low activity on a new starter named Servant


I am preparing a sourdough culture (Servant (I work at a gov org) here at work to encourage people into this craft.

I bought an organic white flour from Woolies (Macro brand) and mixed it with my organic whole wheat flour and started the process in a glass jar using filtered tap water from the filter. Started with 2 days of home made apple cider vinegar and continued with water only.

Office is temp controlled about 24C and the water I am using is warm.

It has been 11 days and Servant fed everyday. Altough there are bubbles visible; they are ant's head size. Servant somewhat doubles in size but it does not seem active enough. Servant also took time to get this level of activity, only on the last 3 days (when I have added some fresh honey), I am seeing bubbles.

Apart from being in a gov org and named Servant, I dont see any reason for it to be sluggish. what would you recommend to get it more active? should I add some egg white or honey?

The picture below is after I fed it this morning about 7am and 2 hours of activity.


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farinam's picture
farinam 2013 July 8

Hello Gurkan,

Your starter looks perfectly fine with that many bubbles after two hours.  Don't get too hung up on the doubling thing as how well the bubble structure holds up depends on a number of factors including the type of flour, the hydration of the mixture and the height/diameter ratio of your container.  I would check on the protein content of your flours just to be sure that they are reasonably strong (say at least 10.5%).

I certainly wouldn't be adding any exotics to it, you only need flour and water.  Many people (me included) routinely add some wholemeal rye flour to the mix that seems to help to keep the activity levels up.

Otherwise, I would reckon that you are pretty well there.

Good luck with your projects.


GurkanYeniceri 2013 July 9

It is just that my other 3 starters back at home has much more punch than this. I think the protein levels are %11.

I will keep feeding this for another 2 days and will be ready to share in the office.

petanque 2013 July 9

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I can think of two possibilities.


Being in a government organisation that it just works at a different speed that the “private enterprise” starter :-)


Or different locations gave different microbes in them.


Slow ferments give better flavour.

farinam's picture
farinam 2013 July 9

Hello Gurkan,

Sounds like you are converting the world one artisan craft at a time :) (cheesy grin).

As an aside, I use Laucke Wallaby Bread Flour from said supermarket and find it perfectly acceptable.  I try to avoid house brands though it is becoming harder and harder as they spread like a virus through the shelves.

Keep on fermenting.


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