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HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR STARTER
AFTER IT'S REACTIVATED

Let me start by taking some of the pressure off, because truth is, your starter doesn't have to be fed weekly or even bi-weekly, as long as you keep it in the fridge which will keep it in a dormant state. If kept cold, your starter can actually go 6 months or longer without being fed and the longer it sits in the fridge, the richer the flavor of the sourdough will be, as it has time to ferment. If your starter is brand new, not to worry, you will still get a great sourdough flavor from a starter that hasn't had time to ferment in the fridge but just remember for future that the longer it sits in the fridge, the more sour it will become. Please also note: if you keep your starter outside of the fridge (say on the counter), it will need to be fed every 24-48 hours or it will die. Starter is a bacteria and as you know, bacteria thrives and grows rapidly in warmer temperatures, so if not in an environment where it can feed freely, it will starve to death and will no longer be active when you try to feed it.

 

It is also important to know that a starter that has been in the fridge for some time and hasn't been fed in awhile is going to be slightly less active when you feed it for the first time than a starter than has just been fed or has been sitting out at room temp. To get it back to a super active state, all you need to do is remove your starter from fridge, feed it 2-4 times within a 48 hour period (with ratio of at least 2 cups water to 2 cups flour each time), then let it sit on the counter to bubble and rise before making your bread recipe.

 

I tend to split my starter stash up into a few different mason jars so I can let some age more than others. Also a lot of the starter discard recipes I have for you guys call for un-fed starter, so it helps to have multiple batches going.

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FOR MY VISUAL LEARNERS HERE IS A FAQ + HOW TO FEED/CARE YOUR STARTER IN-DEPTH VIDEO!

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This is the HOOCH, it will be a array of different colors. Grey, black, brown or tanish.

As I mentioned above, our starter only needs to be fed every so often. The more often you feed, the more mild the sourdough flavor will be. If you let it age at least 6-8 weeks in the fridge before making bread, it will give more of a rustic sourdough flavor, one that taste unlike any sourdough you've ever had.

 

Generally I'll feed my starter every 3 months or until there's a decent amount of hooch on top of the starter. Hooch is the dark liquid that forms on-top of the starter as the starter feeds on the flour and water and ferments. Its normal and just means its time to be fed!

 

Mix it all back into your starter before feeding. The HOOCH will be an array of different colors usually grey, black, brown or tan-ish which are normal colors. Black mold or red, pink or orange SMEARS on top of the starter indicate bacteria and mean it  should be thrown out completely and you should start over if you don't have other batches that are not affected.

 

 How much to feed depends on how big your stash is, a smaller stash needs 1/2 cup water - 1/2 cup flour ratio where as a larger stash will need 2:2 -4:4 cup ratio.

Sourdough DISCARD Concept:

Discard is literally just starter you want to discard out of your stash before you feed so that you don't eventually end up with a refrigerator full of starter. Some people literally throw it away but I think its sinful to waste it and literally with the hundreds of sourdough discard recipes out there, there's not a single reason to throw it away.  When I'm ready to feed my starter, I will take however much starter I need to include in a couple discard recipes and then I feed the rest of my starter and stick it back in the frig. 

Note that you don't HAVE to discard any of your starter at all. You can just feed it and let your stash grow infinitely, but I mean, who has the fridge space for that? Grow your stash to as big as you want and then start discarding starter with my great discard recipes!

Lastly, have fun with all of this you guys! I will do my best to make all my recipes and instructions as care free as the baker that I am. And if I, the most care-free baker you'd ever meet can be successful with sourdough, SO CAN YOU! Also, just remember I'm your free sourdough resource so please message me on social media or email me and I'd love to help out! Best of luck and thank you again for your support of our small business and blog!

Below I'll make sure to post all my sourdough recipes as I get them posted to my new platform. 

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