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DrakeRemoray 06-12-2008 07:01 AM

Dead sourdough?
I have not fed my sourdough culture for several weeks, and this morning I went to feed it and :eek: it was NASTY! I actually almost puked when I stuck my nose in there.

So I threw out the top and scraped a little of the white solid part from the bottom and fed that. Do you think that will work or do I need to start a new culture?

Yech, I can still smell it now!


rlf5 06-12-2008 07:20 AM

Re: Dead sourdough?
Not quite sure, but its worth a try to see if you can revive it. I took my starter out and fed it before going on a week long vacation...only thing is I forgot to put it back in the fridge. Needless to say when I returned home it looked dead as a doorknob. Took a couple days of feeding it every 12 hrs at room temp to bring it back. Good luck!

PizzaPolice 06-12-2008 09:38 AM

Re: Dead sourdough?
Yep! Keep feeding it. Dump half of it out. Use equal measures of flour and non-chlorinated water. Stir. You should have it back in a few days.

If you are not going to use it for an extended time, Feed the healthy mix and stick it (covered) in the fridge.

Ed_ 06-12-2008 07:46 PM

Re: Dead sourdough?
I think puke-inducing smells are a little worrisome, but that being said... I have left my starter for over a year and successfully revived it. When left for a long time, it does get that sort of black layer on top. I just stirred it back in and started the routine PizzaPolice mentioned--toss half of it, and expand with equal weights flour and water. I left it at room temperature and fed it once a day; it was fine after a few days.

Let your nose be your guide--if it still smells nasty after a few feedings, something bad probably started growing in it. From what I've managed to learn, a more acidic starter will survive periods of dormancy more successfully.

Dutchoven 06-13-2008 05:16 AM

Re: Dead sourdough?
Hi all!
Describe a little bit more what "nasty" meant. The smell could have been due to an abundance of alcohol and stuff. If the "hooch"(liquid layer on top) did not have a pink or green color it was probably OK. It would have been better in that case to stir in the "hooch", discard half the starter, and gently feed the remainder much like you would when starting it. Let me know because you may be able to revive it without much trouble!

DrakeRemoray 06-13-2008 07:15 AM

Re: Dead sourdough?
No, I know the hooch smell. I mean I literally almost threw up...twice! I fed it, but there is still that "off" smell, not as strong but still there. I am afraid I have introduced some mold or other off flavor and may have to just start over.

BrianShaw 06-13-2008 09:26 AM

Re: Dead sourdough?
I'd get rid of it and start over again... but that's just what I've done when the smell was strong enough to make me vomit. Fortunately it was just a one-time occurance.

DrakeRemoray 06-13-2008 10:10 AM

Re: Dead sourdough?
I think I will...from now on, I will keep it in the fridge when I am not actively using it...

BrianShaw 06-13-2008 02:10 PM

Re: Dead sourdough?
Mine stays in the refrigerator now. The only frustration is fif I forget to take it out several days before a baking session to revive it. I've let mine sit for a couple of months in the refrigerator and with 4 days of feeding had a very nice starter.

DrakeRemoray 06-13-2008 03:08 PM

Re: Dead sourdough?
I had it on the counter, unfed, for a month before, but that was in winter when the house is 68 degrees. I think it spoiled in the warmer weather...

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