How can I tell if my starter has gone bad?


My starter has a weird gray layer on top and what looks to be lots of white bubbles (I don't think it's mold, and it smells fine).  I recently doubled and divided it the other batch went seriously bad (actual moldy looking stuff)


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farinam's picture
farinam 2014 July 17

Hello cmlauraerwin,

Sometimes (for what reason, I know not - some sort of reaction with the air maybe) the batter can develop a grey appearance on the surface particularly after a time without being disturbed.  If that is what it is then I don't think it is a problem.

If the batter is 'risen' and is full of bubbles itself then it seems that your starter is active.  Not sure about 'white bubbles' though and are they only at the surface? Or is it that the white is the underneath batter showing through?  What sort of recipe are you using for developing and maintaining your starter?

So, without actually seeing it, it is a bit hard to say.  But if it is aerated throughout and doesn't smell bad then there is a fair chance that it is OK.

Good luck with your projects.


cmlauraerwin 2014 July 18

Thank you for your reply.  The white looks like it could be batter fron underneath because they have bubbles.  If I feed it and use it, could it make me sick or will it simply not do "it's thing"?  I purchased a live starter from Kinf Arthur and I've had it for a few years now with no issues.

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