The Fresh Loaf

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Sourdough not ready

Gabriele's picture

Sourdough not ready

Hi, I’m new here, and I hope this topic is not a duplicate.

I’m currently living in Ontario and I’m trying to create my sourdough for the 5th time. Each time I create the sourdough, after 1 week I don’t see any activity. This time is a little bit better but when I try to use the starter on the final flour, nothing happens.

right now I’m feeding the sourdough 2 times per day using 25-30 g carry over, 100g of water from bottle, 70 g of unbleached flour from, and 30g of whole wheat flour. Both flour are Robin hood brand.

in the picture, my sourdough. The lines are 8am (start), 1:30pm and 4:30pm. The last one is also the maximum I get each time.

Do you think that my problem could be the flour I’m using?


thanks in advance


phaz's picture

Feed till its a thick glob - wait till it i gets almost watery - repeat. When it gets almost watery in a day its ready. Enjoy!

DiDiBoCo's picture

It looks like your starter is roughly doubling in a little over 8 hours (considering the taper of your jar). That's not bad, I think your starter just needs a bit of strengthening.

I am not familiar with the flour you are using, but from what you say I doubt flour is the issue. Nevertheless, you could try boosting % of whole grains in your feeds.

So you are feeding roughly 1:4:4 ratio, twice per day? I'm concerned that you may be overfeeding, which can dilute the yeast population. Has the level fallen back from peak when you are feeding? How does the starter smell? What temperature is the starter kept at?

Many sites recommend feeding at higher ratios in order to boost the yeast population BUT you have too be really careful doing that, because it's easy to overfeed. I speak from experience. I would suggest cutting back to 1:2:2 or even 1:1:1 twice per day, and make sure you are getting fallback from peak prior to feeding. Once you are getting predictable rise/fall, you can increase the feed ratio if necessary. FYI, my starter doubles in about 6 hours and triples in about 8 hours, then starts to fall back.

Good luck!

GlennM's picture

My starter is very strong but I feed it less than you do. If I fed 1-4 it would take about 24 hours to double for me. I would feed it 1-1 (maybe 30 gr each) and put it in a warm place like the oven with the light on.  It will likely double in 6-8 hrs. You can feed it again after that, same ratio and it will likely be a little quicker to peak.

I feed mine twice before baking and feed the carryover, store it in the fridge. I don’t do much maintenance.  As a matter of fact, I left some fed starter in the fridge while we were in Florida from Jan-May and with 2 feedings it came back to life!