Levain failures

177 users have voted.


farinam's picture
farinam 2016 July 20

Hello anonymous,

Maybe you aren't giving it long enough.  When establishing a starter, it can go through stages of varying activity and smelling different as various yeasts and bacteria predominate and fall away as the conditions in the culture change.  You could be looking at a week or ten days before the whole thing stabilises and settles down.

Have a read of the Beginners Blog on establishing a starter (Home Page - right hand column).  This a very good method to follow.  Just be patient.  The rest of the blogs are also very good for the whole process of making and baking a loaf.

Good luck with your projects.


Amber Borsotti 2016 August 12

Could be that the enriched flour has something weird in it, try reular unbleached /organic white flour. might work better :)

mjb0015 2016 August 21

Also I initially had trouble because it is winter and it was to cold, so I bought an electric blanket placed the starter in a cardboard bo and wrapped the lanket around it, set on medium and within two days I had a healthy starter.

manano 2016 August 25

Well it failed for me doing 1/2 and 1/2 on third day. Art of Fermantation book solved my problem.

Rye flour, 50g water, 50 grams rye flour, 36 hours at first to get good bubbles, now feed it with 75% fresh flour and watter to 25% of starter. Feed it every 12 hours, after initial 36 hours, if not it will starve and die. It should be doubling every time. Also feed with all purpose flour, but faze our rye flour in 3 steps(75%rye-25%all purp, 50%rye, 50%all purp, 25%rye, 75%all purp next 3 feedings). Website Sourdoughhome.com has the procces in detail, but ignore the 1/2 starter 1/2 flour and water.You want to add 75% feed to 25% starter.


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