The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My starter has seperated again

Hellbell22's picture

My starter has seperated again

I am trying to create my first ever starter. The first time i tried it I used equal parts flour (organic unbleached) and water and the first couple of days it was growing nicely. I then threw away half of it and adding equal parts flour and water again. This time the starter "split" and i had the "hooch" like substance on top. From reading previous posts on this forum i tipped the hooch away and added some more flour to the mix. Even after doing that i got the hooch forming again even after several additional spoonfulls of flour. I then decided to write that starter off and try again. 


Second time round same thing has happened excellent growth the first couple of days but now i have thrown half away and fed it again its seperated again. Where am i going wrong? The recipes i have been following (paul hollywood and James morton) both say after the second feed to leave it for a further two days but again previous forum posts on here seem to imply you should be feeding it twice daily at this stage? If this is the case do i need to be throwing half away and adding more each time? 

Any help would be much appreciated. I love sourdoughs and really want to have a great healthy starter. 


tsb264's picture

Hi Hellbell22,

I experienced similar issues with my first (unsuccessful) starter and found a couple of simple adjustments made all the difference. What's the temperature like in the room? What sort of container are you growing your starter in? Also, what has your feeding schedule looked like until now?

Ford's picture

It takes patience and perseverance to make the starter.  The most fool proof method that I have found is the "pineapple juice solution" (Go to the search box on the upper right of this page.)


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Equal parts in weight.  That would be one cup flour to half a cup water, approximately.  I think what you're seeing is separation of water and flour.  The other observation is bacterial growth not yeast.  Part of a phase and not the end culture but a step in that direction.  Keep going although the culture seems flat when the reaction disappears and the aromas change.  Don't overfeed in panic but wait for the organisms in the culture to sort themselves out.  Temp should be warm the first day, 85 to 90°F and moderate 75° to 77° following days as acids build and yeast start populating the culture.