sourdough starter


 I stared a starter (new to this) and want to make waffles with it. I followed a recipe that required a yeast packet with warm water and flour equal parts and a little sugar. Anyways, I have read other recipes on starters and wonder if I have messed mine up.


The first 8 hrs it bubbled and over doubled its volume. I let it sit out for a day and a half (equaling 2 full days) and stirred it a couple more times over that time. Of course it was not bubbly after that 8-12 hrs, I never fed it. I thought for the recipe I read that you leave it out for 2-5 days until it stops bubbling and produces a sour smell, and then it is ready for baking. But other recipes seem to say the contrary. It started separating on the top where you could see the alcohol layer under and it definitely smelled sour at the end of the two days.


Is my starter fine where i did not feed it, and is it too sour possibly? I don’t know. I had someone else smell it and they said it smelled like beer. I also have read that you can cook it like I have it where there is no activity in it, since it is sour smelling and it will still make cooking taste great,  but other sites have said that you need to have it very active when you want to cook with it.


I have transferred it into the fridge


thanks for your help to a beginner!!


113 users have voted.


farinam's picture
farinam 2012 July 22

Hello dtdave,

You will find you cannot go far wrong if you follow the procedures given in SourDom's Beginners Blog on this site (link near the top of the page).

Basically though, the yeast and bacteria present in the culture need something to survive although they will remain dormant in the absence of sustenance for some considerable time and will reactivate when presented with a new supply.  Generally, it is advisable to follow the 10 to 14 day regime of starter development before using for baking to be sure that you have a well balanced and stable starter.  It may go through phase of higher and lower activity and different odours in the process but should end up not at all unpleasant.

Good luck with your projects.


chazzone 2012 September 4

What Farinam said.  You can't really make a sourdough with commercial yeast.  Commercial yeast and wild yeast live and thrive in very different environments.  Follow Sourdom's directions and you'll soon have a starter and the keys to making lots of delicious stuff.



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