My sourdough problem, did I kill it? should I throw it?


It's a long story but I hope you tell me what to do

i started a basic recipe of a sourdough with fresh milled whole grain wheat flour. With the measurement of 4 oz of water and flour, our climate is really hot and humid but I thought it was fine

the first few days the yeast was ok, bubbling, becoming more thin as they noted in the recipe , but I noticed that it gets a lot of hooch, which I didn't understand what it did means before but I just kept making and feeding once a day, I have now a big amount of the starter, on the 5th day, everything stopped, it still smells like yogurt and now it smells like aceton, but no action, so I removed only 40 g of yeast and started adding 40 g of flour and 40 grams of water to minimize the amount and kept the rest in the fridge, even though I started feeding twice a day, no change happened, no bubbling , nothing , so I threw that away the next day and got a new amount of starter form the fridge, but nothing happened after feeding  them twice also.

ive heard that the yeast hits a stall or something

im just wondering , should I continue until the 14th day as most suggest, should I stop and consider it a failur? And what can I do with the batter later instead of dumping it? I thought about using it as a pancake batter..

please help, thanks I. Advance

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Millciti's picture
Millciti 2016 September 8

Hot and humid might mean that you are waiting too long to feed your starter.  Keep 40 grams feed it 80 grams of water and 80 grams of flour - unbleached flour.  Make sure you feed it when you can check on in in about 4 hours.  See if there is any activity.  It may be that there is too much activity from the whole grain flour switching to unbleached may slow everything down enough to see what is happening.  When starting a starter you might initially see a lot of activity but this is from both good and bad microbes. Most new starters look dead for 5-7 days after an initial burst of activity.  You just have to have a little faith that the microbes are doing their job creating an acidic environment that is unfriendly to all but the wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria.  When your starter hits the right ph you will have action. With a hotter environment the action may be happening a lot sooner than you think and by the time you check you are getting the smell of starter that is hungry because it has spent all of the available nutrients.  


fghu 2016 September 11

Ok , thankfuly my sourdough came to life again and it started raising and i fed it almost 4 time a day, which i think was not enough since it resulted in a sour sourdough ,, now im tryin another time, but when i taste my sourdough it is still sour, eventhough im still feeding it too often after it raises, i have to questions:

- how to know when i should feed my sourdough before it falls or reaches the peak

- how to make it less sour? Ive read that o should put it in a colder tempreture, if i did that how many days does it take to make it less sour? 

Millciti's picture
Millciti 2016 September 13

Higher temps will get a sour taste much faster.  Most baker's here will use refrigeration to slow their culture down.  Once your starter is established you should be storing it until ready to make bread. Have you been reading the help available in the beginners' blog?

For example there is a lot of information about times and temps here:

Lots of factors affect the flavors of the bread you can produce with a sourdough culture - the amount of starter you use, time - how long you allow for each process, whether you refrigerate or not, ingredients - whole grains typically produce bread that has a more sour taste.



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