building, food, health, home

Day 4-6 Sourdough Starter

The weather is getting cooler at the Home by the Sea. Could this affect the number of bubbles I see in the starter?

Sourdough Problems or Not?

Since I attended one of those slightly cringeworthy Tupperware parties of the 80’s, I always store my white flour in the fridge. I never get weevils or pantry moths in my flour due to this storage method. However, I got to thinking that this might make the sourdough more sterile, due to a lesser number of bugs. So I ask the bread-making veterans: Would this make a difference?

Day 6

The Starter seems to have run out of steam, a little and I am looking for explanations. I do have a confession to make:

I added the morning feed quantity at the evening feeding and the following morning it was very liquidy on the top.

I may have overfed it!

I may have killed it?

I continued feeding the batch I was intending to keep and use, and left aside this ‘to be discarded if it doesn’t do anything’ batch, for a day but it didn’t seem to improve.

Not many bubbles, compared to day 2, which is seen below.

I have no idea as to whether it is still alive, or if I am flogging a dead sourdough mother.


8 thoughts on “Day 4-6 Sourdough Starter”

  1. Amanda it’s normal for new starters to have a growth spurt and then flag. Just keep on going. Here are a few suggestions.

    1. Don’t transfer your starter to new containers every time you feed. Based on your photos, I’m guessing that you’re measuring out your old starter & putting it into a new container before feeding it? No need to do that. Your old container has a vibrant eco-system of wild yeast & good bacteria partying on the walls, dancing on the ceiling and flying in the air. Every time you take a subset out & put it in a sterile bottle, the party needs to build up and start again 🙂 Instead, pour out half of your spent starter and feed it again. The amount you leave behind doesn’t have to be exact, just make sure that there is at least half of much starter to new food. The amount of old starter just indicates how quickly they’ll consume the new food. Less starter and it’ll take longer to consume. More starter and it’ll consume faster

    2. Liquid on top of a flat starter is a sign that it is spent and starving. While you weren’t looking, it gobbled up all the food and is ‘spent.’ i.e. It’s the morning after the party and it’s wallowing in the aftereffects. It needs a good feed and then it’ll feel better.

    3. It looks like you’re using a bowl to store your starter? I recommend putting it in a wide mouth jar with a lid. That keeps the party in the house and cuts down on dehydration & interference by new organisms. If you do transfer to a jar, it’s a good time to note the dry weight of the jar and use it to calculate how much to pour off, during discard & feed times.

    4. Cold flour won’t kill your starter. It’ll just slow down the rate of fermentation, since temperature does that. Temperature matters a lot when making bread but not so much for feeding your starter.

    5. If you want to boost your starter, try adding more whole wheat flour and less white flour. If you have a choice, organic, unbleached white flour is better. But I use regular enriched all purpose flour myself and it works fine.

    6. Feeding a starter every 12 hours is tedious work. Unless you’re going to be a full time baker, I recommend feeding once a day. Starters are very trainable and you’ll find that they’ll adjust to your schedule.

    A final word. According to my chef teacher, it is very hard to kill an established starter. It can endure surprisingly high heat, cold temperature and long periods (weeks!) of starvation, From what I see, your starter is young and just needs some time & care.


      1. Please don’t apologize. It was all really useful information. I thought it could make a great post for you. I just made some fried discarded starter and it is a winner. Delicious!


  2. Thanks so much for that wonderful advice, Sandy. It could make a post in itself. It is reassuring and helpful. I do have a lid on the container, very loosely, but changing containers each day does seem to slow things down, so I will try that. I didn’t like the fact that I didn’t have to measure the amount to discard, so I started with a fresh container and the 3 tablespoons of starter that the Video by Amy And as we are almost on Day 7, I will only give it one feeding.
    It doesn’t look like hers though…
    I will keep tending it, feeding once a day and try making a pancake with the discarded contents, or is it too soon for that?

    Liked by 1 person

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