The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

reviving frozen starter

metropical's picture

reviving frozen starter

haven't been baking for several months so my fridged starter was out of gas and quite blue.

took out a jar of liquid frozen starter from a couple years ago.  fed and halved for 4 day, not a sign of life.

took out some frozen dried chips that I think are younger.

stirred a Tbsp of dried chips into a couple Tbsps boiled and cool to 85º water.

Hoping to not have to start from scratch.

phaz's picture

Small amount of starter, large amount of food, keep warm, stir with authority at 12 hr intervals until it comes back. Enjoy!

Sugarowl's picture

I have only heard that freezing kills the yeast. Next time dry your starter. I just revived my almost 2 year old dried starter with no problem. It was very simple. King Arthur has a nice description for drying it out. I stored my dried chips in a glass jar in the cabinet for two years, I don't think freezing it is necessary if they are dried.

Another tip, if your water has chloramine, not chlorine then you might want to use a reverse osmosis water (dasani bottled is a good brand) since boiling doesn't remove that. My city uses it to treat the water, and since I started using bottled water to feed my starter I haven't had problems.

idaveindy's picture

Dry and then freeze, just like you did. So I think you'll be all right.

I remember our previous discussion, and Carlos added his experience/wisdom:

For those who don't know, chefcdp is involved in the 1847 Oregon Trail sourdough  starter preservation society,

It's a very robust and strong starter.


Your experience with the frozen wet starter matched mine: my frozen (wet) backups didn't survive past 4 months.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

is physically yeast dead, it still sets up the fresh flour with a starting pH and some bacteria.  My advice when feeding: "Don't throw out the baby with the bath water."  Feed lightly a flour with lots of yeast (whole flour) at first. Stir occasionally and wait until some moderate growth before advancing to discarding and larger feeds.

If one dries a starter before freezing it imitates nature giving the yeast preparation time for the coming winter. Chances are better for reviving yeast cells.  

Dried starter starts slow but it is set up better than starting from scratch in my opinion.  

metropical's picture

so far not starting following the KAF link.  But I did freeze my dried as well.  Give it another 12 hrs, then I'll try discarding half.  Even tried an add of 1/2z rye and 1/2z ww and 1z boiled and cooled water.

May have to give in to starting anew.