The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Mold in new starter

kkane's picture

Mold in new starter

Hi everyone -

I'm using Peter Reinhart's method for starting a seed culture (the pineapple juice method, not the mash method), from his whole grain bread book. It's day 6, still in phase 3. It's been very slow developing. This morning I noticed a couple of small spots of mold growing on the dried culture on the sides of the bowl. The culture itself smells fine (though it still doesn't show a lot of signs of life). Should I just throw this lot out and start over? Can I remove the mold and have it be OK? Thanks!

clazar123's picture

Wipe the sides with vinegar on a clean paper towel. Then transfer the contents to a clean jar,trying not to get any of the mold colonies into the starter. If you feed daily, keep the top of the jar covered with a clean paper towel or coffee filter secured with a rubber band. When feeding and stirring, make sure you try and scrape or wipe down the insides of the jar above the starter. It needs to breathe but not dry out.

It sounds like trapped moisture inside the jar is creating a home on the bits and pieces of starter on the side of the glass. Moisture,lack of air circulation and food  is an ideal mold environment. You may need to do this weekly until you are sure you didn't transfer any spores/mold colonies.

Keep going! You're only part of the way there.

kkane's picture

Thank you!

Danai Wangsiri's picture
Danai Wangsiri

Hi Kkane,

I experienced the same situation month ago. I did similar to clazar123 advice. I also changed the container and heat sterilized., transfered a starter  from the bottom part to continue daily feed. Avoid touching start with your hands, use only clean tools. It will disappear after  2-3 feedings. It can be savaged as said.