The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sadly i destroyed my Sourdough starter!

fancy4baking's picture

Sadly i destroyed my Sourdough starter!

Yesterday i was planning to make Whole Wheat Bread, so as a procedure i wanted to use my 100% hydrated Whole Wheat starter that i have been using since ages. Usually i keep three kinds of starters, 1-BF 100%, 2-WW 100% and 3-BF 75%. When i checked my WW starter i was shocked and stunned to see that it had gone dryer than it should be for a 100% starter, also a thick layer of greenish gray mold formed on its surface and the smell was---gosh repulsive.
The 75% BF starter was likewise, with even more terrible smell that fumed through the kitchen in a an abhorred repulsive odor. The 100% BF was somehow in a better condition. Hooch formed on the surface, liquidy structure and not bad smell. So for the first two starter i decided that unfortunately they should go to trash.
The 100% BF was my means to reproduce my starters once again.
So i took 20gr. of the 100% BF starter, to that i added 50gr. BF and 50gr. water. That was yesterday around 12 noon.
Today at 12:00 i found that there was a scarce activity taking place there. Very small amount of air bubbles, with only 5 mm. increment in size. So i added more BF and water 50/50 respectively.
Now it's 22:15 and still the activity is barely seen...i.e: some bubble (very small in amount and size) with no more than 7 mm. increment in height.
Guys, what are your suggestions? Would i be able to resurrect this starter if i continued working on it or would that be in vain and i should start once again? Any suggestions for better handling such a case from your experience?

And if you ask what was the reason behind this most unfortunate incident of losing my the starters that i have been working with since ages...well, i should be honest and say, i haven't been quite caring in looking after them, and neglected them for a quite a while, thinking that they will be forgiving, apparently they were neither forgiving nor tolerant to my insensitive carelessness.

So please help with your suggestions.
Thanks alot,

dabrownman's picture

up yet.   Just keep it warm, hydrated and well fed a couple times a day and it should be ok after a few days.  I take some of my starter about 30 g and freeze it in plastic wrap and I take the same amount and spread it out on plastic wrap, let it dry and then store it in a cool dry place.  Each can be easily resurrected if the mother dies :-) I'm guessing that you will be successful in your recovery process.

AnnieT's picture

Izzat, I just visited my son in mid-coast California and found his starter in the back of his refrigerator where it had languished for  - well, he couldn't tell me how long. It had the texture of clay and was grey and looked hopeless. I took 1 tablespoon from the center of the mass and mixed it with 2 tablespoons filtered water and 2 of flour and stirred it well, then repeated this later in the day. Next day I took 1/8 of a cup and discarded the rest and after a few hours there were signs of life. Next I took 1/4 cup of starter and added 1/4cup of water and 1/4cup of flour and after a couple more such feedings I had a lively starter! Good enough to bake a respectable loaf for a party on Friday even in his sparsely equipped kitchen. I'm hoping he will be more diligent about taking care of his starter and several friends asked to share which might help. So I would say don't give up yet. Don't forget to stir well and keep the starter warm, not a problem when the temperature is in the nineties but not so easy back here in Washington state where it seems I missed the only good weather so far this year, A.