Question: keeping my starter without a refrigerator

sofimay's picture

I have been making sourdought bread for a few months now, about once or twice a week, and I have a starter that I keep feeding. Whenever I usea half of it, I add more flour and water and leave it out for a few hours and then it goes back in the fridge. So far this has been working well.

But now, as temperatures outside are almost freezing at night, electricity bills are rising like dough in the tropics and our refrigerator is not working well and freezes everything, we have decided to turn it off until the summer comes back.

But I am worried about my starter... will it survive on the kitchen without a refrigerator? We do not heat the kitchen so its pretty cold, but not as cold as in the fridge.. Does anyone keep it in the pantry or anywhere else or know about this?


Very grateful for any input

213 users have voted.


farinam's picture
farinam 2013 December 3

Hello sofimay,

Obviously the yeasts and bacteria will be a bit more active and will go through their food a bit more quickly but when the food supply runs out they will go into a state of dormancy until a new source of food arrives.  If that worries you, you could give it an intermediate feed between uses.  Obviously, keep it loosely covered (as you are at the moment) to keep any potential contaminants out.

Certainly keep it in the coolest spot you can to keep the activity as low as possible.  By the way, freezing doesn't kill it either and in fact that is a way that people preserve their starter in case of emergency or while they go on vacation.

It is also possible that the flavour will change to some degree when keeping it at different temperatures.

Good luck with your projects.


sofimay's picture
sofimay 2013 December 3

thank you kindly! My mind is at ease now :) Being a begginer with the sourdough, I am still apprehensive when I do something different. And you reminided me I have to find a startersitter for when I go to Peru for Christmass! :)

kitchenman 2013 December 7

hi I have an excellent starter and have been happy with my bread but I am not sure how long I can leave my starter in the fridge before it needs feeding I have been feeding it once a week is that ok or can I leave it longer I only make bread once a fortnight 

farinam's picture
farinam 2013 December 7

Hi kitchenman,

I have left mine for a month while on holidays and it only needed a few feeds to be back at full strength.

Your best bet is to try it and see what happens.  I would hazard a guess to say that it would be perfectly OK but if worst comes to worst you might need to feed it once to get it back to full activity again.

Good luck with your projects.


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