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I saved a qt of my soudough starter in a 2 qt mason jar and put it in the fridge. Today I decided to start it up again. When I opened the jar it had a strong alcohol smell to it and was a little darkened on top. Is it still okay to use?<br><br>
In NT they said to store in an airtight container. Mine was in a 2qt with space in between the lid and the starter (the whole jar was not filled).
 

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I'm working on my sourdough and it smelled like that and looked like that 3 days after I started. I mixed it up and it looked fine. I think it's supposed to smell a little alcohol-y but I'm no expert. Maybe someone who is can tell you for sure.
 

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OP - I think your starter sounds like it's nice and healthy! The layer on top is the "hooch" and the darkening is to be expected. Just stir it back in. I've found this site very helpful: <a href="http://www.cox-internet.com/jpwright/sourdo.htm" target="_blank">http://www.cox-internet.com/jpwright/sourdo.htm</a>
 

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It should be fine. If the entire thing goes reddish, or dark and shrinks, or starts to smell foul instead of a sour-fresh or slightly alcoholy, then it's bad.<br><br>
I don't store my sourdough in an airtight container, I just put it in a gallon sized tupperware without a lid, but with a clean dishtowel over the top. I got my sourdough recipe and "care instructions" from Dh's grandmother. Seems to work.
 
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