Resurrecting Starter...


HI, I am relatively new to sourdough home creation and have a questoin about my starters. 

I received a white starter from a bread course back in June 2011 and since then I developed it into a rye starter, and have continued to develop the white starter. In September I unfortunately had to leave my starters in the fridge for around 2 months or more and have now returned to try and resurrect both of these. I have some intertesting results and would like to know if anyone has had a similar experience. Firstly, both had a layer of water/moisture on top which I removed.

Firstly, the rye stater appears, after a week or so of good feeding to be doing well and also seems to have an attractive sour smell that I remember it having before I had to say goodbye to it for a while.

The white on the other hand, appears to feel negelcted. At first it had a much more acrid smell, slightly burning to the nostrils, but again after vigourous feeding for a week or so it has returned and is rather active. The only problem is that it no longer has the good sour smell it had previously, and whilst I have managed to make good bread, it is not sour as I would expect, and like.


Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, and many thanks from a beginner.






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farinam's picture
farinam 2012 January 19

Hello amoreou,

It is possible that in the extended lay-off one element of your biota got lost but it is also possible that it just needs some time to reassert itself and become better represented in the parliament.

I would persist for another week or two before I despaired.  Last year, I was away for a month and mine also took a few cycles to get back to full steam.  Sometimes adding a percentage of rye to the feeds (say 10%) can be just the tonic that they need.

The other thing is that acid development requires a bit more time and if you are feeding too frequently ( which you might have been doing to provide CPR) then it doesn't get made and/or is diluted by the new feed.  If your starter is particularly vigourous, then slowing the action of the yeast down by refrigeration/retarding can help as well.  The acid forming bacteria are not slowed down as much and keep on producing but some of them also have to follow the yeast because they work on the waste products from the yeast activity.

Let us know how you go.


Dcp54 2012 January 19

 Definitely persist! How often are you feeding? Now the starter is apparently active again, try lengthening the intervals between feeds, that should increase the acidity.

amoreou 2012 January 19

Thanks people,


I will continue to persist and let you know how it goes. Also, I found a frozen version of my original starter which I am now resurecting as well.



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