Maybe you stumbled upon some juice fermentation videos that intrigued you and you want to try your hand at making your very own fermented drink.
The orange juice sitting in your fridge seems like a great candidate for your experimentation. But does orange juice ferment? I did some research and here’s what I found out!
Does Orange Juice Ferment?
Orange juice ferments when exposed in the open due to the bacteria and yeast particles in the air. Similarly, refrigerated orange juice that still remains unopened can go bad as long as there is yeast and sugar present. Randomly fermented orange juice is not safe for consumption, unlike intentional ones that are fermented in a controlled environment.
If you’re dead set on knowing about how orange juice ferments, whether it’s safe for consumption, and its alcohol content, then you’re on the right track!
Is It Okay To Drink Fermented Orange Juice?
It’s not okay to drink randomly fermented orange juice but you can drink intentionally fermented orange juice.
Randomly fermented orange juice is not safe to drink because of bacterial contamination. Spontaneous ferments make it possible for bad bacteria to pool in the OJ once more.
On the other hand, intentionally fermented orange juice is exposed to a safe environment that stunts the growth of bad bacteria and is made for consumption.
What Does Fermented Orange Juice Taste Like?
Fermented orange juice tastes like outdated wine or beer. It’s more bitter when the environment is insufficient for the bacteria to fully ferment.
Once the flavor has developed, the natural sweetness of orange juice will fade and disappear over time. It will be replaced by a bitter, tarty wine flavor.
Why Did My Orange Juice Ferment?
Your orange juice fermented because you left it out in the open for too long.
Leaving your citrus beverage uncovered and unrefrigerated can attract microorganisms. These bacteria can spoil your orange juice.
How To Safely Ferment Orange Juice?
To safely ferment orange juice for consumption, it should be left in a sanitized environment to keep the bad bacteria out.
The designated area should be able to host the growth of yeast without any extra interruption. This stops the cultivation of unnecessary bacteria and unneeded yeasts.
How Long Does It Take For Orange Juice To Ferment?
Orange juice will finish the fermentation process 24 to 48 hours after bubbles start forming. The process will speed up if the room is warm.
Orange juice left out in the open immediately attracts microorganisms in the air. It will start to go bad, develop mold and yeasts which in turn will spike up the fermentation process.
Can Expired Orange Juice Turn Into Alcohol?
Yes, expired orange juice can turn into alcohol.
When orange juice reaches the end of its shelf life, it will oxidize gradually. Microorganisms will start to pool on the liquid and will change the juice’s overall composition.
A chemical reaction with or without the presence of oxygen will take place. The sugars will transform into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
Does Fermented Orange Juice Contain Alcohol?
Yes, fermented orange juice contains alcohol called ethanol.
During the fermentation process, the juice’s natural sugar is transformed into ethanol which is the offshoot of carbon dioxide reaction.
In the process of converting sugar into alcohol, bubbles will appear. This gives the drink a champagne-like fizz.
Can You Get Drunk Off Fermented Orange Juice?
Yes, it is possible to get drunk on fermented orange juice.
Fermented orange juice contains ethanol, also known as grain alcohol. Although it is only produced in the range of 9 to 10.5%, some don’t have the tolerance to drink this.
Can Orange Juice Ferment In The Fridge?
Yes, orange juice can ferment in the fridge. This includes the unopened ones way past their expiration date.
Orange juice can turn into alcohol without being exposed to the outside air as long as there is yeast and sugar present.
This type of accidental fermentation is not good for consumption because the environment is not controlled and all sorts of bacteria are present.
If you want to learn more about orange juice, you can see our related posts on whether orange juice goes bad, if orange juice needs to be refrigerated, and whether you can freeze orange juice.
Orange juice can be naturally fermented whether it is exposed in the air or sealed tight in the refrigerator. As long as the necessary conditions of yeast and sugar are met, it will start to transform itself.
Fermentation can take 24 to 48 hours and intentionally fermented orange juice will have a mellow, tarty, and bitter taste.