The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starter Victim of Sandy

Sjadad's picture

Starter Victim of Sandy

I've been without electricity since 2 PM this past Monday, the day Sandy hit NJ with a vengeance. I really can't complain much because my house and family came through it unscathed. Having been without electricity since Monday I fear my starter may be a goner. Very sad if true because it's been serving me very well for many years. Of course I'll try to revive it, but if unsuccessful I'll start from scratch. 

Does anyone have advice for how many times I should try to revive it with successive feedings before it becomes pointless?  Also, what are the chances it still has any life in it?


PaddyL's picture

It was the Nancy Silverton starter, made with grapes, and I called it Bubbles.  It died during the ice storm in 1998, along with most of our plants, and I didn't bother with another starter until 4 years ago, and this one is very active.  I use it all the time.

grind's picture

Why don't you do a feed with a very low innoculation, say like 1%?  Also, make it as stiff as you can to slow everything down.  Just to keep it going.  Should be fine.

jimbodeuxe's picture


We just got back to our home on Long Island yesterday to find our ground floor fridge had given up the ghost from a few inches of flooding. I had two starters in there, a 100% and a 50%. Certainly the 50% one was in much better shape but even the 100% is going to come back. I spilled off all the alcohol on the top and then poured out all of the starter into a clean bowl out of which I took 25g and put into a fresh mason jar and gave it an initial feeding of 10g h2o and flour each. checked  every 6 hours and fed as indicated by activity level. Seems to be coming along two feedings in.

Good luck with the recovery (starter and all the rest of it)!

PS. That sounds like a wonderful starter. Let me know if you get her back ok and would like to trade some. Mine is an Oregon Trail I've used exclusively since I started this SD baking madness a few years ago.




Sjadad's picture

Thank you all for the responses and suggestions. No matter what, I will be baking more SD bread one way or another after the effects of Sandy are behind us.  

Thanks again!


dabrownman's picture

of the fridge all the time and feed it every couple pof days if they keep it on the stiff side.   Souldn't be a problem to keep yours out of the fridge for a while.

laurielrh's picture

Hello, Sjadad,

We got our power back last night after five days. I have fed my starter twice since and it is up and running(along with all other services).

I am hoping to be able to use it next weekend.

Here's hoping for no more storms!


Sjadad's picture

We finally got our power restored after 11 days. There are still plenty of people in cold/dark homes with whom I truly empathize. I hope they all get restored quickly. 

After returning home and checking the house's vital signs, I turned to my starter. It didn't look promising.  I stirred it vigorously and added 25g AP, 25 g WW, and 50g water. I would usually discard all but 50g of the starter before feeding but I didn't discard any this time, figuring I would need as many live yeast cells and bacteria as possible to get it going. Well, this morning (about 10 hours later) it is alive and well. Phew! I'm going to feed it again right now, and bake tomorrow. 

Thanks again for all the suggestions. 


gmagmabaking2's picture

Congrats on feeding those yeastie beasties well. I am glad your starter is thriving.

Bake ON!