First starter: Thick hard crust on top


Hi all,

This is my first time making sourdough starter. Everything seems to be going alright, the starter is bubbling and rising. I started it three days ago, equal parts water and fresh ground farro wheat flour. My concern is that when I check it after 12 hours or more, there seems to be a thick, hard crust on the surface. Doesn't look or smell like mold. The best I can describe it is that it looks like bread crust after baking. 

I have been scooping this part off and continuing to feed the starter (equal parts water and flour). Smells a little fruity/sour (I think how it's supposed to), but other than that it seems ok. What am I doing wrong, and is the starter still ok to use?

I live in a dry, high altitude climate, so I'm wondering if the surface exposed to air is just drying out? Help!!


351 users have voted.


farinam's picture
farinam 2015 March 12

Hello SteffiJ,

You don't mention how you are covering your starter container but you should have something to limit evaporation from it.  This should be a good cover but not completely sealed.  GladWrap is one option if the container doesn't have any sort of a lid.  If it does have a lid then closed but not tightly sealed is the way to go.

Good luck with your projects.


SteffiJ18 2015 March 15

Thanks, Farinam.

That seemed to do the trick. I was covering the starter, but very loosely. Started using Glad Wrap and everything is great now! 

Thanks so much!!

lillie heredia 2022 April 26

I covered my starter with a lid but not sealed and on very low warming pad.

Now my starter doesn't look bubbly and is crusty.  I guess I should have sealed my lid?


Post Reply

Already a member? Login