Sourdough Starter at Three Days

Image by Matthew Fugel

I promised I’d give an update on my starter on Monday.  It’s Monday.  Are you curious?

I started it Thursday night, and I’m updating this on Sunday night.  I diligently remembered to feed it every 12 hours (mostly so I wouldn’t disappoint any of you, especially when I was tired and wanting to get out of the kitchen).

I noticed a few interesting things about this starter, one which was noticeably different than other starters I had tried:

  • I saw a tiny bit of bubble action almost right away (which could have been due to air trapped from mixing, rather than actual yeast)
  • I saw “hooch” on the top after the very first night, and every feeding thereafter, too (see pictures below)
  • The starter didn’t smell at all sour after two days
  • The starter was very…gloppy, and strange in texture.  Kind of like a soaked flour is.  It stuck together rather than being a thick liquid (again, see pictures)

The Feeding of the Sourdough

Some of you mentioned being confused about this.  I’ll show you how I feed it.

I start out by taking my cloth off my starter.  See, here’s the hooch on the top of it:

I pour this off, because mixing it in makes it more sour.  Although honestly if I don’t get some more bubble action soon, I’m going to start mixing it in temporarily, because maybe I’m getting rid of the wild yeasts when I do that….  After another day and a half, I’m pretty sure that’s what happened.  STIR IN YOUR HOOCH!  At least for the first several days.  Once I started stirring mine in, it started to smell sour and bubble a little more.  This is important.

I am going to add 1/4 c. each flour and water.

I put the cloth back in and stick it on my stove, which is warm, to see if it rises.  Let’s see…do I have any bubbles?  This is my starter about 15 minutes after feeding.  (It should bubble up after feeding for 30 or so minutes, then settle back down.  So if you don’t check it for a couple hours you might miss it.)

That’s where I am.  I don’t think I have enough bubble action to bake with yet, although *technically* you can at this point.  I’ll probably wait till the end of the week, then see if it’s really “strong” enough to bake some bread.  I’ll keep feeding it, but only once a day from now on.

**Entered in Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist**

How’s your sourdough doing?  Are you experiencing any problems?



  1. Lindsay says

    Wow.. I was feeding my starter totally different. It seems to be OK, though. It’s not as “sour” as I expected, but it does bubble and has the consistency I expected. I wouldn’t think it’s ready to bake with either. I have been discarding some. If you don’t discard any, how much does it “grow”? I would think that bye now you’d have at least two jars worth. Thanks for posting about this. It is something I probably would not have started on my own, but I’m excited to see where this journey takes me.

    • Kate Tietje says

      Hi Lindsay, my first jar is about 3/4 full so far. I think I will have to discard some soon though, I don’t want to maintain two jars, at least not yet! It’s getting more bubbles and smelling even more sour after this morning’s feeding so I might try to bake with it by the end of the week, and if I do I’ll let you know how that goes!

  2. Kimberly says

    I am concerned because my starter seems really watery. I have been adding equal amounts of water and flour since starting it four days ago and it is bubbling but seems really thin… any advice? Thanks!

    • Kate Tietje says

      Hi Kimberly — Mine does too. I am attempting to bake with it now so we will see! If your starter is pretty well established, smells sour, you can start to pour off some or all of the “hooch” that appears at the top, if you are concerned about consistency.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *