The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Oh my rye starter now

ghazi's picture

Oh my rye starter now

Hello everyone

After carefully maintaining my Rye starter for about 2 months , it got to a stage where it was blooming after feeding and it would dome very tight, of course nearly tripling in size in a matter of 4 hours (1:1:1) feeding.

Then I decide since I am happy its raising batches of bread now and the smell was very nice specially after feeding it was so interesting. I feed it at 1:2:2 and from there it went all downhill, it never rises as much now and it shows the same signs of bubbles on the side every time which I find not right. My WW starter on the other hand is doing fine and is about the same age, I feed it more and it likes it giving me excellent loaves with a nice sour flavor.

I keep 20g and feed 20g flour and about 17g water, I like the thicker consistencies, just because I can forget about it and it will do its thing more slowly.

Can anyone see a sign of life for this starter by the picture, the smell is nice though not much tang, it seems to be flat.

Even though I leave it for a whole 24 hrs it stays pretty much the same and no doming at all. It used to rise like an Olympic athlete, I feel very downhearted because every time I fed it before it just felt right (cleaning sides of jar), any suggestions?

Kept at 70degress F


golgi70's picture

The picture looks like a happy rye starter to me.  If your rye starter was tripling I'd say it was "too" active hence the extra tang you say is missing.  My rye starter might double at peak but probably a bit short of double.  It's full of bubbles and doming though and has a fruity sour smell to it.  I actually feed mine at a much lower rate.  1:10:10 twice a day (12 hour).

The picture you posted looks just like mine when its ripe.  

I think your fine and time will develop more character in your culture.  




Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

After 24 hours it is hard to judge the rise as the gasses can easily escape, you have to taste it to determine if it is ripe.  It should taste sour and not like wet rye flour.  At 85% hydration it will not fall back but stay risen with a firm shell dome on it.  It usually doesn't fall unless you poke it.  If you stir it and it is no longer stiff, that is also a sign that it is fermenting.

ghazi's picture

Thank you both for you responses, much appreciated.

Rye is very different working and would love to learn more on how to make a good 100% rye sourdough.

I say this because I recently tried to make up a small batch

250g dark rye

38g rye starter (85% hydration)


200ml water

This made quite a a wet paste, kneaded for a bit then put in a bowl and stretched it over itself for about 5 min.

Left to rest for about half hour then proceeded with final shape. I did this of course with wet hands all the time without adding any additional flour, except when putting in banneton to final prove.

The rye bread comes out looking acceptable, though the taste is far from nice. Very bland and somewhat flat.

Do you need to put more starter in rye bread, is that the case with rye?

I once put in some old white dough 65% hydration in the mix for 500g rye flour, it had instant yeast in it. 150g of starter was also in there. The bread THAT time came out nice and I really enjoyed the flavor. I say this because I still think about it and that must be a good thing.



Mirko's picture

When baking 100% rye bread you should preferment about 30-40% of your rye flour!

In your case 100g rye flour + 85g water + 10g  starter. This is your sourdough for your final dough 


ghazi's picture

See what you mean there, thanks for the tip.