In Morgan's video, which has been viewed over 9 million times, she shares, "This is your friendly reminder that if you have kombucha in your refrigerator and it has been 'kind of a long time,' don't touch it. Get some oven mitts and — I don't know — maybe some protective eye goggles. It will blow up."
BuzzFeed spoke to Morgan (who thankfully is okay!) to get more information about the unfortunate situation. She shared that the kombucha had been in her fridge, unopened, for about two and a half to three months. "It was just a normal, store-bought kombucha that I've had a few times before," she said.
However, once she grabbed it, it exploded. "I was in shock. I immediately saw that the cut on my hand was pretty bad, so I wrapped it up in paper towels and didn't look at it again because I'm squeamish," Morgan said. "Our dog was in the kitchen with me, so I was nervous that he was hurt. I checked him even before wrapping my hand, and thankfully, he was totally fine. Then my husband took me to the hospital." (Also, we love a good pet owner .)
"Because it exploded in my hand, the glass cut it in a few places, but the largest cut was in between my ring and middle finger and down my palm," she continued. "The glass sliced around my ring finger, but luckily, I recently got married and was wearing my wedding band, because it definitely would've been a lot worse had the ring not taken some of the impact!"
And although the doctors didn't really tell Morgan how it happened, she explained, "Clearly, the kombucha continued to ferment. The pressure just got so high that the slight movement from me grabbing it tipped it over the edge."
In addition, Morgan said she noticed in the comments of her video that this unfortunate phenomenon has happened to a lot of other people before, so we decided to go straight to a highly qualified kombucha expert: Sarah Bond.
Sarah — who is the author of the Brew Buch website — has been home-brewing kombucha for over a decade. In addition, she is a vegetarian food blogger on Live Eat Learn.
To understand what happened to Morgan, it is important to know that kombucha is essentially a controlled growth of good bacteria and yeast. Sarah said, "We feed it tea and sugar so that it will produce that uniquely tart flavor...along with carbonation!"
In the case of Morgan's unfortunate kombucha explosion, Sarah explained that the good bacteria and yeast were working hard inside the bottle creating carbonation, but since she hadn't opened it, the carbonation had nowhere to go. "This means the pressure was building and building until the big moment. This is actually very common and is one of the most common questions I get about brewing kombucha — how to stop the explosions! People send me pictures all the time of their home-brewed kombucha splatter all over their ceilings and walls."
So now that we know this, how can we ensure that our own kombucha — whether store-bought or homemade — won't explode?! Sarah said that if you're going to have a bottle in your fridge for many months, it is important to open it several times to let out the excess pressure that has built up from the fermentation.
Luckily, kombucha stays good for a very long time, thanks to its high acidity. "It's always important to use your best judgment when consuming any sort of home fermentation. Sometimes mold can occur in kombucha, so you should always be vigilant about keeping an eye out for signs of it, and don't drink it if it has any odd smells or tastes. With that said, I've only had one batch of kombucha ever get moldy, and it's because I didn't feed it tea or sugar for months!"
If you're curious about how you can make your own kombucha at home, Sarah said it is incredibly easy and you just need a few ingredients to do it (she has a tutorial in the video below)! "Home-brewing kombucha costs a fraction of what it does to buy a bottle at the store, and it's so fun to play with the different flavors. As many people know, kombucha is also healthy! It's packed with probiotics that support your gut health."