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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Breads & Baking / Need help urgently with Sourdough Starter
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    Need help urgently with Sourdough Starter

    Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:55 am
    Forum Host
    I discovered a disaster this morning with my sourdough starter. It is the kind that you feed with potato flakes, sugar and water. I had it stored in the refrigerator and found this morning that it had somehow gotten knocked over. Every bit of the liquid had leaked out and all that is left is the solid stuff that was at the bottom.

    Is there any way to salvage the starter? I am just sick over this as I have had it for a long time and it made wonderful bread!
    Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:49 pm
    Forum Host
    Just refresh it as you normally would. It sounds as if the liquid had separated out, which means that it was probably "hungry" anyway.
    Red Apple Guy
    Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:02 pm
    Forum Host
    Also, you could store dried starter in the fridge for a case when something tragic might happen to your starter. I spread a thin layer of starer on parchment with the back of a spoon or rubber spatula and let it dry. I break the dried starter into flakes and store in a plastic bag and foil in the fridge. It doesn't take a lot to revive the starter when you need to.

    Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:43 pm
    Forum Host
    Duonyte, I'm not sure what you mean about the starter being hungry since it had separated. After I feed it and put it in the fridge, it always separates like this, so I'm a little confused. The potato/sugar mix always settles to the bottom of the liquid.

    I mixed up some more potato flakes, sugar and water to feed it. Right now, I don't see any auction at all, no bubbling or churning. I'll keep checking it though.

    Red Apple Guy, do you use the same kind of starter that I have? Do you spread both the liquid and solid?
    Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:58 pm
    Forum Host
    In most starters, when liquid separates, it is called "hooch" and it is the byproduct of the yeasties as they eat up the proteins in the flour. I've not made your kind of starter. My starter stays uniform until it needs more food. If you have precipitate immediately, well, it;s a different type than I am familiar with.

    To dry your starter, I'd do it after you've refershed, before you store in fridge, stirring up all of it to make a uniform "batter". Worth trying.

    Give it a llittle time to see if it revives. I've made entire loaves of bread with just a spoonful of starter, so I am hopeful that everything will come back for you.
    Red Apple Guy
    Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:03 pm
    Forum Host
    Dreamgoddess wrote:
    Red Apple Guy, do you use the same kind of starter that I have? Do you spread both the liquid and solid?

    No Dreamgoddess, my starter is like duonyte's - fed with flour and water. Your's is different but it is a solution containing yeast and bacteria. I don't know for sure, but drying might be worth trying.

    Sun May 05, 2013 5:08 pm
    Forum Host
    Duonyte and Red Apple Guy, I wanted to give you an update and a HUGE thank you for the help! I fed my starter last Sunday as suggested and let it rest all week. Pulled it out again Friday night to feed and baked two loaves of bread this morning. The bread rose beautifully and tastes delicious, so my starter is going to be alright after all. So glad!

    I've also dried some of the starter and am anxious to see how it works.
    Sun May 05, 2013 5:17 pm
    Forum Host
    I am very glad it worked out for you - sometimes you just need to give it a little time - and I hope drying it also works out - it is so good to have a backup.
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