The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My first time…what am I doing wrong?

mochimunkie's picture

My first time…what am I doing wrong?

I can't figure out what I am doing wrong. I am on day 8 (doing double feedings), and the starter has lots of bubbles on the bottom and the side of the glass. But not on top. There are no bubbles on top. The starter smells sour…like sour flour. I am doing a 50/50 rye and AP with filtered water. It's at 100% hydration. The temperature is probably in the high 70's during the day and high 60's at night. The little beastie has risen some, maybe 1/2 in to 1 inch, but it hasn't doubled like a lot of sites suggested that it should. I haven't been feeding it on a strict schedule so I don't know if that is the reason why it's not really all that active. How do I get it to bubble a lot and to double in size? Is my starter ready for baking or do I have to wait until it's fully active? Should I start over?

PaddyL's picture

Are you stirring it regularly?  I find that helps a lot.  One bread book that I have says 'you shouldn't be a slave to your starter', so I wouldn't worry about strict schedules for feeding.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Feeding twice before it is ready is counterproductive because when you discard ams feed, you are diluting the yeast population. You need a critical mass of yeast  before discarding and feeding 2x a day will work.