Sourdough not rising (sad)


Hi everyone. I'm new to this site..hopefully someone can help. My sourdough "mother" is now 11 months old and in the early days my sourdough rose beautifully. Recently, however, I'm getting very little rise in both the first and second proving. I keep my "mother" in a jar with a screw cap and when I don't bake regularly I put it in the freezer, take it out the noght before and feed it before using. It has lots of bubbles and look good. I've also noticed that recently the smell is not as acidic as it was and has developed a pungent smell instead. There's no mould in the mixture. Please help!!!!

361 users have voted.


grandmamac 2013 February 22

I had problems with my bread rising in the oven this winter. I kept my starter in the fridge and retarded the shaped loaf in the fridge overnight. I baked once a week.

After eliminating the flour and thinking I would need a new starter, I asked for advice and realised the fridge was too cold and I hadn't adjusted the timing.  I have an unheated kitchen (in Scotland) and I'm keeping the starter on the counter, feeding daily and leaving the loaf in the kitchen overnight.

You may need a new starter as pentanque says - I don't have the experience to judge that. I decided to try to nurture mine first and I feed it every day. It's thick and creamy and bubbles volcanically. My bread is rising well and has a good ovenspring again.

simonmorpeth 2013 February 23

Thanks folks for your comments. I've decided to keep my Mother out of the fridge and feed daily for a week and then try again. The off smell has gone..I noticed that some mould had formed inside the lip of the jar where some mother had dried. I've wiped it out and it now smells fine..still bubbling away nicely. I'll give you an update.

isand66 2013 February 24

Once you get it back smelling fresh and ready to go, you can keep it in your refrigerator but only in the freezer if you are going to not use it for a while.  I keep mine in the frige and have no problems.  I refresh it once a week and use it to make new starters for my bakes during the week or if I just refreshed it I will use it in the dough as the main starter.

[email protected] 2013 February 26

try to keep your starter in room tempeature and feed everyday .Before you use the starter it should be between  12-18 hours after and just try to put 40% starter to mix dough than thats should give your dough nice kick and works well. You also rest dough 2 hours than start to cut.

i have got simple to feed the starter and bread kicks a lot and come nice  if you want to use than follow this recipe.

30% stone ground flour

70% white flour 

100% water



if you cannot find stone ground flour than use 100% flour and 100% water.

simonmorpeth 2013 March 3

SUCCESS...I did as suggested and fed the mother every day and did not freeze. The bad smell and mould returned so I emptied out a very small amount of the mother and sterilised the screw-cap jar. I think the mould came from the wooden spoon I was using to mix the mother..So I have started using only a stainless steel spoon. Made a cob and I have a lovely tasting loaf. Thanks for all your tips!

Karniecoops's picture
Karniecoops 2013 March 3

I would also not use a screw cap, or if you do, just have it loose so any gas can escape - don't want it suffocating!! :)

[email protected] 2013 March 26

U can use a plastic scrapper to scrap the side of bucket or jar after you feed the lavan and use your hand to feed lavan but make sure u wash scrapper only with clean water 

Thanks Badri 

Post Reply

Already a member? Login