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How Long Can You Keep The Sourdough Starter In The Fridge

How Long Can You Keep The Sourdough Starter In The Fridge

How Long Can You Keep The Sourdough Starter In The Fridge

You can keep the sourdough starter in the fridge for up to several days. You can also increase the shelf life of sourdough by freezing it. You should aim to have used it within 6 months of placing it in the freezer. The sourdough after placing it In the fridge may lose its taste and texture.

Ideally, if you are planning on baking a sourdough, you will want to pull your starter out several days in advance, give it 2-3 feeds. I recommend keeping your starter at room temperature and giving it two feeds per day until it is full-grown (you will find the complete instructions on starting your own sourdough starter here). If you are a more casual sourdough baker, it is fine to keep your starter in the fridge, feeding only once per week.

If you have a life outside sourdough, only baking once a week or twice a month, then you might have to keep your starter in the freezer. You do not need to keep your starter outside, you can feed it and return it directly to the refrigerator if you are not going to bake with it. A good idea is to feed it each time you use it, let it sit out on the counter for 8 hours, then return it to the freezer until you are ready to use it again. There is an interval of time when your starter stays good, and is still perfectly good for use, but soon, it may begin to break down.

If the starter has been sitting in there just a week or two, then it may need feeding just one or two times before being ready for use. Now, just because your starter may be going on much longer and survives does not mean that you need to regularly feed it every 6 months or so. If your starter has been sitting in the refrigerator for over 2 weeks (but under 6 months) it is going to get sluggish, but you do not need to feed it a lot. If you fed your starter before you put it in the refrigerator, it should be able to last comfortably 2 weeks without feeding.

Type of Sourdough starterShelf Life (In refrigerator)
If the sourdough starter is younger than 3 months.2 weeks (if not fed frequently)
If the sourdough starter is mature (older than 3 months).2 months (without feeding)
Shelf lives of Sourdough starters.

You really only need to leave your starter untouched for one to two days before you begin to have problems. If you are looking to avoid a super-sour, sourdoughy flavor, then you may simply want to feed your starter more frequently, and do not leave it sitting out on the counter as long. If you are only looking to get some sourdough flavor and some of this fermenting, you could leave it fermenting much shorter and avoid most of this sourdough flavor, but you would not have as much of the benefit of the fermented grains. If you are looking to boost the quantity of your sourdough starter, particularly if you are looking to share, then all you have to do is feed it with 125g flour and 125g water, not throwing out any of your starters before, until you reach your desired amount.

By the way if you are interested in When Does Yeast Die, then check out this article!

Learn how to store sourdough starter

Since I typically have to feed my sourdough starter several times in a row in order to increase its strength, I feed it constantly in a clean container at room temperature, and I return all of the scraps from each feed to my primary sourdough starter that I store in my refrigerator. As long as your sourdough scraps are not growing mold or harmful bacteria, you can pull a small piece off and feed it several days at a time to bring it back up to being a bubbly, vigorous, active sourdough starter. Because the sourdough scraps are not quite as active as the starter that you are feeding for use on bread, and since you do not want it to be super bubbly and active, you are safer keeping it somewhere dark and cool, where you do not need to worry about temperature fluctuations. Sourdough starters can die if neglected for long enough in the refrigerator, since they do not completely stop being active in the refrigerator, they simply slow down significantly.

To learn about How Long To Proof Sourdough In The Fridge, then check out my another article.

If you are using your starter right out of the refrigerator, this only adds a couple of minutes to the time it takes for your dough to rise. Assuming the starter has been sitting in there for 2 months, you will have to go back on your regular feeding schedule for a couple days before it is active enough to use for bread. If you are feeding your starter and making bread regularly (once a week or so), you may be able to keep it at room temperature. Whether you are baking weekly, monthly, or even on a regular basis, store the starter under refrigeration to ensure that it is kept safe.

If you bake regularly, say once or twice weekly, it is pretty simple just to top off the good starter once you have used up the quantity called for in the recipe, then put it back into the fridge. As long as you can pull out just enough for your recipe, leaving around a cup of starter in your bowl, you can feed it and bring it back up to a full starter bowl. Once I am done making the pancakes on Saturday, if I am not planning to use my starter for another week, I feed it and let it sit on the countertop for 8 hours, then cover the bowl with a tight-fitting lid and put the bowl in the fridge for the following Friday.

If your starter is younger than 3 months, you might have to feed it more frequently — a fresh starter of yeast is not exactly powerful enough to survive this much time without having to have a source of fresh starter. How long it takes your starter to get active again will depend on how long it has been in storage: The longer it has been in storage, the sleepier your starter is going to be, so it will need a bit longer to go back to normal. Depending on how long your starter has been in the fridge, it is going to be a bit too much of a probiotic for your digestive system.

I do not like leaving my starter more than one week in my home refrigerator, as it typically takes longer to revive, given the extra care required. I have left my starter there for 1 week; 2 months; and recently; pulled my Carter Starter from the refrigerator after sitting idle and uncared for 4 months.

How long can sourdough starter stay in the fridge without feeding?

If your starter is younger than 3 months, you might have to feed it more frequently. If you intend to use your starting frequently, you can feed it once per week; otherwise, you can store it for up to two months without feeding.

What happens if you leave a sourdough starter in the fridge too long?

By keeping their starting in the freezer for an extended period of time without feeding it, people frequently worry that they have killed it. The yeast gradually decreases and almost goes dormant when it is chilled. Typically, a yellowish liquid that the sourdough community refers to as hooch appears on top. Hooch is not a major issue.

How long will sourdough starter stay active?

The highest elevation of the ascent sometimes referred to as the peak, should be attained three to four hours after being fed. They may take a lot longer up to fourteen hours to reach their peak due to cooler temperatures and fewer active beginnings. The starter will remain at the top for a period of one to two hours.