Your Questions About Sourdough Starter Feeding

Chris asks…

When feeding a sourdough starter, is the dough you remove a second starter?

When you remove half of your starter and replace with flour and water, is the removed dough a second culture? Like, could I feed it as well and have 2 starters?

sourdough answers:

The main reason you remove half of the starter before feeding is to cut down on the size of your starter and the amount you have to feed.

Yes, you can create a second starter with the removed half, but if your first batch is going strong you’ll be using twice as much ingredients to keep two going. In other words, you might as well kept everthing in the same bowl.

Typically, I just throw the unused half out or give it to a friend. Also, there are ways of freezing a starter so you can reconstitute it later.

I’m of the belief that whatever starter culture you first had is eventually replaced by what you have in your flour. So after a few months, the original culture is almost complete replaced. I have no research… Just based upon my observations.

Ruth asks…

Sourdough starter maintenance?

Ok, I am a sourdough newbie and, needless to say, I am really nervous about how it’s going to turn out. I made my first starter in a somewhat untraditional way because of my lack of experience, I used 2 c. flour, 2 c. Water and 2 1/4 tsp. of highly active commercial dry yeast. I’m having trouble understanding the maintenance of the starter. I’ve read in some places that you need to feed the starter twice a day and other places that it needs to be only weekly or bi-weekly at the most I’m really confused because of this. I would think that feeding the starter everyday would give me way too much. Also, how much should I be feeding my starter?

sourdough answers:


This site has many click on sources and information. If not using commercial sourdough starter , bread yeast is not recommended rather wild yeast inherent in flour is all that is required etc.

William asks…

For how long can I keep my sourdough starter?

I just made my first two starters, for how long can I keep them?

sourdough answers:

Indefinitely, as long as you keep feeding the starter. The more mature the starter the better the flavor.

Carol asks…

how to tell if my sourdough starter too acid/alkali?

1) what are the Symptoms of a starter being to acidic?
2) what are the Symptoms of a starter being to alkali?

3) what are the Remedies to fix a acidic sourdough starter?
4) what are the Remedies to fix a alkali sourdough starter?

sourdough answers:

1) Weak or absent leavening action (high acidity kills yeast);
2) Absence of sour taste in finished product; acidic content equals acidic taste (i.e. Sourness);
3) Dilution: remove half the quantity of starter and add roughly equal amounts of flour and water; allow to ferment for 12 to 24 hours; repeat this process until starter bubbles vigorously within 2 to 3 hours after last feeding of flour/water;
4) Infuse starter mix with desirable balance of “wild” yeasts and lactobacillus.


Sandra asks…

How long can a sourdough bread starter go without being fed?

I haven’t fed mine in about 3 – 4 weeks. Is it okay?

sourdough answers:

If you left it out on the counter you need to feed sourdough starter every day or 2 days at the least. If it has been on your counter,stir it well and throw out the starter but 1/4 cup of it. In a clean container with no metal mix 1 1/3 cups of unchlorinated water with 1 3/4 cups unbleached AP flur and 1/4 cup whole wheat flour and let it set out for 24 to 36 hours until it bubbles. When it starts bubbling real heavily, remove 1/2 cup of the starter and repeat with another 1 1/3 cup unchlorinated water and 1 3/4 unbleached AP flour and 1/4 cup whole wheat flour. This process removes most of the toxins and reactivated the starter, it is called rinsing.

If your starter was kept in the refrigerator you only need to remove about 1 cup and feed it as normal. The reason in the fridge you need less feeding is because the cold temperatures slow the metabolisim of the yeast down so it only needs to be fed every 2 to 3 weeks.

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