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How to Feed Your Sourdough Starter + Storage & Care Tips

Ah, the extraordinary sourdough starter. That hungry, bubbly, burping little beast that lives in your kitchen. Your new pet. And as with any living pet, you need to feed your sourdough starter for it to survive! Thankfully, a sourdough starter feeding and care routine can be as simple or as involved as you desire, depending on how you store your starter and how often you bake. And unlike other pets, a sourdough starter will reward you for your love and care – by providing delicious, crusty, fluffy homemade sourdough bread! Worth it. 

Read along to learn how to feed your sourdough starter to keep it healthy and happy! We’ll go over instructions to feed it by weight, or by volume measurements. Other factors to consider are what type of flour to feed the starter, and where to store it  – such as in the refrigerator or at room temperature – which will dictate how frequently the sourdough starter must be fed. Finally, we’ll discuss how to prepare a sourdough starter for baking a loaf of bread, and other FAQs about sourdough starter health.

If you don’t yet have one, check out this article to learn how to easily make your own sourdough starter from scratch using only 3 ingredients! For you gluten-free folks, be sure to check out our tutorial on how to create a gluten-free sourdough starter. Finally, if you happen to be starting out with a dehydrated sourdough starter (like the organic dry starter we offer here) you’ll want to tune into this article – specifically about how to reactivate a dry sourdough starter culture.

Don’t miss the printable cheat-sheet at the end!

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links to products for your convenience, such as to items on Amazon. Homestead and Chill gains a small commission from purchases made through those links, at no additional cost to you.


What is “Feeding” a Sourdough Starter? 

Within your sourdough starter culture are living colonies of yeast and lactic acid bacteria. As those beneficial microbes consume their “food” (in this case, carbohydrates in the flour), they ferment and convert those starches into CO2. This is what provides the natural airy rise in sourdough bread! Yet when they run out of food, the microbes get hungry, decrease in activity, and the sourdough starter becomes ineffective at providing rise. If left unfed and starving for too long, the colony of microbes may die completely. 

While bakers just say “feeding”, it is more than mixing in fresh food. The process of feeding a sourdough starter almost always involves discarding some of the existing starter before adding more flour and water. Removing some of their colony (and metabolic waste) while also providing a new food source helps keep things in balance. It also prevents you from collecting more starter than the storage container can handle! 

A picture shows a jar of sourdough starter on the left and a loaf of bread that has been cut in half on the right. It  depicts bacteria, yeast, and flour and what those items together provide for a baked loaf of bread which is acid, carbon dioxide and aromas.
The Science of Sourdough. Photo courtesy of Students Discover

How Much Sourdough Starter to Maintain

The volume or amount of sourdough starter you choose to keep and feed depends on how much you intend to bake. For example, if you wish to bake two or more loaves of bread at a time each weekend, each of those loaves will require a certain amount of starter.

Our basic sourdough bread recipe calls for about 100 grams of active starter. Therefore, you would need at least 200 grams, plus some left over to feed and keep the starter going. Never use all of your starter in a recipe! On the other hand, we only bake one loaf at a time. Thus, we can maintain a smaller amount of starter. 

Storage Container & Size

Store your sourdough starter in a container that has enough space for the starter itself, plus room for at least tripling in size while it is active. A glass container is a great choice. There are mixed opinions about whether or not it should have an air tight lid. The conclusion we’ve come to is this: it works both ways. However, you never want to leave your container completely open without some type of cover to prevent debris, dust, or fruit flies from getting in! Therefore, either keep a lid sitting loosely on top, or cover it with a coffee filter or lint-free, tight woven cloth. 

We keep our starter in a 1 liter (about 1 quart) flip-top glass container like this one. The seal is not perfectly air tight even when clamped closed, so it does allow for some gasses (and starter) to escape. If you want to maintain a larger starter, consider using a 2 liter or half-gallon container.

An image of a 1 liter flip top lid glass jar overflowing with bubbling sourdough starter. The lid is on the jar and it is still seeping out. The jar is sitting on a white ceramic plate where it help catches some of the active starter.  The background shows part of a greenish white pumpkin and a large monstera house plant whose leaves are dark and waxy.
Our very active sourdough starter, Apple. You have named your sourdough starter, right? Okay good.

Where to Store Your Sourdough Starter: Room Temperature or Refrigerator

When your are preparing your starter for baking, the ideal temperature to reach peak activity is around 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. But that doesn’t mean you have to keep it there all the time! Healthy sourdough starters can be stored either at room temperature, or in the refrigerator. Refrigerating a starter is a great choice for folks with busy schedules. It is also a perfect solution for vacation time away from home! For periods longer than a couple of weeks, a starter can be frozen. It will remain totally dormant until you thaw and feed it again.

Here are a few notable differences between a refrigerated and room temperature sourdough starter:


I was listening to “Science Friday” on NPR the other day, and the guest happened to be a master sourdough baker. I heard so many fascinating facts! One being, that sourdough starters will take on different flavor profiles depending on where they are stored – due to the types of yeast and lactic acid bacteria strains present in various environments. I knew this was true from home to home and city to city, but learned that it also depends on their storage temperature.

Apparently, a sourdough starter stored at room temperature will develop a more sharp, acidic “sour” flavor profile, while those stored in cooler conditions will give a more yogurt-like tangy taste. 

Another interesting tip this master baker suggested was to try to develop a consistent feeding schedule. For example, feeding at the same time each day or week. It seems that the yeast and lactic acid bacteria will become accustomed to their routine and even “know” how much time and food they have to live on before the next feeding – and naturally pace themselves accordingly. Smart little buggers!

How often should I feed my sourdough starter?

If you bake frequently or have the free time to tend to your starter daily, you can store the starter on your countertop. Yet when stored at room temperature, the sourdough starter will remain very active and will need to be fed daily. Some serious bakers feed theirs twice per day!

On the other hand, sourdough starters that are kept in the refrigerator only need to be fed about once per week. The cooler temperatures keeps the microbes alive but less active, so they don’t need to be fed as often. This is a great option for folks who only bake periodically (like we do, just a few times per month).

Sometimes we go longer and leave several weeks between feeding our refrigerated starter – and it does just fine! Heck, we’ve even left it for a couple months… though I don’t necessarily recommend that. A healthy, established starter can survive a little neglect. However, the longer you go between feedings, the more sluggish the starter may be when it comes times to bake, so you’ll likely need to feed it a couple times (as opposed to just once) before use. Also note that a harmless layer of dark liquid called “hooch” will develop over time. Read more about that below. Not sure if your neglected starter is still good? As long as it doesn’t have visible fuzzy mold and perks up after a feeding, it’s fine to use!

Okay, now that we have gotten all that feeding foreplay out of the way… the big moment has arrived. Let’s get ready to feed that damn thing.


Preparing to Feed 

Warm up: If you choose to keep your sourdough starter in the refrigerator, allow it to wake up and warm to room temperature before feeding. We generally take ours out of the fridge the night before we start a day of feeding and baking, or in the morning and begin feeding later that day. 

Discard a portion: Whether your starter has been out on the counter, bubbling and active, or stored in the refrigerator in a more dormant state, you need to discard a portion of the active sourdough starter before feeding. How much you discard depends on how much you are going to feed it, as explained below. 

To discard, first stir the starter to knock out any air. Then slowly remove little by little from the container until the desired amount is left behind. We simply scoop globs out into a separate bowl to either feed to the chickens, make discarded sourdough starter crackers, or to compost. 

After a portion is discarded, it is time to stir in fresh flour and water!

How to Feed a Sourdough Starter Using Weight:

Some bakers prefer to feed the starter by weight. Some even swear it is the only way to go! Admittedly, it is the most precise and consistent way to feed a sourdough starter, since various flours have different weights and volumes. To feed a sourdough starter using weight, simply combine equal parts starter, flour, and water. For example, 100 grams of each. Or for a larger starter, 200 grams of each. 

With this method, it is very helpful to know the empty weight of your starter storage container. That makes it easy to determine how much starter you have left after discarding. Obviously, you’ll also need a kitchen scale.

To be honest, we don’t weigh ingredients when we feed anymore. It is important to weigh things when you’re first creating your sourdough starter. Or, when you are combining flour and water to make the dough for a loaf of bread. Yet on an ongoing basis, we found it too much of a hassle to get out the scale every time we had to feed. Instead, we use a combination of traditional cup measurements and a pinch of good old “eyeballing it”.

How to Feed a Sourdough Starter Using Volume Measurements:

To feed a sourdough starter using conventional volume measurements, simply combine 1 part leftover sourdough starter, 1 part part water, and just under 2 parts flour. For example, 1 cup starter, 1 cup water, and nearly 2 cups of flour. In our kitchen, we add 1 scant cup flour and 1/2 cup of filtered water to the approximately ½ cup to ¾ cup starter that is left in its storage container after discarding. Again, we only ever bake one loaf at a time, so this modest amount is perfect for us.

If you like this method, try this nifty trick: measure the exact amount of starter one time, and take visual note of how much that fills your starter storage container. Our usual half to three-quarter cup starter fills its container up to about a knuckle or inch deep. Nowadays, I just eyeball the volume of starter, eliminating one extra step in measuring.

Two part image collage, the first image is a birds eye view, it shows a flip top lid glass jar next to a white ceramic bowl with a blue spatula sitting inside it. Both of the containers contain sourdough starter which is milky white to slight brown in color. The second image shows the flip top glass container from the side with the starter  only filling the container about one inch deep. A finger is pointed downward, touching the ground next to the container showing the starter depth in relation to a finger.
After discarding (top photo) I know we have our usual amount left once it is just over a knuckle deep for me (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup). Yes, I used a clean container for this photo shoot. Ours is usually much more messy!

Now Feed

Add the appropriate amount of flour and water in with your starter and stir thoroughly, eliminating flour clumps. We do this right in the starter storage container. However, some bakers choose to take everything out into a separate bowl, mix it together, and then put it back or into a fresh container. That’s your call!

A four part image collage, the first image shows the sourdough starter in the glass container, a measuring cup of flour is held suspended over the jar which will be added to the container. The second image shows the jar with the starter and flour inside and a glass measuring cup suspended over the top, pouring water into the container. The third image shows a hand holding a blue spatula, stirring the starter, flour, and water together. The final image is the container after all of the ingredients have been stirred together, the lid is now pulled closed on top of the jar.
The process of feeding by volume. 1/2 to 3/4 cup starter, 1/2 cup tepid water, and 1 scant cup flour. I like mixing right in the container with a little rubber spatula, which makes it easy to clean up the sides. The fed starter will now sit at room temperature, rise, and probably overflow from the container within a few hours!

What Type of Flour & Water to Feed Sourdough Starter


When feeding a sourdough starter, it is ideal to use room temperature to slightly warm water. This is particularly true if your household is on the cool side, and you’re trying to ready the starter for baking soon. If cold water is added to the mixture, it will slow down the activity of the microbes and take longer to get active. We sometimes microwave the water for a quick 30 seconds when we don’t have time to let it sit out. Don’t add hot water though! Just lukewarm.

Additionally, use filtered or otherwise non-chlorinated water for all of your sourdough (and other fermenting!) adventures when possible. Chlorine may inhibit the growth of our friendly bacteria and generally throw things off. We simply run our water through a basic carbon filter (the fridge dispenser) and everything turns out just fine. Another option is to let a container of water sit out on the counter for 12 to 24 hours and allow the chlorine to dissipate.


The type of flour you use to feed your sourdough starter is up to you! There are many options available. Experiment and see what types of results you get. One popular choice is white-all purpose flour. We prefer to use organic bread flour for the “white” flour portion of our starter and dough. Bread flour has a slightly higher protein content than white flour and therefore stronger structure.  

When feeding our starter, we oftentimes use half bread flour and either whole wheat or rye flour for the other half. Whole wheat and rye are known to quickly increase the activity and rise of the starter due to their higher nutrient content. It is also possible to maintain a sourdough starter using einkorn flour, or non-wheat flours like brown rice flour.

Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter Flours

If you’re here from our gluten-free sourdough starter tutorial – don’t worry, I didn’t forget about you! We created our original gluten-free sourdough starter using brown rice flour. Most often, that is what we feed it. However, feel free to experiment with feeding your gluten-free starter with any combination of brown rice, white rice, sweet rice, or buckwheat flours. They all do very well at keeping a starter active and happy! However, I do not suggest using a GF 1-1 baking or all-purpose flour to maintain your starter. I find the extra additives found in those flour mixes make the starter a little funky, and not in a good way…

A birds eye view, there is a bag of King Arthur Flour Organic Bread Flour facing upwards next to a glass container that contains bubbly sourdough starter, on the other side of the jar is a bag of Bob's Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour. They are all sitting on a dark barn wood surface.
The flours we use most, both to feed our sourdough starter and to bake bread with. King Arthur Bread Flour and Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat.

Getting Your Starter Ready for Baking

Most sourdough recipes call for sourdough starter to be “active” or added at “peak activity”. So what does that mean exactly? A sourdough starter is considered at peak activity when it is super expanded and bubbly. It has at least doubled in size or more, is no longer growing, but has not yet started to fall back down or deflate. 

The time it takes your starter to reach peak activity after feeding depends on numerous factors. These include: what and how it was fed, the ambient temperature it is being stored at, and how vigorous and established the starter is in general. Warmer temperatures will increase activity, and cooler temperatures will slow it. 

If your starter has been stored at room temperature, reaching peak activity should be a breeze. It peaks every day. For those of us that store our starters in the refrigerator, it takes some planning in advance to get ready for baking. When we intend to bake in the next day or two, we pull the resting sourdough starter out of the fridge and put it on the counter, allowing it to warm up. Then we feed it at least twice prior to using it in a recipe to achieve peak activity.  

For gluten-free sourdough starters, I find that they peak and fall more quickly than our wheat starter. Therefore, keep a closer eye on it and be ready to use it right before or as it starts to deflate!

Our sourdough starter, at peak. It rose all the way to the lid of the container, and didn’t fall back down right away when the lid was opened.
Our gluten-free sourdough starter, at peak. It doesn’t usually overflow quick like the wheat starter does. But it has risen significantly, stopped rising, and even started to fall back down just a tad. Here, we are storing the starter in the oven with the oven OFF and oven light on, creating a nice warm environment on a cool winter day.

You will develop your own feeding and baking schedule with time.

Here is a summary of our usual routine: Say we want to bake a loaf on Saturday morning. We take the starter out of the fridge on Thursday evening, let it sit overnight to warm up, then feed it once on Friday morning and again early Friday afternoon. Ideally, it should get its last feeding at least three to four hours before you want to start making dough. We make dough that evening, proof overnight in the fridge, and bake Saturday morning. 

What to do after removing a portion of your sourdough starter to bake with:

After you pull off some starter to use in a recipe, you have few different options of what to do with it next – and every way works! An established sourdough starter is pretty forgiving.

  1. You could feed your starter once again (add flour and water, but don’t discard any since you essentially just did that to use in a recipe) and let it sit out for an hour or two to “eat” at room temperature. Then, put it back in the fridge – assuming that is where you’re storing it.
  2. You could also feed the starter and put it right back in the refrigerator as soon as you’re done with it. It will still eat at cooler temperatures, just more slowly.
  3. Finally, sometimes we put our starter back in the fridge right after use (so at peak activity, or just after) without feeding it again that day. Keep in mind this may leave you a little short in volume the next time you take it out to use though. Then, you may want to add flour and water but not discard any the following baking session when waking it up.

A loaf of crusty sourdough bread is shown. The center contains a deep score that has created a large ear whose edges are dark and crusty. Other score marks resemble that of a plant or stalk of wheat while some white flour remains encrusted on the outside of the loaf.

What is that dark liquid on the top of my sourdough starter?

This, my friends, is a sign that you haven’t been keeping up with your starters feeding schedule to its liking. The thin layer of dark liquid that sometimes forms on top of sourdough starter is called hooch. It is an indication that your starter is more active than you’ve been feeding it, has run out of food, and is hungry for more. More than hungry… It is Hangry. 

But don’t worry, it is an easy fix and not at all harmful! Hooch is a naturally-occurring fermentation byproduct (alcohol) created by the hungry yeast and bacteria. It smells quite acidic like vinegar. When encountered, you can either pour the hooch off the top or simply mix it back in, then discard and feed as usual. But do take it as a sign that your feeding schedule may need to be modified. Our starter often develops hooch when we skip a week of feeding. 

An extreme example of hooch. During our recent move, we didn’t have time to bake (and therefore ignored our starter) for two to three months. This was the result: a VERY hungry, hoochie sourdough starter. Since it was SO acidic we poured the hooch off (rather than mixing it back in), then scooped out a half cup of the starter, mixed it with a scant cup of flour and half cup of water in a new fresh container, and it was overflowing with activity by the next day! It did take about 24 hours to become fully active though, as opposed to it’s usual 3-6 hours, so we fed it another time before use to really make her happy.
Again, hooch is totally normal and nothing to fear. As ugly as this sourdough starter looks, it was still good to use after feeding! Note there is no mold inside or on top either. (The white stuff on the inside of the jar is just old crusty starter we hadn’t wiped off).

What if my sourdough starter is bubbling, but not rising?

If your sourdough starter is bubbling but doesn’t rise within a few hours of being fed, the mixture may be too wet or runny. Varying home humidities and flour types can lead to different consistencies. When a starter is too wet and thin, the fermentation bubbles may rise right through and out of the mixture. Ideally, the air bubbles should be mostly trapped inside the starter – causing it to puff up and become spongy. To fix this, simply stir in more flour to thicken it up. Add just a couple tablespoons at a time until the starter is the desired consistency – somewhere in between pancake batter and thick, stiff dough.

Now you know how to feed your sourdough starter. Don’t make it hangry!

I hope you found this article useful and interesting. Now that you know how to maintain your sourdough stater, get to baking! Nothing beats crusty, chewy, homemade sourdough bread. Check out our simple sourdough recipes:

Stay tuned for more sourdough recipes to come! Thank you for reading. Please feel free to ask questions, and spread the sourdough love by sharing this post.

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How to Feed Sourdough Starter

Learn how to feed your sourdough starter to keep it healthy and happy! Here are instructions on how to feed starter by weight, or by volume measurements. Included are tips on how often to feed it, flour options, and also the importance of temperature.
Keyword: Feed sourdough starter, Sourdough Starter


Feeding Starter by Weight (1:1:1)

  • 100 grams sourdough starter
  • 100 grams water (room temperature to lukewarm, and non-chlorinated filtered water recommended)
  • 100 grams flour *Note that using whole wheat or rye flour (instead of white) can help increase starter activity.

Feeding Starter by Volume (1:1:2)

  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter
  • 1/2 cup water (room temperature to lukewarm, and non-chlorinated filtered water recommended)
  • 1 cup (scant, just under a cup) flour
  • *Scale up as needed to maintain a larger starter. Simply keep similar ratios


  • The act of "feeding" your sourdough starter is simply adding more fresh flour and water to an existing starter. This may be after you take some of your starter to use in a recipe, in order to build its volume back up. Or, in order to activate a dormant starter to prepare it for baking (to reach "peak activity), you need to discard a portion of it and then add fresh flour and water – aka, feed it.
  • Starters need routine feeding to stay alive. Even if you aren't actively baking, you'll need to feed your sourdough starter on occasion. The frequency depends on how you store it. Starters that are stored in a refrigerator can be fed every couple of weeks (or even up to every couple of months, once mature and established). On the other hand, starters stored at room temperature must be fed every day or every other day.
  • Where you feed your starter is up to you. Some bakers dump their starter, fresh flour and water in a clean bowl to mix/feed it every time, and then transfer it to a clean container. Others simply mix more flour and water into the same container the starter is already living in. Either way, I suggest to keep the sides of your stater container fairly clean, and change it out or wash it on occasion. Built-up gunk on the sides of the container can more easily lead to mold.

Preparing to Feed

  • Warm up: If you choose to keep your sourdough starter in the refrigerator, allow it to warm to room temperature for several hours before feeding. We generally take ours out of the fridge the night before we want to make sourdough, then feed it in the morning. Avoid adding cold water, which will also slow it down.
  • Discard a portion: Stir to knock out any air, and then remove some starter from its container. Leave enough behind (amounts described below) to mix with fresh flour and water. Use the "discarded" starter in a recipe, feed it to your chickens, or compost it.
  • Now, add more fresh flour and water to the remaining starter, either following the "weight" or "volume" instructions below

How to Feed Sourdough Starter by Weight

  • To feed a sourdough starter using weight, simply combine equal parts existing starter, flour, and water. For example, 100 grams of each. Or for a larger starter, 200 grams of each. 
  • It's very helpful to know the empty weight of your starter storage container, so it's easy to determine how much starter you have left after discarding. You will need a kitchen scale.

How to Feed Sourdough Starter by Volume

  • To feed a sourdough starter using conventional volume measurements, simply combine 1 part leftover sourdough starter, 1 part part water, and just under 2 parts flour. For example, 1 cup starter, 1 cup water, and nearly 2 cups of flour. (The ratios are different with this method because water weighs more than flour.)
  • In our kitchen, we maintain a fairly small container of starter. Therefore, our routine feeding is: add 1 scant cup flour and 1/2 cup of filtered water to approximately ½ cup to ¾ cup starter left in its storage container after discarding. Honestly, we eyeball/estimate the amount of starter left in the container, rather than taking it out to measure.

Notes on Temperatures

  • When your are preparing your starter for baking, the ideal temperature to reach peak activity is around 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold conditions slow down microbial activity and make starters less active.

DeannaCat signature, keep on growing


  • Griselda

    Hi! I’m getting ready to bake my first loaf Sunday! I took out my starter this morning, discarded a cup (made your pancakes for dinner and they were fantastic!) and then fed it by mixing 200 grams of starter, 200 grams of flour and 200 grams of water. You suggest feeding again before baking, how much do I feed the 2nd time? I wouldn’t use the same portions would I? Is it ok to just add the 1 cup of flour 1/2 cup water? Thanks!!!

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Griselda, we usually discard around the same amount and feed the same amount each time. You won’t need to feed your starter again until tomorrow when you are going to be baking. We usually feed the scant cup flour and half cup water after we discard the starter so there is about an inch or two of starter remaining in the bottom of a quart mason jar. Try and time your feeding so the starter will be at peak activity once you are ready to make the dough on Sunday. Hope that helps and good luck with your first loaf and glad you enjoyed the pancakes!

  • Melanie Diessel

    5 stars
    Hi Deanna and Aron,

    How would one go about dehydrating some of your starter so that you always have a back up in case you do happen to kill yours off or cannot maintain the feeding schedule for a while (like if you are ill or away on holiday for longer than 2 weeks).
    I know you say you can freeze it, but I assume if you dehydrate some it will keep for longer? So how would you go about dehydrating it?

    I love your blog and the videos you have made. Your entire site is an absolute delight. Thank you.

    Warm Regards

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Melanie, do you have a food dehydrator? If so, feed your starter and once it reaches peak activity, pull some off and spread it lightly on parchment paper that has already been laid onto a drying rack from your dehydrator. Dry it on a low setting until it is fully dry and crispy, from there, just blend it into a powder and store it in a cool/dry place until you need it. Hope that helps and we appreciate your support.

  • Sara

    5 stars
    We started with your dehydrated starter last year and have had a wonderful year of success! Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed that our starter isn’t rising nearly as much as it used to. I’m lucky if I can get it to double. I’ve tried warmer settings and still haven’t seen it return to it’s super active self. Any other tips or tricks to rejuvenate it?

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Sara, you can use half rye flour during your feeding to help give the sourdough starter an extra boost. Let us know how it works out for you in getting your starter back to full vigor. Good luck and thanks for your support.

  • Claire

    5 stars

    I am new to sourdough starter making.
    I mixed 1/4C organic APF and 3T water last night. It got doubled this morning, so I added 1/2 C flour and 1/3C water. Within 3 hours, it got more than quadrupled in volume. What do I do now?
    Thanks for your advice in advance!

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hello Claire, aside from getting a bigger container to contain your sourdough starter I am going to assume your starter is healthy and active and is now in a quart or liter sized jar. You need to discard some of the starter to bring the volume down to a lower amount, we usually shoot for 2 to 3 inches of starter remaining in a typical quart mason jar. At this point feed your starter 1 scant cup flour and 1/2 cup water, once it doubles in size or starts to reach the top of the container, take some of the starter and use it in a sourdough recipe. Store the starter in the refrigerator in between uses if you don’t use it on a daily basis, it will go into slight hibernation mode. Hope that helps and good luck!

  • Andrea Becker

    5 stars
    Just wondering, if I’m leaving town, do I feed my starter then put it in the fridge immediately or wait? Thank you!

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Andrea, we will usually feed the starter and leave it at room temperature for an hour or two. Really, either way should be fine. Good luck!

  • stephanie

    5 stars
    Thanks for all this info! Newbie here! A quick clarification if you can regarding the paragraph “What to do after taking a portion from your starter” #3: I normally keep 180g of starter in the fridge and sometimes I take only 30g out and feed that little portion to put into a particular recipe. THEN I don’t feed my original starter and just put it back in the fridge, is that OK to do whether or not it has peaked? I leave it in the fridge until its usual feeding day. TY!

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      That sounds more than fine to me Stephanie as you still feed and get active the small portion to be used in a recipe while also keeping a schedule of feeding your main “original” starter. Whatever works for you is best and it seems to be working just fine, good luck and happy baking!

  • Barbara H.

    5 stars
    I read everything you’ve got here on sourdough (prep & baking). It’s clear and useful and to the point without excess. I’ve also read lots of other sites and watched many videos. No one comes close to addressing my problem, but you did, a little. I live in a small house with no insulation or central heat (in northern California) and it’s been pretty cold. I don’t have an indoor thermometer–guess it’s in the low 50′ at most. (Now Springtime, getting warmer. ) When preparing to bake, I keep my starter ON the stove, and it hasn’t been wanting to rise much. Inside the over, (an old classic one), it’s 125F with everything turned off. That’s too high, isn’t it? You mentioned that you put yours inside the oven sometimes. Can you explain further about dealing with cold interiors?
    Thanks very much. Best wishes!

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hello Barbara, glad you have enjoyed the sourdough articles and thank you for reading! Room temperature in the low 50’s is pretty cool indeed, 125 degrees Fahrenheit is definitely too warm to keep your starter or bread. Are you sure that the temp is that high with everything off in the unit? That seems to be a fairly high disparity in temperatures between room temp and oven temp which is usually only about 10 degrees warmer if using the oven light. One suggesting for colder temperatures would be to use a seedling heat mat to keep the starter on top of the heat mat which can be set to a temperature that is more suitable for a rising and active sourdough starter (about 75 degrees). An indoor thermometer is helpful knowing what conditions you are working with. I would also set the thermometer on the heat mat so you know if you need to increase or decrease the thermostat temperature to reach the ideal temperature. Hope that helps some and hopefully happy baking!

  • Chrissi

    Thanks for this great article. Now I learned that I fed my sourdough during the last year in the wrong way. I was told to feed the sourdough every time with 115 g each water and flour, but no matter how much sourdough it is. But after reading your article – which makes totally sense for me!!! – I think my way in the past was completely wrong. Do you think I have to start again at zero or can I use my sourdough (which surprisingly worked all the time, maybe not in its best way…) and just keep on going with the correct feeding way?? Thanks in advance for your answer, it would be very helpfull for me! Chrissi

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hello Chrissi, it sounds like your sourdough starter is still active so I would just stick with the new feeding regiment and you should be good to go. Have fun baking and enjoy!

      • Chrissi

        Yes it is active. It was just underfeeded everytime and was wondering about not having discard…..Thanks for the help, I will keep on going with the correct method!!!

  • Mandy

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together! It finally makes sense to me. This guide is perfect. I will be sharing this to anyone I give some starter to. <3

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