The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

In what do you store your starter?

NYamateur's picture

In what do you store your starter?

My starter is now almost 3 years old and very strong.  However the other day I read something about using plastic containers to store them and it got me thinking that I should switch to glass.    What do you store your starters in?  and do you seal them tightly or leave the top partially open?  TIA

Thegreenbaker's picture

mine are in glass containers.

arhoolie's picture

Mine is in a food-grade plastic container with the lid tightly sealed.


Teresa_in_nc's picture

My starters are stored in glass canning jars with a plastic lid lightly screwed down. I know some people use plastic containers for their starters, but I have seen the alcohol (hooch) etch marks in plastic when left too long. the hooch disolving the plastic? I don't know, but I'll continue to use glass.


BROTKUNST's picture

I use a air tight snap lock (food grade plastic, non-stainable) with a pressure release valve so that the air pressure stays about 'normal' inside the container.


mse1152's picture

It's about a 26 ounce capacity jar.  The lid never gets tightly screwed down, and I haven't washed it out in at least six months.


Trishinomaha's picture

I have always used glass jars - several types - canning jars, cleaned spaghetti glass jars and the old fashioned kind with the metal clamp down glass lids - I have l always left 'breathing" space - even if they haven't been refreshed or used in awhile....


bwraith's picture

Hi NYamateur,

I really like these glass canisters from bodum for my starter feeding and storage. They're on the expensive side, but I find them just right for starter storage. They have a lid that seals, but not tightly, as many have described above. They are cylindrical, so you can tell how much the starter has risen very easily. The clear and smooth glass makes them easy to clean and allows easy viewing of the starter condition. The plastic lids and silicone gaskets are very easy to clean too. The lid creates a seal but allows some gas to escape over time without exposing the culture to the refrigerator air too much. I've kept my starter for two months in one of those with no problem reviving it.

I have a double set of .25L, .5L,1L, and 2L. That way I can choose the size depending on whether I'm building up starter for a recipe or just storing the starter for a future baking day. The reason I have two of each is so I can grow the culture in one, then transfer it to another clean one. I just like doing it that way, although it may not be necessary, of course. The jars can be used for other storage as well, so I don't feel like they go to waste if I'm not using them for starter storage at any given moment.


Squid's picture

I use glass mason jars, but I have a bigger plastic jar that I use when I'm getting my starter ready for baking. I've read that you shouldn't completely seal your jars, which I was initially obsessive about. However, of late, I've forgotten and completely sealed my jars. I haven't noticed any exploding glass. LOL I haven't noticed any built up pressure, either, when I open up the jar.

Maybe I'm playing with fire?

manuela's picture

I feel that glass is the safest material to store acidic foods for extended periods of time. At IKEA I found large square glass jars which have glass lids with a silicone gasket, and they work perfectly. They seal well enough but not tight.

NYamateur's picture

ok so this week I separated a bit of my starter and I put it in a Ball jar with a lid.  I made sure not to clamp down on the lid too hard to give the starter a little breathing room.  The results werent necessarily bad but I did notice a difference.  The starter kept in the glass Ball jar with a lid hooched and separtated within a day, while the one in the plastic container with the coffee filter lid slowly separated over the week.
Im really not sure what to take out of this cause neither of them died or produced mold or blew up, however the fact that one hooched much quicker than the other makes me think that storing without a lid would probably allow the starter to hold up for longer periods of time without feeding. So for now on im thinking of storing in a glass container with a porous lid i.e. a coffee filter.  
Any thoughts?