How long will a starter keep? : LUSENET : FAQ : One Thread

I would like to know some things about starters. For one: (1) How long will a starter keep? (2) Why do you have to feed your starter?

-- Anonymous, February 06, 2001


Starters are tiny civilizations of yeast. As long as these are fed, watered, and replenished after using, they would last indefinitely. The yeast produces an enzyme which turns starch from the flour into sugar, then into energy for the yeast. The yeast uses this energy to repeat the process, as well as reproduce. As with any civilization the inherent needs are food, water, shelter, and fresh air. You may keep a starter as long as you want, just use or remove some of the starter from time to time, otherwise you will see a buildup of the acids and esters associated with a sourdough. This is fine to a point, as this sour is actually a concentration of the yeast by- products, which if left unchecked will eventually kill the colony. To slow this process down, many choose to refrigerate the starter until it is needed. I have heard of persons freezing starter, but with limited success.


-- Anonymous, February 07, 2001

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