The Fresh Loaf

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After weekly feeding/refrshing your starters, do you let rise a bit, or refrigerate immeditely?

Ted Wanderhill's picture
Ted Wanderhill

After weekly feeding/refrshing your starters, do you let rise a bit, or refrigerate immeditely?

Hello all,

I've been reading a lot of different opinions on this, and wanted to get your take. After the (weekly, or so) feeding/refreshing of your starter, or after you pulled the mother/barm/levain-stock out of the fridge and taken some away for baking, and then refreshed/fed the leftovers . . . do you like to let the newly-refreshed starter sit out for awhile and start its new rise/fermentation at room temp (to get it going), and then into the fridge after 6 or so hours . . .  or do you like to shoot it right back into the fridge, immediately post-feeding, for a slower ferment until later usage?

And along these lines, if you are on a multiple-feed-in-a-row process (such as, building it up over 4 consecutive feedings), do you like to feed when the "rise" is at its peak, or a bit before, or after it has dropped down a bit from its peak?

Curioser and curioser----Thanks--Ted

alabubba's picture

I am not an expert, But you asked for opinions so here is mine. For what its worth.

After I feed my starter, I let it set on the counter for an hour. I use room temp water and the hour is just to let it get a start.

When building my starter to bake, I like to let it collapse before the next feeding. I also like to let it collapse before I bake with it.

flournwater's picture

I feed it, allow it to rest on the counter for an hour or so (until it shows signs of growth) then put it back into the fridge.  A week later, I do it again.

mcs's picture

Curious Ted,
If I'm doing multiple feeds because I need to build it up, I'll let it sit out for a couple of hours, then refrigerate it.  Then I do the build when it looks peaked.
If I'm not building it up and I'm just going to be using it on a regular basis (say in 2 days), then it goes immediately into the fridge or it might be too ripe.  Also the water temp used plays a large factor, of course.  If you use cold water then it'll take longer to get going.


Yumarama's picture

I take the 50g of starter from the fridge, take out 10g of cold starter (about a tablespoon), pop it in a clean jar, add 20g of better-than-lukewarm water (85-90ºF) and stir. The cold starter plus warm water ends up being about 80º soup, a good temp for active yeasties.

The remaining 40g of old starter is used for baking or tossed.

I then add 20g of flour, stir and cover. This gives me 50g of 1:2:2 starter at 100% hydration, just a little better than a quarter cup total which I keep in a small (12 oz) mason jar.

I let this sit on the counter until well on it's way but not yet doubled, usually a couple of hours. I try to avoid getting to the "peak and start to collapse point" as that means it's out of fresh food already and I don't want it to sit in the fridge for a week hungry. But I do want it to get a decent go at the new food supply. If for whatever reason I passed that stage however, I will simply leave it out on the counter and do another feed. An extra full cycle or two every now and then is probably a good thing anyway.

korish's picture

In his book Alan Scott tells how he uses his starter, and I tend to follow his method.

When he mixes his new doug he takes out, part of it and lets it ferment for 1 to four hours and then places it in the fridge. It helps it stay lower acidity and active in the storage.