The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

non-rising starter question

Azazello's picture

non-rising starter question

Hi there

I've been making a starter using Reinhart's recipe in BBA.

It's smelling like it should after 4 days (I'm coming back to sourdough after a small break) and I'm more or less happy with it. It's bubbly and I can see loads of small bubbles all down the sides of it; it's starting to smell fruity and acidic. I'm pretty sure it's a good starter.

The only thing is that it hasn't risen much. 

It's slightly cool in my house so I'm figuring it's probably just a temperature issue as everything else seems well with it - does that seem right? 

Thanks in advance for any insight




G-man's picture

You may not see any real activity for a while. This is absolutely normal behavior for a starter. It can take a month or maybe even more to get some real rise out of your starter. That doesn't mean it's bad, it just means the yeast haven't reached a point where their numbers and strength are sufficient to raise the starter. The bubbles are an excellent sign that there is life in there.

If it hasn't risen at all after a few weeks, you might mix a portion of it into a small piece of lower-hydration dough, about 60-70%. Say 10g starter, 20g water, 30g flour or so.

Azazello's picture

Thanks G-man.

I left it in the airing cupboard for a bit and this morning it had risen - so perhaps it was temp driven after all.

When I opened the jar it's in, I got a big faceful of ethanol and all those other fruity sour metabolites, so all seems well.