There is a dark liquid on top of my starter, what do I do?

This is called hooch and is completely normal. It means your starter is hungry and needs to be fed. If you've recently fed it, it could also be just water separation. If you notice mold (pink, green, fuzzy, etc.), discard all the starter in that container.


My sourdough starter smells, is this normal?

Yes, your starter can smell of vinegar, acetone, alcohol, stinky cheese. That's all normal; especially if hooch has formed on top. One smell to be concerned about is mold.


I can see a film on top of the sourdough starter, what do I do?

If you see a discolored layer on top of the starter (not water or hooch), it may mean that this is mold. This can be dangerous so it is best to discard starter. To avoid this in the future, be sure to use a fresh jar every 2-3 feed cycles.


My starter hasn't doubled in size, what do I do?

This may mean that your starter is too cold or hasn't had enough time. Discard half and repeat the feeding process. Be sure to place it in a warmer place while it ferments.


My starter is not rising my dough, what do I do?

Be patient and continue feeding your starter. Always make sure your starter at least doubles (or even triples!) in size before using it in a recipe or re-feeding it for optimal starter-health.


My recipes are turning out too sour, how do I fix that?

Sourdough starter gets more sour the longer it goes between feedings. Starter stored in a warm kitchen tends to be fed every 12 hours. Avoid this by storing it in the fridge between uses as the cold slows down fermentation. To fix an overly sour starter, discard the excess and feed using a 1:5:5 ratio, let it rise then discard and feed again right after.