How to Fix a Watery Sourdough Starter

I've been feeding my sourdough starter over the past few days with equal parts starter, water, and flour; however, it continues to be quite runny. In the mornings, there's a layer of water at the top. I've tried to start fresh, and am puzzled by what to do next. Thank you!

Janice Moynihan
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3 Comments

BakerBren March 20, 2020
Equal parts by volume or by weight? Is this starting a new starter from scratch? Runny isn't a problem so long as your recipe calls for liquid/high hydration sourdough starter/culture or you're comfortable converting it to a stiffer culture. Add a little more flour or a little less water if you want it stiffer. There are ways to calculate this, but on a small scale you don't need to do it--just go by feel. Are you getting active bubbling like fermentation is happily progressing? It also sounds like it could be a little overfermented, but I'm doubting that if you are feeding it daily. You could feed twice daily and/or keep it at a cooler temperature if it is overfermenting. Bake on!
 
Janice M. March 20, 2020
ooh, equal parts by volume. maybe that's the difference. this is only my second go round, so still in the experimentation phase. thanks for your reccos! will test them out this wknd.
 
Stephanie B. March 20, 2020
If you're a home baker, try doing 1/2c flour to 1/4c water - this makes what's considered a high hydration starter that's about equal parts flour:water by weight, but you don't have to bust out your scale. Or if you want to do more or less amount of starter, just remember that you want to add about half the volume of water to volume of flour.
 
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