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.Dourdough starter

MapMaker's picture

.Dourdough starter

I started to make a sourdough starter several days ago an I am puzzled at what is happening.

The starter was part bread flour and part rye flour (w/ water).  I let it work for 24 hours before feeding part of the starter with all bread flour (and water).  I then did feedings every 12 hours for a day or two and was quite pleased to see active fermentation going on at that time (the mass had doubled in volume).  However, 12 hours after feeding the active starter I was faced with a lump that showed to activity.  I let it set another 12 hours, after which there was still no activity.  I decided to add a bit of rye flower at the next feeding but there is still no activity.

What is going on?  What should I try next?

Thanks in advance.




Ford's picture

Starting a sourdough starter is a long time project.  The best way is to get some starter from a friend and build on that.  However, you can make your own from scratch.  Here are three starting points:

I hope these help.


tomsgirl's picture


I tried for months to get a starter going I came across this and I have a starter going I think day 18 or so I still have it out on the counter and I am refreshing it every 12 hrs or so. I have made waffles, 2 batches of Vermont Sourdough , One batch Golden Raisin all pretty good for my first go at all this. I did buy a scale and I followed the directions to a "T" and so far so good.

cranbo's picture

You may want to wait 48 hours, maybe even up to 72 or more hours after the initial mix before your very first feed. Better to err on the side of waiting longer for the initial fermentation to occur. 

If it smells beery or cheesy, you are on the right track, don't worry! That's where it should be, it should be bubble, beery, alcohol-y, cheesy-smelling, possibly even a bit stinky.  

If you get a little bit of mold, that's OK too at this stage: just scrape it off and let it sit. 

There are so many factors involved in starting a sourdough, a lot of it is a bit magical. You don't know what yeasts are floating around in your flour, in the air, or on the liquids you add to your initial build. As others have mentioned, at the beginning you can start by adding other liquids, such as pineapple juice or smashed organic grapes to get the sourdough going. Using whole wheat flour can help kickstart a sourdough too.

Once established, your sourdough will be a survivor! Have fun!