The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starter bubbles but did not double

Smita's picture

Starter bubbles but did not double

I have a 5-month old 100% hydration starter that I bake with weekly. I store about 2 ounces in the fridge. I refresh the starter on Friday night (1 part KA AP flour to 1 part water by weight) to bake on Saturday morning. In 8-12 hours, the starter usually doubles, has big frothy bubbles and a bright, fruity smell. This week the starter has bubbles, but did not double. It is about 15 degrees cooler this weekend (high eighties for the past month and now low seventies) Is the starter still any good? Will it need a few feeds to readjust to the new temperature?

All input is welcome and thanks in advance,



caraway's picture

to all starters.  It will probably act as you expect if given a little more time but if it was mine, I'd refresh again (with warm liquid) and get it into a warmer environment.  Mine seems to prefer the high 70's.

Meanwhile, I'm soooo jealous of your cool weather!  We haven't been below 90 in too long to remember.


Smita's picture

I know - a day in the 70s feels like such a treat :-)

wally's picture

Smita - Really.  They've been on the planet longer than we have.  The temperature change is most likely the cause.  Just plan on giving your levain some extra time before it's ready to use.


Smita's picture

will do!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

a slightly more liquid starter will be faster to multiply.

Smita's picture

- thank you!

Nickisafoodie's picture

Try keeping your culture in the oven with just the light bulb on.  My 40 watt "appliance bulb" generates mid to high 80's, hotter towards the bulb, cooler away.  If the oven gets warmer than you like crack the door until you get the temp that you want.

I've put dough in the oven this way for fermentation, perhaps it may do the trick in your sitution.  Suggest splitting the culture into two batches, one in the oven as suggested, one as you would do otherwise.

Smita's picture

thank you!

Ian Brooksbank's picture
Ian Brooksbank

I live in Crieff in Scotland, and temperatures in the 60s and 70s are the most we can expect, but I have no problems with my starters and never give them extra heat, in fact I prefer to keep things cool and be patient.  Extra heat can only harm yeasts.