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Mar 9, 2011 02:53 PM

my sourdough starter isnt souring...

I followed the instructions on the back of the rye flour bag. It was basically
day 1: 1c water +1 c rye flour, mix, and cover with damp cloth
day 2: feed with 1c rye flour, and some water and mix, recover
day 3 (where we are now): your starter should smell yeasty. But mine doesnt at all! What do I do?

Our flat is naturally quite, um, mouldy, so Im surprised that my starter doesnt seem to have any of it. I can rig a sieve to cover the bowl to allow more spores in, but keep the cat out.

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  1. The mold you may have growing in your flat may well be something you don't want in a starter. Toxic molds would not be something you'd want in your starter formulas. Toss out what you have and use this. After it's developed and you begin feeding it on a regular basis, feed it using rye flour and it'll get nice and sour.

    1. Maybe too low ambient temperature? Can you place it uncovered (the sieve is a good idea) in a warm area, as on top of the refrigerator ?

      1. This is more of how I know to make it:


        Never added anything besides water and flour (pineapple juice, really?) but do start with whole wheat and use rye after you have a good yeasty bubble going,

        1 Reply
        1. re: Quine

          The pineapple juice lowers the pH. This starter formula essentially defies failure and I've nurtured a supply of it for a couple of years

        2. Is your starter bubbling and showing signs of life? You should see some bubblling.

          How warm are you keeping your starter? I shoot for 75 deg F. Also, I keep my new upstart starter in the oven (no drafts, sheltered from snoopy pets and maintains a constant temp.

          If you're seeing bubbling, give it a couple more days.

          If you see mold, dump it and start again. Mold and the sourdough bacteria/yeast are different. Mold is not good.

          Also, is your water chlorinated? Chlorine may inhibit the bacteria in the rye.

          3 Replies
          1. re: dave_c

            I was thinking exactly the same thing WRT chlorinated water.

            1. re: ricepad

              I, um, didn't follow the instructions on the bag which said to use Bottle Spring water and used tap water instead.

              1. re: relizabeth

                If your municipal water is chlorinated, it could be killing off the yeasts that are settling in the bowl. I would either let the water sit out for a few days to let the chlorine sublimate or use bottled water.

          2. For my sourdough starter, I mixed the flour and water on the first day. Then, I left it covered with a dry, breathable cloth and left it in a warm spot in the house for about a week. I didn't touch it and then, on around the seventh day, I fed it. My sourdough starter is doing fine now and I've had it for about two months.