long ride new starter


Hi everyone,

I just get a leaven (levain) identify as from San francisco and supply by somebody in england.

I am worry because the shipping took 9 days.

1-i feed it with 250 gr of water and same of flour.

2-after 20 hours it was bubbling but no volume increase.

3-now 28 hours, about 10% increase of volume.

my sources are not availables and i can't find any specific answer to my situation.

experienced advice would be appreciate.

Michel Dufresne

st-eustache, quebec, canada


225 users have voted.


mozzie 2012 July 8



You have some activity - so that's a positive sign! Even 10% is good. Bread water ratio sounds fine. I generally use much less in total (about 50gm flour) for the starter feeding. You have used quite a lot, and it may be taking the yeast a while to consume that much!


If the levain was dried (levain sec), it should have survived, and may just need some more time. A "wet" levain would have a shorter life, but the yeasts are good at surviving! Again, my advice is be patient, refresh the starter with water and flour every 24 hours or so, and allow some more time.


Do you know what flour was used to "feed" the starter before it was sent to you? If it was rye or part-rye and you are utilising white flour, then that will slow it down -  but it should recover ok. 


You could try splitting the batch you have, and feeding 50% with a rye & white flour mix, the other with just white, perhaps you will get a different result.


I used one of the methods described on this web-site (perhaps http://sourdough.com/blog/sourdom/beginners-blog-starter-scratch) and the whole process (from flour to bread) took about 2 weeks, and another few months before I was happy with the flavour.


Don't be too disappointed if the bread isn't exactly the same as San Francisco sourdough .... many things affect the flavour of sourdough. Your starter is a living yeast colony, and its environment and terroir can have a big influence.

can245a 2012 July 10

Thank you very much mozzie,

i have feed it with 50+50 gr mix, and after 24 hours, lot less bubble, no increase of volume, smell is very sour feel like warm.

I just refeed them monday 13.30 pm with 50+50gr mix, i had 2 leavens, and i put one of those in a controled heat box 83-88 deg F.

Michel Dufresne



can245a 2012 July 13

Positives results but no control yet.
I got goods results (bubbles and volume increase 30-50%) by refrigerate the 2 mains for 12 hours, then taking 1 cup out to a new container and adding 1 cup water at about 85 deg F, and 1 1/2 cup flour, and keeping in a proof box (83-88 deg F).
the 2 mains after being feed with mix 100-100gr and in the proof box did nothing.
One precedent success (same process as described, fridge,etc), thinking my problems were over; i split in 3 about 1 cup containers, feed 2 of them with 50-50 mix and put one on pantry and the other one in the proof box; both remain flat after 24 hours. The third cuo, i used it to make a first try, of doing a dough,
Put in the proof box, and got about a 30% increase after 20 hours.
Opinion and suggestions are welcome.
Michel Dufresne

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