Can You Overfeed Sourdough Starter? Here’s What To Do!

Published Categorized as Sourdough Starter

Much like a pet, your sourdough starter is prone to many feeding mistakes. For starters, you can definitely and accidentally overfeed your sourdough starter. But don’t panic, as there’s always a solution to a sourdough problem. Can you overfeed sourdough starter? Can you forget feeding it, too? Here’s what to do if that happens.

Can you overfeed sourdough starter? Here’s what to do!

Table of Contents

How Much Should You Feed Your Starter?

Making a starter is the easy part, the trickier part is maintaining, and feeding the starter. You must ensure that the starter is getting enough food, though you might have your own way of feeding it.

You should aim to feed your starter 2 times a day unless you’ve kept it in the fridge. In this case, once a week should be enough. Some sourdough bakers may choose to feed their starters once a day, even if it is stored at room temperature, though baker will have their own way around this.

You will need to measure the ingredients, but generally, you’ll need to add equal parts flour and water while discarding some of the starter.

After the starter has been discarded, you can add another 30g of flour and 30g of water.

Can You Overfeed Your Sourdough Starter?

Yes, you can end up overfeeding the starter.

Each time you feed the starter, the yeast, and bacteria will have reduced. Feeding your starter too often will risk the population of bacteria completely diminishing until you’re left with flour and water.

Why Won’t My Sourdough Starter Rise?

If you’ve fed your sourdough starter and it isn’t rising, then perhaps you’re doing something wrong. But don’t throw it away just yet!

If you’ve been feeding your starter regularly, without a successful rise, then perhaps you aren’t giving it enough time to feed on the flour and water. Try to leave it for a few days until you notice some activity, then continue to feed your starter.

However, if the starter was bubbly once upon a time, but had stopped all of a sudden, then perhaps you haven’t been feeding it enough.

What Is The Ideal Starter Temperature?

The temperature of your kitchen plays an important role in the development of your starter. If you’ve decided to keep your starter in the fridge, then it’ll rise slowly, and require less feeding. If you keep the starter at room temperature, then you might have to feed it 2-3 times a day.

The ideal temperature for your starter is around 70 degrees F. Though if you live in a hot climate, then it might be a tad hotter for your starter, which might cause your sourdough starters to rise and develop more quicker.

On the other hand, if you’re making your starter in the winter, and the kitchen isn’t warm enough, then you can wrap the jar with a kitchen cloth to keep it warm.

Can you overfeed sourdough starter? Here’s what to do!

Ingredients For Sourdough Starter

When making and maintaining a sourdough starter, you’ll only need two ingredients: flour and water.

You should try to use filtered water for the starter. And it’s best to use unbleached whole wheat flour, or combined it with all-purpose flour.

What Happens If You Forget To Feed Your Starter?

Feeding your starter too much can risk killing the bacteria, meaning that you’re left with what you started – flour and water.

An overfed starter will not be bubbly or rise, as you’ve been adding more flour and water, which doesn’t give the bacteria enough time to eat.

Overfeeding The Starter

Making sourdough bread can be a tad tricky for some, especially if you haven’t yet got the hang of a sourdough starter feeding schedule.

Regular feeds are good, but overfeeding your starter will only result in disaster, and set you right back to where you started!

Can You Overfeed Sourdough Starter FAQs

How Often Is Too Often To Feed Sourdough Starter?

Feeding your starter every 6 hours is considered too much and too often of a feed. Generally, your sourdough starter doesn’t need to be fed more than 2 times a day.

Does It Matter How Much I Feed My Sourdough Starter?

Yes, it absolutely matters. If you tend to frequently bake sourdough bread, then feeding your starter 2-3 times a day is fine. However, you should stick to a feeding schedule.

Do You Have To Discard Sourdough Starter Every Time You Feed It?

Yes. You must discard a portion of the sourdough starter before each feed to maintain your starter, otherwise, it will keep expanding until it has taken over your entire kitchen!

How Much Should I Feed My Sourdough Starter Each Day?

You should feed the starter with ½ cup of water and 1 cup of all-purpose flour, bread flour, or whole wheat flour twice a day.

By Natasha Krajnc

Hi! My name is Natasha and I'm specialized in home sourdough bread baking and currently based in Slovakia - a very small country in Central Europe. My bread baking story began in 2011 when I decided to give up commercial yeast. I felt tired all the time (especially after eating bread and other foods made with yeast), I wasn’t motivated to do anything, had trouble concentrating throughout the day, my abdomen was bloated and I was like a trumpet on steroids – basically, I was quite a wreck. I was a big bread lover (and still am) and having to stop eating bread was quite hard at that time but I felt I was on a right way to give my body a chance to heal itself.

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