The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How do I know when my starter ha peaked?

Ittayd's picture

How do I know when my starter ha peaked?

I have a slow starter and read that I need to let it peak and then reduce and feed again until it's peak time is shorter. But how do  I know it has peaked? When it doubles? 

Does it matter what ratio I'm feeding it? Should it double reagrdless of whether the ratio is 1:1:1, 1:2:2 or 1:3:3?


pmccool's picture

100% hydration, doubling may or may not correspond with the peak.  Look for a lot of bubbles and expansion.  If you can track the expansion by marking a piece of tape on the side of the container every hour or so, you'll have a very good idea when it stops moving upward.  That is when it is at its peak.  The surface will go from looking somewhat domed in profile to displaying creases or dimples on top.  That indicates that the starter, having reached peak, is just starting to deflate.


Lechem's picture

Smells of flour and water - immature

Has a nice aroma - mature

Alcoholic - over mature, needs a feed (still good but it'll make a tangy loaf) 

Acrylic - needs feeding asap!