The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Amount of sourdough starter kept

davey1025's picture

Amount of sourdough starter kept

I am sure my question will show I truly don't understand sourdough starter as I should but it is the reason for my question.


How much starter does someone actually keep in their jar to eventually make levain from?




Abe's picture

According to their needs. Those who bake often will keep more and vice versa. 

If you're finding that you're having to discard before feeding because it's been too long since the last feed and you haven't whittled it down enough in order not to discard then you're keeping too much. 

If you don't wish to feed the starter seed too often and you find you're feeding it more than expected then keep more.'s picture

However much you find yourself keeping, keep less.  After a weekly bake, I end up with 5-10 gr of starter in the fridge to feed up for next week's.   That barely covers the bottom of an 8 oz Mason (jelly) jar.  There are millions and millions of bugs in that amount, so it's plenty.  I see pictures online of quart jars and crocks overflowing with starter and wonder if peoples' compost heaps or septic systems are really that hungry. If there are legit starter volume:flavor correlations, the benefit is too subtle for me to discern.

Less is plenty.  Happy Baking and Happy Holidays.


davey1025's picture


I am one of those you speak of although I don't publish my starter jar lmao

After 5 months of sourdough baking I am coming to understand the basics much better


The replies here have helped , thanks's picture

Your compost pile will forgive you.

Or generate no waste at all - try dabrownmans NMNF (or is it NFNM?  I can never remember) approach.  Search and ye shall find.


bikeprof's picture

I am with Tom...most people can get away with using much less.  I use a wide mouth 1/2 pint jar and scrape out nearly all of the contents with each feed (there is about 3-5g left clinging to the bottom)...I add about 25g each of flour and water to that twice a day...when I bake I do a single levain build from my starter, which allows me to bake about 40 loaves of sourdough (850-900g each)...

dabrownman's picture

I bake a loaf of bread a week and keep about 120 G of NMNF starter that can stay in the fridge for up to 4-6 months with no maintenance required.  I take about 5 g a week out fo the jaf=r and when it gets down to 5 g I refresh it.  There is no easier way I know of that has no work and no waste

Here is how   No Muss No Fuss Starter