New Starter not increasing much in Volume


 I just used a technique to make a starter using pineapple juice and bread flower.  After 5 days of small feedings and waiting under the oven light,  I was getting a frothy bubbly, nice smelling starter.  I fed it more agressively and the next day it was all bubbly and smelled nice.  I know I have something I can develop with this.


My question:  I'm only into this project 1 week and when I feed it with 2/3 a cup of flour (about the volume in the jar) and enough pure water for consistency I'm not getting much rise.  I read the starter should attempt to double the original volume after several hours.  I put a mark on my jar and its only increased a little bit.


Working with what I assume are the right organisms, what can I do to get this nice smelling frothy bubbly mixture to double when I feed it.


Assuming what I have can be developed, how long before I can bake bread.

113 users have voted.


bythepound 2012 March 2

 I always feed my starter a 1:1 ratio of water and flour, this is the recipe for a 100% hydration starter.  I know my starter is ready to bake with when there are many bubbles throughout, and after stirring, large bubbling occurs immediately.  I've never been concerned about volume changes due to yeast production and my bread always rises, with a very nice crumb and crust.  Once you know your starter is active you can add 5oz. of flour and water to 1oz of starter and in less than a day it will be bubbly throughout and ready for baking. Hope this helps.

farinam's picture
farinam 2012 March 2

Hello Starter420,

Whether and how much your starter increases in volume depends on a lot of things. 

It might not increase much if the hydration is high, because the bubbles of gas can travel to the surface relatively freely where they break and release the gas and so the batter/dough does not 'rise' much. 

If the starter is made with a low gluten flour, then it might not have enough strength to form stable non-breaking bubbles.

If the starter is stored in a container with a large surface area, then the bubble structure cannot support itself over such a large span.  The same starter in a beer glass will 'rise' more than in a breakfast bowl.

As bythepound says, as long as you can see a reasonable quantity of bubbles at the surface and when you dip a spoon into it, the body of it has a ragged bubbly appearance then it will be fine.  If it is smooth and lifeless, then things might not be so good depending on how recently it had a feed.

Keep on bakin' and let us know how you go.


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