The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Determining Starter Strength

JimmySting's picture

Determining Starter Strength

Hi all,

I've been feeding my new starter for about a week and a half now (1:2:2, whole wheat flour, every 12 hours). Unfortunately I am either asleep or at work when the starter would be peaking and most active. So when I get home from a long day at work or when I wake up it is hard to tell if much happened. (I do see bubbles and some rise, but this is not totally helpful after 12 hours)

I use a mason jar and wrap a rubber band to show the level of the starter when I feed it. And I try to determine if there was any rise from this. I also try to scrape down as much residue starter from the jar walls at feeding to see if the rising starter will leave any marks (another way to judge how big its getting). I think the jar is getting a little messy though and may have to switch to a cleaner one.

Are there any better recommendations of judging the strength of a starter if one is not around all the time to actually witness its actvitiy? Are there better starter vessels than the mason jar?

Thanks in advance, bakers!

bobku's picture

Any glass jar with a loose fillting top is best, a glass cookie jar is even better then a mason jar, you hand fits in better to clean it and scrape the sides down. I use a glass mason jar, in the morning after I feed it I mark the outside of jar with a sharpie, and make sure the sides are scraped down so you can clearly see the level its at. when I come home from work I can see from the residue how much it has risen at its peak. It sounds like this is what you are doing , just make sure it's a glass jar and sides are scraped clean