I made my own starter a couple weeks ago: flour and water, and left it on the top of the fridge. I have been feeding the starter each day for the past two weeks.

I have not discarded any. Now the more I am reading I see I should have discarded half of the starter before each feeding. (Still not clear if that is only the first week or always?)

For each feeding I used the same amount of flour and water like I did on the first day, regardless of the growing amount of soupy starter in my super large jar. It has smelled fine, I have even baked with it a few times.

Do I have to start over or can I use this?

  • related cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/75318/…
    – rumtscho
    Aug 3, 2018 at 10:52
  • If you are using the same amount of flour that you used in the beginning even though your jar is now full (because you haven't discarded anything), your yeast are starving to death.
    – user50726
    Mar 30, 2019 at 17:29

3 Answers 3


You're fine. The reason to discard starter when you feed it is so that you don't end up with exponentially more starter and rapidly run out of room for it. You can slow down the growth of your starter and thus the need for frequent discards by keeping it in the refrigerator and feeding it once a week rather than every day. I've been doing this for about two years now.

If you prefer, and if you have time, there are a number of things you can make with the "unfed" starter, rather than discarding it. I personally like the pancakes/waffles (same ingredients, different technique) from King Arthur Flour.


I bought a sourdough book online, by Sourdough Jack Mabee, titled "Sourdough Jack's Cookery and Other Things" and he has a fantastic recipe for sourdough pancakes. It uses unfed "discard" but you then feed it with twice the flour and water as normal, mix and cover it and let it sit for 8 to 12 hours, then add the salt and sugar and other things and make the pancakes. They are teriffic. But you should discard from your starter all but about a cup, or 100 grams, at each feeding and add equal amounts of flour and water, or more water for sourer flavor and a little less water for more yeast activity. This assures that you don't run out of room for it all (which can happen fast) and your starter doesn't starve for food. If you are going to be maintaining a new starter, I would suggest twice daily feeding, and after a week or more when it triples after every feeding, then it should be ready for baking or storing in the fridge.


If we discard some each day we create a type of rotation. The flour would eventually degrade as nothing keeps forever. So add a little after removing a little. How else could we have a sour dough many years old! Good luck.

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