The damn hooch!


I’m brand new to home-made sourdough. I’m using an organic wholemeal flour for my starter with a ratio of 1 part flour to 1 part water (1 tablespoon of each) kept in a sealed but non-airtight glass jar on the kitchen bench out of direct sunlight. It’s on day 3 and this morning I noticed a thick layer of hooch with minimal bubbling. Last night when I fed it there were plenty of bubbles and it was looking great! I’m feeding it twice a day, and all the info I’ve read seems to indicate that a hooch means I’m not feeding it enough. Surely twice a day is enough? What am I doing wrong?! Should I feed it more than 1 tablespoon of flour/water at a time? Can I save my starter??!

238 users have voted.


Maxoke 2018 April 1

Hey Beckens,

I had similar issues with my starters, I ended up adding around 5gms more flour each time and this has helped immensely.  Now I can go 125gms for each item and it doesn’t starve anymore.

once it stabilised I was able to stretch out  feedings without any hooch forming and still keeping the 1:1 ratio

125gms starter

125 gms water

130 gms flour 

I found this link in the “starter from scratch” post really helpful

I think it’s called the starter dr.

I hope some of this info helps and good luck!!!


Manuele 2018 April 5

Hi Beckens,

My method for my starter is:

200 gr starter

60% water (130gr)

50% flour (100gr)

I have this starter for well over 5 years now, and I can leave it up to 2 weeks before refreshing and it still almost triples in size.

I don't think you need to feed it more than once a day if the starter is really young and weak, but once it establishes itself you can get away with feeding it weekly

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