The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

sluggish starter

JOHN01473's picture

Hi fellow bakers,

I just wanted to bat this one up for discussion / comments / advice.

I have noticed that the last two weeks my wheat sourdough starter has been very sluggish. I noticed that when it was in the fridge it had produced a layer of alcohol on top. I removed it from the fridge and I discarded this liquid and fed as normal - the starter did virtually nothing in 12 hours, even less in 24hrs.

I did however made two loaves using it and they came out fine - so why complain?



After using some of the starter I fed as normal to replenish it.

The next day I discarded and fed as normal - it still seemed sluggish in the next 12 hours.


The next day what I would have discarded I put into a separate container and fed with 100% RYE flour. The remaining Wheat starter I fed again as normal.

The results were stunning with the RYE - it climbed to the top of the container in a few hours and receded back down. the Wheat starter just produced a few bubbles on the surface.


I am feeding the RYE starter on a 4-day cycle to produce a 100% RYE starter for some baking. I am thinking that I will then convert some of the RYE starter to Wheat.


I have to say I bake very little white bread so maybe I will stick with the RYE starter.


I wondered if anyone just used a RYE starter for all types of baking.

I would be really interested in any replies / advice / discussion.


The Baking Bear


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