Starting the first (well, third) Sourdough Starter

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Jan 16, 2019
The Mrs. and I have been wanting to do home made sourdough. Did some internet research from Chef YouTube and watched some videos. They all say it is really easy but after watching and reading, I do not think it is as easy as they make it sound, but nonetheless, like the Great Smoking Journey we are all on, it takes time to learn the craft, and now it is time for the Great Sourdough Journey.

We have tried two other times to start a starter. Neither really took off well and now starting the third. This one is a little different. Using 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup water, per recipe. Mixed and into another new contraption we got, The Sourdough Home (Brod-Taylor). Basically a temp controlled fridge/heater. Set the temp at 72 and this is the result after 24 hours:


The starter is more runny than our prior attempts. Mrs. says it is because there is more water since it is not a real 1:1 ratio because we did not weigh the ingredients, just a cup of each. There is A LOT more liquid on top than our previous two attempts.... Hmmmm.... From what we have read, it seems this is just alcohol and means the starter is hungry. I thought we were making sourdough, not moonshine.....

Mrs. then discarded half, and mixed in 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup water and back into the Home.

It is a journey and I will post again at the next feeding. Comments and suggestions always welcome.

Thx. Mark
  • Like
Reactions: JLeonard
I think my schedule finally works out where I can make my 1st SD loaf this weekend. Keep us updated on your starter start.

Do you actually have a "starter" to work with or are you trying to create your own from just flour & water?

Yes, you need to weigh the ingredients.
I'd start with something like 20-30 grams, so you don't throw as much away.
  • Like
Reactions: chopsaw
We are creating a stater using just flour and water.

I'd start with something like 20-30 grams, so you don't throw as much away.
Interesting on the amount. I guess it wouldn't matter how much you start with as long as the ratio is consistent. Thanks!!
  • Like
Reactions: 02ebz06
Interesting on the amount. I guess it wouldn't matter how much you start with as long as the ratio is consistent. Thanks!!
I'm just getting really started with the SD thing...Even just doing a 1:1:1 ratio I have a good bit of discard with 30 gms of each. I can see why there is so many discard recipes on the net.

Update #1...... The Mrs. just checked the starter. Today is only Day 1. She fed this morning and we have this:
Another "lake" of liquid on top. It has only been about 8 or 9 hours since the first feeding. Hmmmm. It seems to be very active.... Gonna feed it again and see what it is like in the morning.

Interesting start to an "easy" process.....:emoji_stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I'd try a different flour and double check weights of flour & water.
A 1:1 combination should be paste like texture and not separate like that in 24 hours.
  • Like
Reactions: chopsaw
agree. Something's not right.
I don't think it's hooch , and I don't think it needs the sourdough home until it's strong / established .
As you already said , I think he needs to start with about 10 grams .
50/50 whole wheat and bread flour .
Spring water .
No discard for 4 days , just keep building the strength by feeding .
Stir in any hooch that forms .
Keep it on the counter .
Feed 1:1:1 .

HowlingDog HowlingDog
If your open to the suggestion , when you feed it next time start another jar .
Take 10 grams of what you have going . Put that in another jar .
Feed it 10 grams of the flour mix I posted and 10 grams of water .
Leave it on the counter and feed again the next day . No discard .
See what it does .

I just want to make clear that I had Rick's help with this . Once the light bulb went off it made complete sense , and I knew what to do to make it active .
If your open to the suggestion
Thank You ChopSaw and I am always open to comments and suggestions. Everyone has been great on this forum and I appreciate the time you and every one takes to reply.

It has been discarded and we will start a new one this weekend. We will go with the suggestions of a small batch and the flour mix and no discard.

Both a frustrating and fun process. I am waiting for my lightbulb moment.

Thanks Everyone...... Mark
It has been discarded and we will start a new one this weekend.
Yeah . Good thinking . Don't get frustrated . I tried 4 times and said ,,, well I can't say what I said .
Anyway . Rick helped me out so I'm just trying to pass on what I think I learned .

I got myself crossed up . I was thinking rehydrating a starter . Since you're starting from scratch use a larger amount .
Say 50 grams of that flour mix . Use non chlorinated water .
Mix together and leave it sit in a cool dark place . Check it daily for 3 days to see what it's doing , but don't stir it or discard .
Should show some good activity by day four . That's when you'll want to discard and feed .
So get rid of all but 30 grams . Then feed with 30 grams of the flour mix , and 30 grams of your water .
I would say don't use the sourdough home yet . I think that was your biggest problem before .
That and you were discarding .

If you're using your tap water , fill a jar and leave it sit overnight with the lid off . That way it can off gas the chlorine .

This was around day 4 when I first rehydrated mine . This is just starting to get active .
  • Like
Reactions: JLeonard
My 2¢
You are over hydrating the starter and drowning the yeast.
The pool of water is not hooch, it is excess water.
The 1:1:1 ratios mentioned for starting and feeding a starter is by WEIGHT not volume.
I cup of flour is around 120 grams. 1 cup of water is around 240 grams.
Try using a 1 part flour to 1/2 part water if staying with volumetric measuring to make your starter.
After it shows life use a 1 part starter and 1 part flour to 1/2 part water to feed for the next bloom.
To save on the amount of discard, reduce your batch to 1/4 cup starter, 1/4 cup flour, and 1/8 cup water.
With a cool house, it may take 1-2 days to get a properly hydrated starter active to get ready for the discard and feed regiment.
Use a rubber band on your jar to measure the amount of active rise since the starting point.
When it triples in volume, it is read for the discard and feed protocol
Thx's everyone. Busy this weekend and this coming week, but a new starter will be forthcoming. Anxious to apply all the great suggestions and tips from the experts. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Hot Threads