grey mould on starter


I'm new to the sour dough world.Chuffed with my new starter. Fed it every day for a week and then had a lovely vinigary whiff to it. Made three nice loaves last week. Letft it in an earthenware container for another week/9 days to find it smelling of strong farty broad beans and a grey hairy mould around the sides? Had it gone bad? Should I start again or can I save it? Ive taken it out of the bowl and can feed it and fridge the rest. (maybe it was too warm?) should I try and make a loaf from the starter or not. I know the baking will kill anything bad off but is it a waste of time? The dough is very stack from the starter too....does spelt need more flour than wheat to remain shaped? Please help this novice solve the BAD kitchen smell! X

172 users have voted.


farinam's picture
farinam 2013 November 2

Hi lollieplop,

If you are leaving your starter for some time (a week or more)  without feeding you should probably keep it in the fridge.  It can go for a month there with only one or two to a few regular feeds afterwards to get it back to full strength.

Try removing the mould and a layer of starter and get a quantity of 'uncontaminated' material and rebuild from that in a clean sterilised container and you might save yourself some time.  Generally the acid content in the bulk of the starter inhibits the growth of moulds etc and that is why a well established starter is so stable and resilient.  It might be that yours was a bit young to be left to its own resources for so long.

Otherwise, if that doesn't work, it's start from scratch.

Let us know how you go and good luck with your projects.


lollieplop 2013 November 2

Thankyou Fairnam, I took the cleanest part of the starter away and fed it, I also kept a ladelfull aside and added to it to make a sponge for tomorrow. Both are fermenting nicely and it smells better so I am asuming its all very happy. Ill put the starter aside and feed it daily for a week to see if it smells less farty then. Actually its already smelling better. I will keep you posted on tomorrows baking outcome!


Post Reply

Already a member? Login