The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Why refrigerate starter?

wescarina's picture
wescarina

Why refrigerate starter?

I have had a sourdough starter that I keep in a mason jar on my counter for about 6mo.  It makes great bread and I've never had any trouble with it.  I see a lot of people talk about refrigerating their starter.  Is it necessary or is it a personal preference?  Does it just make it live longer between feedings and is convenient because of that?  I figured that people kept live starters for many years before refrigeration existed so I've never bothered but I wonder every time I see it mentioned.  Thanks

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

How often do you have to feed your starter with in on the counter... that idea appeals to me... but I wouldn't want to have to feed it everyday....??? In the fridge, I feed "Shirley, Mercy, and Goodness... every week.

 

wescarina's picture
wescarina

I feed once a week now, it was warmer in the house last summer and I fed it about every 4-5days then.  On the counter I see it which reminds me to care for it.  In the fridge. . . would probably be a different story.

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

I like the hydration level of yours... mine is more wet... I think when I feed it this week I will follow your lead. Thanks... I will see what happens. You are my inspiration!

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

I keep mine in the refrig. because it lasts longer and I don't have to do daily feeds.  

I have a freshly milled ww starter and when I kept it on the counter I fed it 2x a day. It would have gone totally sour if I had left it for longer spells of time.  There was a bit of 'waste' when maintaining it this way so I switched to the refrig.

When I need leaven I simply take a bit from the jar and do several builds until I have the exact amount that I need.  Now I have no waste at all and when the refrig. starter is almost gone I simply add a bit extra to one of my leaven builds and that becomes my new storage starter so it is always pretty 'fresh'.

Janet 

Ambimom's picture
Ambimom

I keep mine in the refrigerator because I only use [feed] it once every 14 to 16 days.  It's been alive for three years+ .  If I kept it on the counter, I'm afraid it would die from neglect.