The Fresh Loaf

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Color of levian after being refrigerated

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Vickiann0920's picture
Vickiann0920

Color of levian after being refrigerated

So when I took the levian out of the refrigerator..it looked like it was getting moldy..it was in an airtight jar...I smelled it and smelled good..so I used it..anyone have an explanation on this... Thank s Vicki 

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

How long did you keep it in the fridge without feeding it? Longest should be 1 week. Best I can say with limited info is feed it 1:1:1 and if it behaves well then it's good.

ElPanadero's picture
ElPanadero

looked like it was getting moldy

If you see fuzzy mold on your starter then imo throw it away and start again. Did you see mold or was ther perhaps "hooch" (brown liquid) on the surface?

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

You reference color in the title but did not describe the color in the post. If it was red, it was dangerous mold. If it was grey or greenish it was just underfed. And, if it was fuzzy, I am willing to bet you wouldn't have used it. However, even a bit of hair probably can be dealt with by scooping out some of the clean stuff on the bottom and feeding it. However, if you have the red stuff, I'd definitely just start over. 

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11

??

PetraR's picture
PetraR

Hooch is fine, I never had anything els in my Starter even after 6 weeks in the fridge without feeding.

I , like AbeNW11 would like to know what the red stuff is that is so dangerous?

Kiseger's picture
Kiseger

There are several different pink or red molds, such as X fusarium and X gibberella and X vomitoxin, to name a few.  Some of them can be toxic to humans, for example X fusarium was used in the "yellow rain" toxic chemical agent.  Others appear to be non-toxic in small amounts.  There is a lot of information available on the web, some of it is alarming but look at the more reliable scientific sources.  As I understand it, the two main causes for mold in a starter are (a) contamination (eg. from utensils or changing bowls/containers with soap or food residue on them) or (b) underfeeding the starter or erratic feeding (eg. 2x a day then nothing for 5 days then 3x a day), where the yeast has become weakened.  If the mold is on the top of the starter and it is possible to skim it off, then skim off another layer with a new spoon and then go for a spoonful at the bottom (with another new spoon) and use that to feed, as David Esq. suggests.  I also agree that anything red or pink is best discarded entirely (unless you are a micologist and have a home microscope to determine what types of spores these are!!).

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I was just going from memory. King Arthur folks said to abandon red or pinkish starter and hoped they'd have a reason besides selling more flour for saying it.  :)

Vickiann0920's picture
Vickiann0920

Thanks guys....this was not red Or pink..... it from comments it sounds just like it was under fed..it had been in there about 4 days....

PetraR's picture
PetraR

It should not happen if it is ONLY 4 days in the fridge.

A starter can go in the fridge for weeks without feeding.

Of course it is better to feed it 1x a week when stored in the fridge but it is very hard to kill a Starter.

Vickiann0920's picture
Vickiann0920

I will try and take a picture of it....

Vickiann0920's picture
Vickiann0920

So maybe not worry as long as it isnt red or pink and have a funky smell?  :)

ElPanadero's picture
ElPanadero

You distinctly said:

it looked like it was getting moldy

So what visual aspect of it made you think it was moldy?

 

PetraR's picture
PetraR

To be honest, withoug a picture none of us can tell you that it is ok or not ok.

 

Vickiann0920's picture
Vickiann0920

It looked dark with spots....smelled fine..no red or pink...

placebo's picture
placebo

Is this a whole wheat starter? The top layer of a whole wheat starters will typically turn grayish after a few days in the refrigerator. It's nothing to worry about.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I abandoned my whole wheat starter because it just looked too gray and sickly. Not that I was otherwise terribly attached to it. But if I make another one, I know what to expect.

Vickiann0920's picture
Vickiann0920

That's what I did first time around..threw it away..I now know it will look like that....what's interesting is that the instructions say u can keep it in the refrigerator for a month without feeding it...so I don't know about that..lol