The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Advice - Starter too active

beardo92's picture

Advice - Starter too active

Sorry if I' repeating a thread, did have a look but some of them are a little too different for me to gauge anything useful.

So the issue is my starter appears to be peaking quite quickly for my liking - something like 8-12 hours but ideally due to my life schedule I would prefer it to maybe start peaking a little closer to 20-24 hours so I can feed it one night and bake with it the next after work. Though it peaks in 8-12 hours it doesn't appear to fall for a long time - almost another 4-6 hours.

Ideally I would like to keep it at a 100% hydration as most online recipes usually use a 100% starter so it kind of negates any complications when baking with it.

So far I've mostly been playing with the ratio of starter to feed. Started around early Dec 21' with a 1:1:1, quickly progressed to a 1:2:2, then a 1:4:4 to a 1:5:5.

At the minute I'm on:

20g leftover starter

90g Whole-wheat

10g Dark Rye

100g Water 27c

Then put into a proofer @ 21c


I would love it if any more experienced bakers have any input on how to slow it down slightly?


Abe's picture

A very low hydration starter. Something like 50% or less. Or refrigeration.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

then in the morning, pop it into the fridge.  

Mr Immortal's picture
Mr Immortal

You mention that you keep it in a proofer at 21•C.  Would it be possible to drop the temp on your proofer a few degrees? Is your room temperature a little cooler than your proofer temp?  


if neither of these work, the “put it in the fridge” suggestions above might be the only way to go.

mariana's picture

When you feed your starter, add only 50g of water. This will give you a stiff starter that will not deflate. When you need to measure a portion for baking, add the remaining 50g of water, mix, measure 100-200g of the resulting 100% hydration starter needed for baking and feed the remaining 20g as before: 100g flour blend+ 50g water.

It does not have to be that stiff, you can vary the amount of water 50:50, 60:40, 70:30 etc. What you need is to make it stiff enough for it to stay tall without deflating for full 24 hrs.

When I feed my wholegrain starter once a day, keeping it at 25-27C , I feed it 1:20, i.e. at 5% inoculation ratio (5g starter:100g fresh dough), and 60% hydration (62g flour+38 g water).

It works well like that both for whole wheat and dark rye flours. To make it into a 100% hydration starter for a recipe, I add to it 25g water and blend well. That simple.

beardo92's picture

Thanks for all your advice. Now i'm back at work i'll start experimenting with these methods. Interesting method to hold a portion of the water back and then add it when you decide to bake. 

I'm using the Brod & Taylor proofer and only goes down to 21c. I guess I could actually just not use the proofer and see if colder nights does slow down the feed and delays the peak.