Sourdough starter - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Food and Beverage > Cooking & Pairing > Sourdough starter

Thread Tools
Old 05-07-2009, 10:32 PM   #1
Apr 2009
Posts: 73
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

I know there have been a lot of questions about sourdough so here's mine. I have a starter about 1 week old. I made bread with it which turned out ok but it was fairly doughy and not very sour. I have left it outside uncapped for several hours, added powder from ground grain etc but my yeast won't give me sour sourdough and it produces few bubbles.

It produces hooch very quickly and is bubbling hardily is there anything I can do?

Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2009, 01:55 PM   #2
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,599
Liked 158 Times on 148 Posts

Add some unpasteurized yogurt or sour cream to the starter. It's the bacteria that give sourdough the sour flavor
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

"I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk

Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2009, 06:17 PM   #3
PseudoChef's Avatar
Apr 2007
West Chicago 'Burbs, IL
Posts: 3,406
Liked 110 Times on 81 Posts

Just like sour beers that feature bacteria and wild yeast, a sour dough starter takes many rounds of decanting/feeding to really start coming into its own. Just keep at it for a while - david mentioned some good tips. But just be patient and hopefully in a couple of months you will notice a pleasant difference.

Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2009, 06:20 PM   #4
Matt Up North
Jul 2008
Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 2,023
Liked 10 Times on 10 Posts

stick it into the fridge in some tupperware. I read (and tested personally) that the colder it ferments, it will produce more sharp flavored acids rather than smoother flavored ones at a warm ferment. Let it hang out for a week, then pull it out and feed it. There should be a good amount of alcohol on the top of it. If you want the sour, then just pour off most of it, but leave some and add in the flour and water. Then leave it uncovered on the counter until it starts to bubble again and then back into the fridge for a week. Then you can start taking half of it to make bread, pancakes or whatever and feeding the rest.

I find that it takes about a month to get the flavor of the sour. Really though you should be able to smell that foul cheesy sort of smell pretty quickly (like a week or two) and that means that you have enough of the bacteria to produce some good sourdough.

Lastly, if you add commercial yeast, then it will take some time to get to the good sour flavor.
New and improved signature.

Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2009, 05:39 PM   #5
Licensed Sensual Massage Therapist.
Homercidal's Avatar
Feb 2008
Reed City, MI
Posts: 31,927
Liked 5173 Times on 3506 Posts

A friend of mine tried this years ago and said he needs to try again. Now that he knows more about it. It takes time and a bit of effort, but only a bit. I've thought about it, but too many hobbies and frankly, I'm not that into sourdough.
Day after day, it reappears. Night after night my heartbeat shows the fear. Ghosts appear and fade away. Come back another day.

Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2009, 04:42 PM   #6
chirs's Avatar
May 2009
Posts: 73

if you add a teaspoon (to about 1.5 cups of starter) it often will lower the pH enough to create an environment for the yeast to kick in. I've also found that using a scale to measure equal weight water and flour really helped.
kegged: Anchor Steam
primary: Mead

Add your water quality report to the Water Quality/Chemistry thread.

Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2009, 06:39 PM   #7
Aug 2008
Watertown, CT
Posts: 78
Liked 5 Times on 3 Posts

I've had a nice starter going for a few months now. One thing I've never seen tried that worked well for me. I used the yeast slurry from a batch of beer for my starter.

In my reading on the sourdough process, getting a starter with no yeast is sort of hit-or-miss, while using commercial yeast to jumpstart the process is viewed as somehow "cheating". So I figured the slurry would be a reasonable compromise. Plus, it worked.


Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2009, 07:29 PM   #8
Jan 2009
Santa Clara, CA
Posts: 1,914
Liked 68 Times on 51 Posts

From what I understand, any openly-aged starter is considered a "sourdough", even if it doesn't taste sour. Most pizza doughs from the better pizzerias are sourdough cultures but don't carry the "sour" taste.

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My sourdough starter went a bit nuts... MacBruver Cooking & Pairing 12 11-07-2009 11:05 PM
Advice on sourdough starter Edcculus Cooking & Pairing 10 02-22-2009 05:52 AM
Got a sourdough starter! Laurel Cooking & Pairing 7 11-27-2008 02:09 PM
Maintaining a Yeast Starter (Like Sourdough) With and Without Freezing Driftless Recipes/Ingredients 8 09-09-2008 07:55 AM
Sourdough starter question... Ivan Lendl General Chit Chat 6 06-12-2006 04:28 PM

Forum Jump