Why does my sourdough starter have in the top the liquid separated from the flour? 2 days after beginning a new one, a liquid (water) appeared on top of it, it appeared after I fed it the first time. To feed it I discarded half of the starter and then I added 5 tbsp of flour and 5 tbsp of tap water to feed it. Then, on the next day the liquid appeared like that. I don't think it's OK, so I discarded that liquid, and then waited a full 24 hours to feed it again like that.

2 Answers 2


That is referred to as "hooch". It is water and alcohol. It forms when the yeast has passed its peak activity. I've noticed that it corresponds with the increase of bacterial activity when the starter gets more sour.

The hooch will not form when you are feeding regularly. It is harmless and can be discarded or mixed back in.

Sourdough is a balancing act. Finding the feeding rate that will produce the lift and flavor you want. Slower feeding will make it more acidic and rise less. More frequent feeding will do the opposite. You can experiment to get a healthy starter with the flavor you like. When learning you should start with a proven recipe..

  • so what should i do? i already discarded the "hooch", so my starter does still work? so i can feed it without worrying me? right now has completed 24 hours brw Commented Jul 23, 2019 at 23:28
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    @MichaelBenDavid Yes, your starter is fine. Continue feeding it.
    – Rob
    Commented Jul 24, 2019 at 1:35
  • @Rob but its not frothy, or i shouldnt worry about that? smells sour, and still some little hooch its coming out, also btw i started to feed it with a combination of 70% of whole grain flour and 30% of all-purpose flour,same as before i discarded half starter and feed 5 tbsp of flour and scant 5 tbsp of water. Commented Jul 24, 2019 at 19:47
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    @MichaelBenDavid I don't wait that long for hooch to form but, when I did have some, it was never frothy. You are overthinking this. Just pour off the hooch and continue feeding on schedule. In olden days, people used to drink hooch. I've tried it but don't find it to be appealing.
    – Rob
    Commented Jul 24, 2019 at 22:25
  • @Rob so when my starter its gonna to double of size then in the next few days? there is not problem if i suddenly use other kind of flour like i did? my starter has bubbles but they are tiny and not so kinda frothy appearance and not growing either Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 2:53

Your starter is too wet. Add less water. It's supposed to be no more than equal weights, but you are doing equal volume. Water does not weigh the same as flour.

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