treat on a warm day. Whether you have bought an in-store brand of cold brew or made it at home yourself, you may be wondering, can cold brew go bad?

Cold-brew coffee can go bad. It will typically last for fourteen days in a refrigerator, after that you may begin to see mold growing or a strange taste or smell emitting from the container. If you do not see mold, you should still throw your cold brew out after two weeks.

To learn a bit more about the signs that your cold brew has gone bad, as well as how long it will keep in and out of a refrigerator, keep reading! I have everything you need to know so you can safely enjoy cold brew coffee this summer!

How Long Can You Keep Cold Brew Coffee?

As you already know, and as I mentioned above, if you keep your cold brew in a refrigerator, it will last about fourteen days before it goes bad.

However, it’s important to note that if you do not use a refrigerator, or accidentally forget your coffee on the counter, it will only last about sixteen to twenty hours.

After that, I do not recommend drinking it as it could be bad for your stomach.

The reason for that is that bacteria growth will increase drastically outside the refrigerator.

What Are the Side Effects of Drinking Bad Cold Brew?

The most likely side effect you will encounter if you drink cold brew after the two-week period is a bad stomach ache. However, you could also experience diarrhea or even vomiting if it has begun to grow mold.

The good news is, that drinking a cold brew that has gone bad is not fatal, and you may not need to go to the hospital. It may just feel a bit like food poisoning for the day.

What Can Make Cold Brew Go Bad Even Faster?

The statistics provided so far about cold brew coffee are for black coffee, but if you have added sugar or milk to your cold brew, it will actually go bad quite a lot faster.

You should only add milk or sugar to the cold brew you are about to drink. Once you have added it, it will only stay good for the next several hours, not days.

Once again, you can use your best judgment but if the milk has curdled or it has a strange or stale smell or taste, you should probably throw it out.

How to Tell if Cold Brew Has Gone Bad?

In order to avoid feeling sick at all, it’s essential to look out for the signs that your cold brew has gone bad.

  • If the cold brew smells stale or flavorless, it has probably gone bad.
  • It could also change color, or have a bad odor emanating, in which case, I recommend throwing it out.
  • If you see mold on the container or on the liquid itself, do not drink it!

While it may be hard to differentiate a “stale smell” from a regular one, if you have any doubts, just skip it! You can always make or buy a fresh batch and keep your gut happy and healthy!

Final Thoughts

So, can cold brew go bad? Now you know that it certainly can, and will go bad.

If you leave your cold brew at room temperature, it will most likely go bad within the day, however, if you keep it refrigerated without sugar or milk, it can last for up to two weeks!