The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough feeding help!

Yuval35's picture

Sourdough feeding help!


I am new here,

for the last few weeks I am trying to grow my own sourdough ( 100% hydration, white flour).

when i want to bake a new sourdough bread, usually i do that :

1. in the evening before baking ,  taking out the sourdough jar from the refrigerator.

2. stir it.

3. discrad from 300g sourdough ( the overall jar is around 800g)

4. feed it with 150g flour and 150g water

5. leave it in the counter for 12 hours until it has a lot of bubbles and it double its volume.

6. taking the amount of starter i need for the new bread and feed it again with the same amount (50 - 50 )

7. stir the jar and waiting few hours before putting back to the refrigerator.


my quastion is reffering to stage number 3, is it necessary to discard the all 300g ? ( usually i through it to the garbage).

can I feed it at that stage without discarding ?

In general what do you think about my process ?




G-man's picture

The only real solid reason I've seen to discard is so you don't wind up with an entirely unmanageable amount of starter on your hands.

If you start feeding a 300g starter on a 1:1:1 (starter:flour:water) regimen, you'll have 900g starter after 12 hours. If you don't discard and continue feeding on a 1:1:1 regimen, you'll have 2700g starter. The next feeding, 8100g. That might be a decent amount of starter for a professional bakery, but for the home baker it is probably a bit much.

Personally, I would probably try to feed at least equal weights starter, flour, and water, if not more. I prefer to keep a firmer starter and my starter is kinda hungry, so I tend to feed 1:3:2 s:f:w, but regarding your process if it works for you and produces a final product you enjoy, stick with it.

Also, you don't have to literally throw away your discards! Keep them in a separate container, and when the weekend arrives make sourdough pancakes or waffles. Why waste all that starter?

clazar123's picture

Your mother/jar culture can be a smaller amount to make it easier to manage!  It can be as little as a a few tablespoons to gallons and gallons but why waste all that flour?

Discarding is an important step in maintaining a starter but if you are removing starter for a bake, that counts as "discarding" from the original starter. In other words, instead of throwing away the 300g, feed it and when it is active, use this activated "discard" for your bread. As for the jar- feed it,wait a few hours and put it back in the refrigerator.

The concept of discarding is like cleaning an animal cage. After a few weeks there are a lot of dead yeast cells and debris in the jar and adding fresh flour/water keeps the yeast fed,clean and happy. So if you remove the 300g and throw it away or remove it and use it to make bread, the jar doesn't care. Only truly discard when you aren't baking and then it can be used in pancakes and other baked products for flavor and bulk but not to raise the product.

spacey's picture

Or if you're using it nearly every day, then just feed it 1/2 cup of flour morning and evening, and discard down to about 1/2 cup before each feeding, and don't keep it in the fridge.  When you make a dough, instead of "discarding", place the starter you'd be getting rid of into your dough and then feed your starter again.

matilda's picture

At the beginning you need t discard some, otherwise you will have tom much and you will end up throwing 3000g  of starter instead of 30g each time (It happened to me :-()

Now I do not need to discard any of my starter because I store it in the fridge and I take out only a small amount. When I have extra I make pancakes, muffins, english muffins and tortillas and pizza dough, which lasts in the fridge for up to 10 days.

God luck with your baking adventures!


Yuval35's picture

i hope i understand you well.

so, for the next time i will try to decrease the amont of my mother sourdoug.

i think i will try to keep it around 300g.

also, if the receipe is required let say 360g ripe sourdough starter, i will take all the jar at the evening and then discard for 180g.

at the next step i will feed the 180g starter with another 180g of water and flour and wait till the morning for baking.

also i will feed the jar with 120g of water and flour and put it back to the refridgirator after few hours.


what do think ?                    


matilda's picture

I would use the discarded starter to make something else (please d not throw it!) and keep in the fridge 1/10 of the amount of starter you mentioned, so the next time you do not have the same problem.

I typically keep 1-2 Tbsp of starter in my fridge. I feed it with about 50g of flour/50 g water twice or three times within 24-36h (if it is really active it really does not matter as long as it doubles in size in 4-8 h), depending on the amount of starter the recipe calls for.

Keep in mind that if you use it often, the starter will refresh soon (12 h to 3 days) but if you use it less than once a week it will need more time to become fully active (up to 3-4 days), in which case so you should keep in the fridge smaller amounts if you otherwise you will be overwhelmed by starter by the 3rd day!