The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


LisaE's picture

Maintenance Starter Feeding Ratios

February 1, 2013 - 11:38pm -- LisaE

Hello all,

I captured my own wild yeast and have kept it alive and I think happy for about 8 weeks or so. I have been reading so many different pieces of advice about feeding for maintenace and have never seen anyone else feed at a ratio of 1:6:6. I was wondering if anyone had any insight on if this is a bad idea or just another way to feed it.

I have tried 100% hydration, 66% and 50%. I found that 100 percent gives me good bread and seems to be very stable. 66% was fine but soooo sticky! And 50% just smelled like vinegar and I never baked with it.

Born2Bake's picture

Mature Culture, and when to build the Levain, as well as other questions

January 10, 2013 - 10:10pm -- Born2Bake

I know to use a culture that rises and falls predictably after feedings.. I understand that much, however. When a recipe calls for the use of a "Mature Culture" to build your levain does it mean...

A)  Use the culture at the deflated unfead state to build your Levain that sits for 12-16 hrs.
B) Use a culture that has been fed, built up until it is at its peak height and would float on water- use that to make your levain that will then sit for 12-16 hours.

Anonymous baker's picture

Is there a standard or convention for how refresh/feeding ratios are written?

May 13, 2012 - 7:43am -- Anonymous baker (not verified)

When feeding/refreshing a starter, you often see ratios written like this: 1:2:2, 4:2:1...n:n:n.

Is there a standard or convention for how these ratios are written?

  1. starter:flour:water
  2. starter:water:flour
  3. flour:starter.water
  4. flour:water:starter
  5. water:flour:starter
  6. water:starter:flour


gmagmabaking2's picture

Naming your Starters?

February 12, 2012 - 6:50am -- gmagmabaking2

I have read where people name their starters... I was calling my the beasties... (as in yeastie beastie)... but after reading a really pleasant book wherein the pets were named Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy... I decided I like those names for my starters.   So my white flour starters are Goodness and Mercy and the Whole Wheat one is Shirley.  Quite funny I think.

ajkessel's picture

Feeding ferment (Bertinet method) - how much to take out/replenish?

February 13, 2011 - 11:55am -- ajkessel

I'm doing the best I can to follow Richard Bertinet's sourdough method set out in "Crust." One thing I'm quite confused about is the volume of ferment. I bake about once per week. Bertinet suggests you should have 800g ferment; take out 400g for two loaves, and then refresh with an equal mass of water (i.e., 400g) and twice the mass of white bread flour (i.e., 800g). So after taking out the 400g and feeding the ferment, I have 1200g of mixture. If I kept this pattern up, the ferment would just keep getting larger and larger.

avatrx1's picture

Am I creating a low hydration starter or underfeeding?

July 30, 2009 - 5:01pm -- avatrx1

I have a starter going, but I think I'm going to goof it up so here's my question.

All the discussions on firm starters and 100 hydration starters etc got me thinking....

In order to create enough starter to do something with, I added equal grams of water/flour to the starter, but I didn't weigh the starter that I was adding to before I fed it.

MommaT's picture

Starter maintenance - am I doing something hazardous?

December 28, 2008 - 1:31pm -- MommaT



I have been maintaining my starter in a bit of a different way than the 1:2:2 formula usually suggested.

Instead of discarding when I haven't used some starter, I just add equal amounts of flour/water to the starter.  This is usually ~4 oz. each.   Since I usually refresh the starter and use recipes with large amounts of preferment, I haven't run into the problem of the ever-growing starter.  It still maintains well in my 1L jar.  

However, I was wondering if this would cause a problem with balance of organisms or some other issues like that.  

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