pinkish grey colour in starter


I am at day 4 of beginning my starter and by the end of each 24 hr period it appears to have a faint pinky colour to it. Is this OK, or should I toss it and start again?

326 users have voted.


LittleMonkeyMojo 2010 March 16

Pink is bad.  This means your starter has turned evil.  Throw it out and start over.  If your starter turns black or brownish, it's still okay.

Millciti's picture
Millciti 2010 March 16

Based on what Danubian says at the link below, it is the lack of acidity that may be the problem.  Lots of different bugs that are plentiful in new starters die off when the good lactic acid cultures get going.  Read this topic first for a little more info.

Could you give us a bit more info about the conditions, recipe/method for your starter?  Pictures of this mould, er mold, might be good too...



dukegus 2010 March 20

I'd say continue the feeding cycles and the starter may become "pure" again :) Don't give up on it!

Adam T's picture
Adam T 2010 March 21

I had a similar result when I first tried to make a starter with city tap water. it kept turning pink, and smelled off. So I tossed it and used filtered water. No problems after that.



Carter 2010 March 22

I had a thought that may be the case. We are on rainwater so I am now using boiled cooled water. Up to day 3 and so far so good!

Adam T's picture
Adam T 2010 March 22

I currently use well water ( moved to the country). UV filter, and fine particle filter. My starters seem to take to it pretty nicely.

Erica K 2017 December 1


Hello,  my starter has a grayish color mixed in with it. Besides that, it seems like it is doing really well. The only thing I see about gray starter is that people say they have a gray layer on the top, and that it is hooch and is ok. Mine is grayish throughout, not just on top. I have taken a small amount of starter and fed it many times to try to get rid of it, but it hasn't gone away. Is the grayish color ok? I'm in the middle of baking a loaf of bread with it. Is it safe to eat?

Lídia Leal 2020 April 14

Hi, the same pinkish issue happened to mine. But I used buckwheat flour. I guess this could be the cause of the funny pink color on the top? It has a really acidic smell but I'm not sure if it's edible or if it should be discarted... 

Lram 2020 April 16
I'm also a novice here but I've been doing a lot of research. I read that pink specifically is a concerning colour and you should just toss it out and start over. According to what I've read hues of brown (e.g. clear/light brown, tan, amber) and even grey, depending on the flour you're using (e.g. buckwheat), are normal.

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