The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Is my starer bad?

  • Pin It
erin_elizabeth's picture
erin_elizabeth

Is my starer bad?

I used Beranbaum's recipe for Sourdough  starter and after feeding it on day 5, I forgot to put it in the fridge (I guess I was excited about the baguettes!). I was supposed to refrigerate it if not using it right away. That was on Thursday, and it is now Saturday night. Is it still good to use?

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

But it is probably very, very hungry.  Ms. Berenbaum's starter is a 100% hydration version, which means it is fluid enough that the yeasts and bacteria can get to all of the food in the mixture very easily.  It also means that, weight for weight, a 100% starter contains less food to begin with than, say, a 50% hydration starter.


I'd say give it a couple of good feeds before refrigerating.  Let it sit about an hour after the second feed, then stick it in the refrigerator.


If your baking schedule is oriented more to weekends only, you might wish to convert your starter to a stiff version.  The drier starters seem to weather several days of storage without feeding than do the more liquid starters.  But, hey, you're just getting started, so see how things work out and then you'll know whether or not you want to make adjustments.  If you see a layer of hooch (a watery, greyish liquid) on top of your starter, it means the starter is overdue for another feeding.


Paul

matilda's picture
matilda

Although quite difficult, once I killed one of my starters and it smelled aweful. At first it may develop a strange smeel (e.g., vinegard), depending on what microorganisms are developing in your starter, yet you can save it from death by feeding constantly and alternating periods in the fridge with periods out. It may take quite  a bit (like weeks) to get rid of the unpleasan hint, but eventually, it will come back. If left it out for longer without feeding it, it will eventually develop a rotten smell and a purple color. Trust me, you will know it is gone!


 


Matilda


--------------------------------


http://sickofood.blogspot.com/

erin_elizabeth's picture
erin_elizabeth

Thank you for the responses. I went ahead and fed it yesterday, and will do the same today (I did see the hooch on top!) by leaving it outside the fridge for an hour, taking out half, adding 2 ounces water and flour, and putting it in the fridge again after another hour. No purple or particularly rotten smells. Do you think it would be possible to use it soon for making bread? 

matilda's picture
matilda

You would be able to use the starter when it will double in volume in less than 8 hours, after feeding it with flour and water for twice its weight.


Here's you can find a detailed description of the reviving process here:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/18061/revived-my-neglected-starter


http://www.sourdoughhome.com/revivingastarter.html


Best,


Matilda