The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

neglected starter in fridge..

andybodes's picture

neglected starter in fridge..

Hi all in the forum! I have a probably fairly common question from a novice, that just needs an answer.. 


About two months ago, I dedicated 14 days to making my first-ever starter from spelt flour, filtered water and the original orange juice…i was following instructions to the letter. On about the 16th day, about the time I was supposed to start feeding it once a week, I took on a relentless and grueling new job, and really lost track of time. The starter has been sitting about two months in the fridge, unfed since that 15th day. Should I start a new starter from scratch, or do you think this starter is still ok, and to start weekly feeding. It has the hooch on top (which I know to discard) and doesn’t smell rancid. I’m asking, not to just save time and start the process of the initial daily feeding over again, which I’m fine with..  I’m more kind of curious from a scientific standpoint that a starter can last in the fridge without feeding for two months. Let me know, pros, and thanks. Eager to pick this new baking bread interest back up again. Any info would be so appreciated!


Floydm's picture

Obviously if there is anything about it that seems off or you don't trust, discard it, but I've frequently neglected my starter for a month or two and been able to revive it. Take a little bit out, feed it, and see what happens. Usually I find mine seems super hungry and comes back to life quickly.

DanAyo's picture

Hi Andy, follow Floyd’s advice. I bet it revives!

If you decide to store your starter in the frig for a long time, it will survive better if you reduce the hydration of the water. Wet starters are very active. Dry starters (~60-65%) metabolize their food slower.

ALSO. It is a good practice to dehydrate your starter for a backup. Just in case...