Is there something wrong that can happen if I forget to feed my sourdough starter? I kinda forgot to do it twice, but it still appears to have a few bubbles in it. Previously it contained hooch, which I discarded. Also, my starter has a dense consistency because the whole grain flour I guess.

So how should I feed it? I am using 5 tbsp of flour and 4 tbsp of tap water (previously rested for an hour or more to let the chlorine to fall to the bottom)

  • Can you clarify how old your starter is and how often you have been feeding it?
    – Spagirl
    Commented Jul 28, 2019 at 10:29
  • 5/6 days old now i forgot to feed it 2 days ago Commented Jul 28, 2019 at 17:05

3 Answers 3


Then feed it again

In my experience, any issues with sourdough, up to and including a surface layer of fungus, formaldehyde smell, and rotten dirty socks smell, can be fixed by simply feeding it. The worse the sourdough's condition is, the longer you have to feed it; if you don't have any of the above mentioned issues, two days consistent feeding should be fine.

Three notes:

  • Usually I put in 2:1 volumetric flour to water.
  • I have used whole grain wheat (and rye) before, with no difficulties. The consistency will be a bit different, but whole grains can sustain a good long term sourdough. In my experience, a sourdough "trained" exclusively on whole grains does a much better job on any bread recipe with bran in it; whether whole grain or added.
  • If you are forgetful about a sourdough, consider putting it in the fridge. I put mine in the fridge and feed it once a week. You can miss a couple weeks, which will then cause the aforementioned smells, but it can be recovered in a few days of consistent feeding on the countertop.
  • and what do you mean with consistent feeding? no fungus has been find, smells like sour i dont know what its formaldehyde smell. previously it had hooch because i was adding the same volume of water and flour i think so. Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 21:42
  • @MichaelBenDavid Consistent feeding would be every day on the counter, or every week in the fridge.
    – kingledion
    Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 21:50
  • ok got it...... Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 22:16

Pour out 1 cup (or about 1/3 of the total amount if you don't have 1 cup) and feed with 2 parts unbleached all-purpose flour to 1 part water. I keep my sourdough in a quart canning jar in the fridge. Once a week, I set it out until it reaches room temperature, set aside 1 cup for bread, feed it with 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup filtered water, leave it out overnight, then put it back in the fridge the next day unless I'm making something else with sourdough. I always leave sourdough out overnight after feeding it.


Simple. Cut feed back to half of total weight (minus container weight). Add double flour to feed and same amount of water as cut back feed weight + 100 ml (approx).

Mix till combined and so on for 2/3 days. It will recover.

fridge for few hours between feeds.

Have been working with sours for long time, experienced baker, they are so unstable but bulletproof if treated right.

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