The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Look what I found this morning!!!

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CeraMom's picture

Look what I found this morning!!!


Now... talk to me like I'm an idiot. Do I stir it down before I take my little bit out to feed ( and discard the rest )? Do I take my little bit out FIRST ( still inflated )? Do I take half and bake today?


Janknitz's picture

You have a new baby starter!

It's probably not ready to leaven bread YET, but might work for pancakes, waffles, and muffins.

Meanwhile, keep discarding and feeding on the counter for a few weeks to get the flavor and strength up to speed. You will probably have to feed 2 or 3 times a day depending on how fast it doubles.

To feed: Stir it down. Remove at least half. That discarded half is the "discard" you would use in baking--it is also know as "ripe starter".

Feed the reminder. Wait for that to double, then start again.

When I feed I add the water first and stir vigorously to aerate. Then add the flour.

Keep feeding and hang in there. Time to start thinking of a name for your new baby.

Tinapoy's picture

I got a new starter too and it is as bubbly as yours but I don't think it doubles in volume so I fed it again with pineapple juice and flour on day 6. I hope thats not wrong and now its double in size.

Same as janknitz I stir add the liquid stir add the flour stir clean the sides cover and set aside at room temp. I think I need a spatula for better cleaning the sides its a hassle with a wooden spoon. Any tips on that?

CeraMom's picture

I don't think it is wrong if it works. I wouldn't make bread with it just yet though. I would wait until it doubles on AP flour and water, unless you want t omake bread with Rye & Pineapple.

I actually stir the starter down with a fork, scoop out what I need, and dump the rest into the garbage. I do all my mixing in a glass bowl and transfer it back to a ( cleaned ) jar when I'm done. I'm too afraid of mold!



CeraMom's picture

Oh this baby has been named " Yost " as I was VEHEMENTLY told that ti would not ferment until it was named. So I named it!

Thanks for the instructions!.. Stir, discard, feed. Got it :-)

I fed Yost at 8:45 this morning and exactly an hour later, I can see that it has millions of itsy bubbles and has risen by 40% or so! My jar is an empty peanutbutter jar ( the huge ones )... Right after feeding, my starter is juuuust under that base shaping there. Makes it QUITE easy to see if we have liftoff!

Tinapoy's picture

Yep I wont use it yet I'll wait till it matures and get to do its own rising with water and flour alone no help with PJ. Right now I'm maintaining two starters and they are both named.

Sarah Whyte - Started wit WW and now being fed with white BF so it'll converted to white starter. then,

Sardo Braun - Half of the original starter using WW and now being maintained with WW to be a pure brown starter.


I hope they grow stronger, Can't wait to bake with them though I dunno know whch bread to make from it yet.

CeraMom's picture

Yost has already doubled!!!! It has been one hour and fifteen minutes.



Marni's picture

It sounds as though Yost is a happy starter!

I don't know how old your starter is, but you could try baking a loaf with it and see what happens.

You could also give it another feeding, bake later and use the disgard for some pancakes, waffles or pizza crust.  (Disgard keeps just fine in the fridge for a few days.)


flournwater's picture

I don't know why you'd throw any part of that out; but to each his own.

Janknitz's picture

What day is this for your starter???

If it's only day 2 or 3 and you are getting that kind of doubling, one of two things is going on:

1)  You are growing bad bacteria.  Does it smell pleasantly sour and perhaps faintly alcoholic or does it smell BAD?

2)  It is in too warm a place.  Temperature should be 75 to 80 degrees, any warmer and you won't be getting good growth of the bacteria that are optimal for that good, sour flavor. 

If it's later in the process, day 6 or beyond, you have a good vigorous starter, but check the temperature to make sure it's not too warm.  You may have a voracious starter and need to feed it 3 times a day, but certainly NOT every few hours. 

Flournwater asks why discard.  I always refer people tothis post: .  Especially in the beginning when your starter isn't really ready to leaven bread, there's no point in keeping it--one can only eat so many sourdough waffles, pancakes, and biscuits.  The best way to reduce waste at this point is to keep your starter small.

Once your starter is established, you can get away without throwing away the discard by maintaining a pre-determined amount of starter that will allow you to use up all the discard.  For example, I keep 180 grams of starter.  120 grams go into each of the two major things I bake each week, and I feed 120 grams back (60 grams flour, 60 grams water).  No waste.  If I need more than my usual 120 grams, I take out 120 grams and build up to what I need.  Again, no waste.

But first you've got to get your starter established, and there's no need to save every drop of starter until that point. 

BTW, DON'T throw the discard down your plumbing pipes--it might build up and clog them up.  If possible, put it in your compost bin. 

Yumarama's picture

that flournwater meant why discard as in why not use it for pancakes instead of chucking it in the compost.

If, as I somewhat suspect, Yost (as in Elwie?) is still at the pineapple and rye stage, then I might suggest discarding (chucking out) for at least the next couple of feeds past the first time it's fed regular flour and water. As Mini notes further down, with a heavy cutting back to 10 or 15g and relatively bigger feeding ratio, the remaining pineapple juice and rye and any remaining questionable beasties will get cleared out quickly. Right now, that excess is going to be pretty strong on pineapple flavour.

Although this starter is relatively "old" for a new starter, it's actually just getting off the ground after a somewhat long, cold and bumpy start.

Congrats on the new pet, CeraMom. You can now switch to that AP and water mix, and I'll direct you back to Mini's post for those instructions and ratios.

CeraMom's picture

Yost is 10 days old. We had massive bacteria rise the first day. After day 3, Yost looked dead. Day 7 brought bubbles but no rise. On day 9, I had a temper tantrum and said I would throw it out in the morning ( it smelled like acetone ). I woke up to a nice doubled rise, but strongly yeasty & alcohol smelling.

I fed it at 100% hydration and it doubled in 1 hour and 15 minutes. In three hours, it had tripled, so i fed it again ( after I stirred it down and split it with a friend )

And for the record, Yost started as 1/4 cup of starter.  I'd rather not cut it down any more.

Janknitz's picture

That is some bouncing baby starter!  Sounds like you're off to a great start. 

You might want to find a cooler place to store it, even if it isn't overly warm where you have it, just so you don't have to feed it every few hours.  I wouldn't refrigerate it just yet, but if you don't slow it down it's going to be the blob that ate Boston!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

just about everything!  If it raises in just one and a half hours, it's more than ready for bread and I suspect you kept a large amount of starter and fed it it's weight in flour.  That would be the same as a 50% inoculation and it would rise in a short of time.

  Congratulations!  :)

If you want to reduce your starter to 20g to feed, so it will take longer to feed and not use up all the food in the first 4 hours after a feed, then by all means do so.  Try the  1-4-5  (starter-water-flour) and see how long that works.   You should be feeding it every 12 hours.  If any hooch or alcohol forms on top after the peaking, then decrease the amount of starter to 10g or a rounded teaspoon and double the ratios (so you come out with the same amount -less 10g). 

The more the starter is reduced at the beginning of the feed (no less than 10g) the sooner the acetone and any dead bad beasties are washed out of it's system.


Always stir the starter down before taking a measure.

Koyae's picture

It might help to gradually ease down and lower the amount of water you have in your starter some, unless you can get the gears turning to actually use that much of Yost on a regular basis.

Something that I do if I don't have time to tend to a loaf is just throw the extra starter(s) into a bowl before feeding and keep that covered until there's time to use the combination in bread, or make pancakes (throw some coursely ground buckwheat or millet in there and let it set for a day or three), or maybe combine with some rolled oats if you can take a little tang with your porridge. All of these are good because the fermentation sortof pre-digests some of the grain for you, reducing antinutrient-content, and it's probiotic and all that jazz.

Additionally, depending on why you're keeping Yost around... (I started doing sourdough starters because I was tired of paying for yeast that was relatively similar to the critters just floating around the place...) you may just want to see what the starter can tolerate as far as going hungry for a bit. Since this is more or less bound to happen anyway (sometimes real life gets in the way of baking, as much as that's painful to admit) you might as well know how well Yost can stand up to neglect, much less let the starter know what that's like, so it can be ready when it happens on a less controlled level. Slowing down your feeding schedule can encourage a bit of natural selection and get the more enduring critters an edge. However, if you want to keep a starter around that will rise like no tomorrow, then don't do that. Note that this can also affect the flavour of your starter, perhaps making it more or less sour. If you're curious you could experiement -- separate a bit of the starter off, and start the new jar on a slower feeding cycle and see what happens to aroma, consistency, and rise-time and behavior after feeding. Then you could bake a pair of loaves and check performance (and/or make a few pancakes or maybe do some sourdough kheer), and make your decision based off of that.

Also, consider switching the flour your using to feed, (again your choice according to Yost's intended purpose) as some flours (such as rye) take longer for the yeast to get working on, and so a slower feeding cycle can actually be better.