what now?


I have been following the fantastic sourdough starter tutorial on this website and i am currently on day 5 and all is looking on track! there are a few things that are confusing me and was hoping someone could help me out. here goes...

After day 7 do i keep taking half away and refreshing with another 100ml/g of flour/water everyday? as i have read its best to wait 14 days before baking with the starter. 

I am planning to keep mine in the fridge and feed every 5 days or so, but do i 'feed' or 'refresh'? (this is if im not planning to use, just keep lively, i understand the starter needs refreshing 24 hours before use if kept in the fridge)

If i want to bake with my refridgerated starter do i refresh the whole thing 24 hours before or just the amount of starter i need for my bread?


I am a regular home baker but sourdough novice! any guidance would be great! i will add a link to my blogpost that has pics of my starter. 

thank you for your fabulous website too it is now my sourdough bible!!!!



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farinam's picture
farinam 2013 April 20

Hello Cookingwithcharl,

After this amount of time, if your starter is active and stable (not changing activity or smell) then you could start making bread but if you are prepared to wait longer then by all means do so.

In terms of what to do with refrigerated material, my normal practice is to take some of this and build it up to the amount that you need for your bake.  A common thing for a 100% starter is to take 90g and add 45g flour and 45g water to give 180g of levain.  You also replace the 90g removed from your stock with 45g flour and 45g water.  The stock can go straight back into the fridge although some people leave it on the bench for a while to get going.  The lot for your loaf is left on the bench to activate which might take four to twelve hours depending on the temperature.  Then mix your dough.

On the other hand it is possible to go straight from your stock culture to dough making but this carries slightly more risk if for some reason the culture has lost its activity.

In general, longer ferment times result in greater acidity and more sourness.

Good luck with your projects.


Cookingwithcharl 2013 April 20

Thank you for your comments :). So I take what I need from

my starter, refresh that in another jar and refresh my main starter? Sounds pretty straightforward! I've never been good with numbers so I've been confusing myself with ratios etc! 

I fed my starter last night and it doubled in size within 2-3 hours but by 6 hours the starter had deflated to its normal size! Still very bubbly but shrunken :( am I doing something wrong? 

Thank you again I love how helpful this website and its users are! :)

charl x 


farinam's picture
farinam 2013 April 21

Hello Cookingwithcharl,

What you describe is perfectly normal.  The beasties get a new source of food, grow and multiply and produce carbondioxide faster than it can escape that causes the volume to increase.  Then the population gets too big for the remaining food supply so they shut down and go into dormancy and gas production slows/stops so it can escape faster than it is produced so the volume decreases.  You supply more food (after removing some to reduce the numbers) and the cycle repeats.

Good luck with your projects.


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