Farming sourdough starters to bake excellent homemade bread

Most Common Problems when Dealing with Sourdough Starters

Because a sourdough starter is a living culture, they will definitely share some similarities. However, each one will have their own unique personality and the silver bullet doesn’t always work.

  1. Slow or no activity: Check the temperature and make sure it’s warm enough (around 24°C/75°F). Consider feeding it more frequently, or with more flour and water.
  2. Not rising: Starters need adequate warmth and moisture to thrive. Ensure that your starter is stored in a warm location (25°C/80°F) and is fed regularly (daily or every other day).
  3. Not sour: Starters that lack tanginess can benefit from longer fermentation times or be fed a higher proportion of flour to water.
  4. Mould: If mould forms on the surface, discard the starter and start again. Keep your starter container clean and use a clean utensil to remove any mould.
  5. Watery consistency: Overfeeding or storing in a warm location can cause the starter to become watery. Discard some of the liquid and adjust the feeding frequency.
  6. Dying out: If your starter hasn’t been used for a while, revive it by feeding it regularly for a few days until it’s active again.
  7. Liquid on top: This is called “hooch” and is a sign of overfeeding or underfeeding. Pour it off, and feed the starter with equal parts flour and water.
  8. Sour odour: This is normal, but if it becomes too strong, feed the starter more frequently or use a smaller amount in your recipes.
  9. Runny consistency: This can happen when too much liquid is added. Add more flour and stir until desired consistency is achieved.
  10. Grey or black spots: This is mould and the starter should be discarded.

If you continue to have issues, try adjusting the temperature, feeding schedule, or flour/water ratio until you find what works best for your starter!

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The Sourdough Farm

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We are farmers of sourdough starters. We experiment with new and old sourdough starters from around the world. We show you the best recipes so you can enjoy them at home.

The Sourdough Farm

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