my starter isn't growing after eating...


hey all,

I was on here a while ago with some beginner questions and got some great help... i've been plugging away at a basic s/d recipe and getting better. Then i got busy with uni and didn't have time to make any for a few weeks.

Now i've taken my started out of the fridge where it had been for a few weeks, and it doesn't seem to be reviving... I've fed it 3 times now (24hr intervals) and i can see a few small bubbles forming, but not many, and it isn't really increasing in size much at all (about 30% maybe, instead of the 200% or so we aim for).

Melbourne has gotten quite a bit cooler recently so i'm thinking that will have an effect, i can't really find a warmer place in the house to keep it.

any ideas though? i've looked at the started doctor who suggests it could take 6 or 7 refreshes, so i'm gonna keep going, but i found it odd that there's just no swelling.

205 users have voted.


rbd 2007 April 8

Hey Pie Lover,

Read my response on one of Barry's question in another thread (not too sure how to link that).

Starters generally perform best at around 30C, but can be grown between 20-30C comfortably.

A few days ago I started to revive an Italian starter, that had been lurking in the back of my fridge for quite a few months.., and it's now just about ready to go!

Starters that haven't been used for a while and are refrigerated are a bit "bruised", and need a little TLC to come back to life again (the longer it has been in the fridge, the longer it will take). Generally doing this in a range of 25-30C is best, since these are the temps that both yeasts AND lactobacilli like best.

If you have trouble maintaining a constant 25C+ temp, get a proof box.
I use a polystyrene brocoli box(from your friendly local green grocer), place a small desk lamp or globe (20W) inside, and open the lid more/less to control the temperature inside.

Happy baking


Panevino 2007 June 16

Sometimes it's the flour. Happened to me a couple of times. The starter just sat there, timid and sluggish. What I did was take bits of the inactive starter and started other starters using different flours - like rye, freshly milled flour and a different white. They all took. I was then able to figure out where the problem was.


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