The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Super-Active Starters - is there a Trick to This?

philm63's picture

Super-Active Starters - is there a Trick to This?

The reason I ask is my mother (her name is Mo, go figure) born July 4, 2016, gets fed maybe once every 4 to 6 weeks (she sits in the fridge between feedings), and when I pull a small amount post-feed for a levain build, I might do a one- or two-step build at room temp but I've seen several images of an "active" starter and it looks like carbonated yeast-water - all bubbles. How is this possible, and is this even realistic?

My levain builds go a bit past double in volume after just a few hours, and sure, they seem to be a bit more lively after the second step if I'm doing a two-step build, but carbonated yeast-water? Is this something one can expect if doing a multi-step build by feeding right after activity subsides, or is it dependent on something else?



Davey1's picture

If it's consistent - why argue? If something is down there's no reason to change it. Enjoy!

Dave Cee's picture
Dave Cee

Decrease time between feeds to 10 days.

Decrease hydration to 75%.

Add 5% rye flour.

Use bottled water..not tap water or filtered water.

Incubate starter build at 75 ~ 85°F.


gavinc's picture

There’s more than one way to maintain a starter and produce an active levain. Dave Cee’s above is one such way. However, I follow Jeffrey Hamelman’s home maintenance regimen by maintaining a firm rye starter, fed once daily, and kept on the countertop. There are minor adjustments depending on the season.  The day before baking my regular sourdough, I develop the final liquid white levain (125% hydration) over two builds ready by the next morning. I only use filtered tap water. The final build is at 21C in my proofing box over 14 hours. Picture attached.