My culture grows so fast and gets watery.



Here is my 1 day old culture.  100% of hydration.  Same amount of white flour ( with 10% of rye flour)  and water were used.



I think it developed too much .  It's summer here now so room temperature is around 28 ~29 C.

Is this the reason for this happening ?  I changed water to new bottled water which has a label saying

' deep sea drinking water'.  Water problem ?


Now you'll  see it's second day.



My camera is not good enough to catch the water layer on top of the starter, but there is.


It had doubled over night and fallen back to it's original size in the morning.

The smell was quite strong.



I inclined the bottle a bit , so now you can see the water on top.

Also I coun't find any gas bubbles.


Is it dead ?  What's happened to my starter ?

Can I revive it ? 

If this is due to the high temperature , what can I do ?  I have no way to control room temperature

or to find cooler place in house.  How can I slow down the fermentation to normal ?  

Can I change the ratio of flour and water ? 




Here is another picture. It is new culture which I started yesterday morning .

After I failed the previous starter, I changed the ratio of flour and water to 1.5 : 1 .

I fed this starter with new feeding calculation.



I fed it at 9: 00 am but , it already doubled at 11:00 am  and keep growing until now . ( It's 11: 50 am . ) 

It took only 2 hours to double in size for 2 days old starter ( exactly, might be 26 hours old..) .


Is this normal and good ?

Obviously, even the new caculation seems  unable  to slow down this vigorous growing.

Should I increase the amount of flour more or take out rye flour ? 





336 users have voted.


suziwong66's picture
suziwong66 2010 July 28


I have had the same problem during the summer months and what worked for me was to feed the starter twice a day.  Now that the southern hemisphere cooler months have returned I've been able to return to once daily feeding.  Now I only get the brown liquid when I miss a feed.  I mix the liquid in and then feed again.

hope that helps.

molifemo 2010 July 28

Hi,  Su


Thank you for help.


Yes, that's a good way.  If that works, can I use my culture after 3 or 4 days for making a loaf ?


People say, it takes around 7 days for a culture to be ready  when it is fed once a day.


So, I think, if I feed it twice a day, it would be ready after 3 or 4 day. Does this make sense ?  


rossnroller 2010 July 29

My starter took 12 days to be fully active, with 2 feeds daily, but that was in the middle of winter. It all depends on your ambient temperatures and local conditions - and the flour you're using.


molifemo 2010 July 30


Hi    Ross,


Thanks for the answer.


How do you know that your starter is ready to go ?  


What's the difference between 11 days and 12 days ? 


It is quite confusing for me to tell  when is the right time for my starter to make a loaf. 





rossnroller 2010 July 30

It's not really a matter of which day...when you've got an active starter and are feeding it regularly, you'll see when it's ripe and ready to go. It will get fluffy and mousse-like with aeration, and the surface domes. I use it when it is fully domed - some prefer to wait until the dome falls back slightly.

suziwong66's picture
suziwong66 2010 July 30

Like Ross' starter, my starter took around 12 days before it was ready to use and that was in summer.  Again, it's not the amount of days that will alert you to whether it's ready to cook with or not but the 'look' of the starter.  Mine, initially wasn't rising so much as it does now, but certainly was "fluffy and mousse-like with aeration" like Ross said.  Also when I used Rye flour in one of my starters I got a huge and quick rise and fall.  The white flour starter has never risen like the rye starter did.  It rises nicely (but not as big as the rye) and stays up longer than the rye flour starter.

hope that helps

Trajan 2010 July 30

You might also try, along with feeding twice a day, reducing the water percentage. By doing that you can also squeeze more sour into your bread from what I've heard. :o)

Millciti's picture
Millciti 2010 August 1

You should read this blog to learn more about your starter...   By the way don't keep starting over, just take it from where you are day wise and continue on.  With the heat you are getting take some measure to improve your conditions - feeding twice a day is good.  Also try to keep your starter in the coolest room in your house not in direct sunlight.   Make sure you are discarding as per instruction.  Also when you are feeding it twice a day don't discard till the end of the 24 hour period.  Good luck!  If you are persistant you can succeed and soon will be enjoying wonderful delicious sour dough bread. 

Once you have got your starter going in 10-12 days you will want to store it in the fridge refreshing it at least 8-12 hours before baking.  At least until the weather cools down.  I would follow that method in the hot weather.  Once it is established you can always try keeping 2 starters a fridge, and counter starter.

A starter ready to go can hardly contain itself!

By the way the pics for Dom's gallery aren't working so I will give Maedi a shout!







titi indri 2011 November 17

 hi, my name is indri. i'm from semarang, indonesia..i love this site and happy to joint! what a great interaction! i try some recipe from artisan bread that made me in love and much missing to european in my country we rarely find this kind of bread but sweet toast! i wish to share with all of you! 

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