The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How much should sourdough starter rise?

Teryeasta Breadloaf's picture
Teryeasta Breadloaf

How much should sourdough starter rise?

(Brand new baker)

I have been coaxing a starter to life, and it has been rising and falling pretty regularly, however if only rises to a bit less than twice in volume.

(I maintain my starter at 1:1:1)

How much should starter rise, and how will different ratios of starter, flour, and water, affect how much is rises? 

Thank you!

phaz's picture

I can't give exact details on what happens with exact ratios, but it usually works like this. To thin will rise less as it won't re trap and hold the gas well. Thicker usually rises more as it can hold gas better. Flours can also make a difference as some absorb more water than others using the same ratios. If this is a new starter, it's looking good.

clazar123's picture

You do need to take the consistency of the starter into consideration, of course. Thinner consistency allows the bubbles to escape more freely and the whole level doesn't rise. I keep my starter at a thick pancake batter consistency. Easy to see bubbles and easy to see the rise.

When it comes to making bread, always wonder why you are doing something and what causes the effect. What causes the bubbles? What is making the batter rise? Easy enough on this one. Yeast is eating and excreting CO2 (yeast farts!). So the ore yeast, the more gas. Same with the rise-the more yeast present, the ore bubbles, the more and faster rise.

So your starter sounds like it is well on its way. Make it a thick batter consistency and see if it rises to at least double in 4 hours or so at 75-85F. (ideal temp). I don't do ratios but I know MiniOven, Lechem or Ice Demeter may jump n here. They are very knowledgeable on ratios.  Or do a search. Tons of info

You don't say how new your starter is. Often, a new starter goes through stages: 1. No activity,smells pasty. 2. Slight bubbles 3. More bubbles, smells sweet. 4. Sudden wild activity (lactos waking up),smells acetone ,sweet or slightly cheesy. 5. Steady but low activity,a little acetone,slightly cheesy smell. 6. More consistent activity (more yeasty smell). Any hootch formation means yeast NEEDS more food. Hootch is alcohol formed by yeast instead of CO2 formation.

Have fun!

Edit: My "M" key sticks sometimes and doesn't register. "ore" is actually "More" in text above.