Is this normal?


Hi. I've made a starter for the first time and I'm not sure if it's doing what it should!

its separated into a bottom layer or bubble-less sludge, a middle layer of liquid and a top layer of bubbly starter.

it was made on Friday, and fed it for the first time on Monday, but looks like this.

I made it with white flour and added a few grapes to the mix!

is it alive?

209 users have voted.


Ji Su 2020 April 10

(Disclaimer: It's also my first time making a starter, so I'm mostly just citing off other sources.)

Saw something similar on this webpage

The page says the dark layer is the alcohol produced by the yeast as it ferments, and indicates that it needs feeding. So your starter isn't gone yet, it's just hungry!

The sources I've read recommended feeding once every 24 hours, and then upping it to every 12 or so hours as your yeast starts growing.

I don't know what to make of the bottom layer. But it doesn't look grim, I'd just feed it more often and see what happens. ☺

lpenzey 2020 April 24

I'd take the grapes out, pour off some of the alcohol liquid, mix the rest back together and start doing daily feedings. It's definitely still alive, but starters should be fed daily if they're not being stored in the fridge. 

Truss 2020 April 29

I am from India. Weather here is hot, Temperatures are Mid nineties (F) in the day and around 80 in the night. This is my first attempt at a starter. I am using 50 gm whole wheat flour and 50 gm water (from my RO purifier). Day 3 after feeding twice a day I had a similar looking starter.  Just threw out all but 100 gms and started refeeding, twice a day. Hope this works. Considering the high temperatures, could someone suggest how to handle the starter better?


kjgeraci 2020 July 14

Kind of normal ... I mean it happens.  When this happened to me, it was because my starter was strong and hungry.  So here is what worked for me.

  1. Mix up the starter, juice (hooch) and all. 
  2. Get a fresh clean jar.
  3. Pour 25g of starter into new jar
  4. Add 50g of Flour and Water
  5. Mix and let it sit

Day two do the same thing (you can skip the new jar thing), but feed the starter 2:1.

This was totally contray to most of the advice/learning I had done, but it worked.  In short your starter is super hungry.  Please let me know if this worked for you.


Post Reply

Already a member? Login