The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starter problems

home_mill's picture

Starter problems

I have been making sourdough for several years.

My original starter went bad due to a period of several months were I stopped baking and neglected to take care of the starter.

I ordered a new dried San Fransisco sourdough starter.

I followed the directions which were to feed with 1 cup flour and 3/4 cup water every 6 to 12 hours and keep at 85 degrees.

After 5 days it was supposed to double between feedings but it did not rise at all. It did have a sourdough starter smell to it and some slight bubbles.

I fed it with fresh milled WW flour and kept it in a warm oven which probably was somewhat below 85 degrees.

I still have half of the dried starter left. I am wondering if I should try again with white bread flour.

Do I have to feed it so much flour and water? It seems wasteful to use so much and have to dump it.







chykcha's picture

I started my starter about 5 months ago and, I think, lucked out with it. One very important thing I learned, is that when you feed it use ONLY filtered water. The chemicals in tap water will kill all the good beasts in your starter. I am also very careful about using only clean utensils when stirring it, etc.

I also converted one of the starters to whole wheat, which is easy to do, by feeding it with whole wheat flour. I found that when I do that and add some vital wheat gluten, it makes the starter act better and the bread taste better and rise better as well.