The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough Starter in trouble

ojuice's picture
ojuice

Sourdough Starter in trouble

So I got my sourdough starter going almost a month ago using SourdoLady's wonderful instructions, and things were going well until this past Monday. Suddenly the starter no longer rises after feedings and no longer has a delicious and yeasty smell. Instead it's smelling like pancake batter, and just barely gets a few bubbles. However, this morning when I woke up and checked on it, there was a thin layer of hooch on top. Does anyone know what's going on with it? Do I need to start over?

Comments

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I'm not sure this is the answer to your problem. In the "Search" box enter washing culture. Scroll down and read the comment "Washing culture".

I'm sure SourdoLady will reply and let you know for sure, but in the mean time you can read about it.

Good Luck

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

Hey, sourdough cultures are very resiliant so I doubt it is a goner. How often are you feeding it? Are you using dechlorinated or bottled water? Do you dump out most of the old starter before feeding? (you only need to save a couple of spoonfuls, or not more than 1/4 cup). Washing can help, but if you feed your starter properly it shouldn't be necessary. Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

ojuice's picture
ojuice

I've been feeding it once per day (usually around 3pm) with 1 cup of flour, 1
cup of Dasani water, to 1 cup of starter.  I've been using Dasani bottled water, and feeding it King Arthur AP flour.  Last night I went ahead and dumped all but 1/4 cup and fed it 1 1/2 cups of flour and water.  I'm anxious to get home and see if it's doing any better. ;)

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

Yes, saving 1 cup is way too much. I'll be anxious to hear how it did with the improved feeding. If you are feeding it once a day, are you always keeping it unrefrigerated? If you are, then it will be consuming the nutrients in the flour very quickly and that could also be part of your problem. I generally feed my starter, let it sit out on the counter for an hour (or until it is bubbling nicely) and then I pop it in the fridge until I want to bake with it again. If you bake very often and don't want to keep the starter in the fridge, then I would suggest that you feed it twice a day--and dump before you feed EVERY time.