Adding different flour to starter, what went wrong?


Hi everyone, my name is Jon and I am new to baking sourdough bread. Ok, so, the last couple of weeks I have been getting cracking results, big rise, big holes, big flavour really happy. I started my starter on 50% plain flour, 50% wholemeal flour and 100% water, both flours where supermarket brand. After getting such good results over the first weeks and running out of the supermarket brand I decided to buy bulk organic flours instead of the supermarket brand to see (1) if I could get better results and (2) organic  is the way to go, screw chemicals!  Since then my starter has sucked and is not showing any life like it used to! So, does the starter need to get used to new flours or did I miss something? I thought using organic flours would have more yeasts and my starter would have went nuts, but this isn't the case!  I feed my baby same time every day, same 100% hydration. Started on new flours 5 days ago.  

Thanks everyone

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farinam's picture
farinam 2013 August 13

Hi Jon,

Sometimes they can sulk a bit if you change their food though I'd have thought that a day or two at most would suffice to come around.

Is there any sign of life at all?  Has it improved with a couple of days more?

Rye flour (wholemeal) is often touted as a tonic for cultures.  Mine once had a bit of a lie down on wheat flour only and it seemed to buck up with some rye so I routinely add rye to my culture (about 20%).  Generally for my loaf starter, I only feed up with wheat flour just to get a less coloured crumb.  If I want something really white, I build the loaf starter from just a few grams of culture so that the amount of rye in the final loaf is miniscule.

Good luck with your projects.


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