The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starter Build is Yielding Too Much...Help!

TastefulLee's picture

Starter Build is Yielding Too Much...Help!

Hi, all. I am here once again to draw on your expertise in the area of sourdough starters. I have kept a successful 100% hydration starter for about 6 months now and have been enjoying using it to make breads, bagels, etc.

However - I find I'm having a little dilemma, because although I seem to be accurate in figuring the gram total to build the starter for baking, the result is consistently a significant amount more starter than I planned on building. 

Here's how I do it - I use all of my mature starter and weigh it carefully after taring my scale - then add enough water and flour in equal amounts of grams to build it to the total I need plus 40g left over for seed.

I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, my scale is definitely calibrated correctly, and I'd like some input if possible. Thanks in advance for any suggestions, insights, humorous anecdotes---greatly appreciated! Lisa

MangoChutney's picture

The only thing that comes to my mind is perhaps you are forgetting to divide the amount that you need in two, for the two components?  For example, if you start with 40 gm of starter and need 100 gm for the recipe, be sure you are adding 50 gm water and 50 gm flour, not 100 gm of each.  Aside from that possibility, I can't see how it could go wrong.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

the kind that adds stuff when you're not looking  :)

If you start out with 40g of mature starter, and add the amount for a build (say for example 200g starter for recipe) and then add for 40g more (in the end to feed) You will have too much starter because you already had 40g extra in the beginning.  

40 + 100g H2O + 100g flour  =  240g starter which includes already 40g for the next feed  

If you add for an extra 40g then you will have 80g to feed because

40 +100+100+40 = 280  

dabrownman's picture

watch my apprentice carefully to make sure she isn't building too much levain for making Sylvia's dog bones on the side.  If not an elf, spirit, ghost or gremlin - check the apprentice's dog bone pile :-)