The Fresh Loaf

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Newbie - Do I cover my sourdough starter???

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elmsley4's picture
elmsley4

Newbie - Do I cover my sourdough starter???

Short & sweet:

1) When creating my starter, the instructions in the book say to cover for 2-3 days with a towel until bubbly.  My starter is now bubbly - as I feed it, do I keep it covered?

2) I read the bubble starter might NOT be yeast, but bacteria.  How can I tell?  The tartine starter uses 50/50 whole wheat and bread flour with water - no potato water, no pineapple juice and no apple cider vinegar.

3) Does anyone else find that a starter attracts bugs?  I'm getting some small flies and I found a baby spider attracted to the starter!

Thanks all!

-Joel 

isand66's picture
isand66

Joel,

That's kind of the reason why you want to cover the starter.  Even though a little protein couldn't hurt your bread :) you probably want to avoid having flys and spiders living in your starter.

You should keep it loosly covered when first creating it and certainly covered once you have it started.

Once you have a mature starter you can refresh it for 6-10 hours and then keep it in your refrigerator until ready to use or refresh again.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Joel, yes.  I would recommend covering.  With all the summer fruit around my kitchen this season, I had fruit flies all over the place, including in my starter jar!  The little freaks found their way through the pin holes I punctured in my plastic wrap cover.  Luckily they didn't seem to affect the starter.  I just dont like the idea of them maybe taking liberties into my starter.  Yuk!

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

When I was keeping various fermentation vessels on the counter-top, I kept them covered with clean cotton handkerchiefs held in place with rubberbands.  This allowed air through without allowing in dust, spores, bugs, rodents, or cats.  In the refrigerator, you should keep the container more tightly closed so that the starter doesn't get dried out.  A cover that will expand or pop off under pressure is best, in case the starter ferments a bit in the cold.

elmsley4's picture
elmsley4

Thank you all for the feedback!

 

Well - I'm still feeding around 8:00 am, and so far so good.  If anything, I might be paying TOO much attention to the starter - checking on it every once in a while amazed at my "creation".

It seems I have YEAST!  I'll wait a few more days to make sure.  I understand if it's NOT yeast, and only bacteria causing the rising, the starter will not rise after day 6 or 7.  Thoughts?

Thanks all!

-Joel