Sourdough Project: Day 3

Day 3! At this point, since I’m sure my wild yeast are growing quite well, I start shifting the “food” I give it from sugar-rich rye flour to wheat flour.

Before proceeding, here are some links to my previous Sourdough Project posts if you want to read from the start.

Also to recap, here are some signs of a lively yeast population:

  1. Gas bubbles in your starter, and it will rise–at least doubling in volume.
  2. The strong odor of alcohol, and some fruity scents like bananas and pineapples. It may, at some point, remind you of the smell of beer.
Time for a change in diet

Time for a change in diet


  • 1/4 cup distilled drinking water (at this point, if you’re sure your yeast is strong, you can switch to tap water)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or unbleached wheat flour)
  • 2 tsp rye flour


Mix the starter a little. Split the starter and discard half of it.

In a clean bowl, mix together the ingredients mentioned above. Mix this new batch in with the remaining starter, making sure you get a lot of air in the starter. Cover and leave on your kitchen counter for 24 hours.

Now that you’ve changed the yeast’s diet, what should you expect? You might notice a decrease in metabolic rate–less gas bubbles, or a longer time before the starter rises again to double its volume. Don’t fret though, because as I said, wheat flour has less sugar in it, and less sugar (food) means less carbon dioxide that may be produced.

Time to wait another 24 hours to see if the wild yeast are strong and lively

Time to wait another 24 hours to see if the wild yeast are strong and lively

If you’ve also decided to switch to tap water, the yeast will need a bit of time to adjust to whatever is in your water. If you’re worried about chlorine, just leave the water you will use exposed to the air for an hour and the chlorine should have enough time to dissipate into the atmosphere.


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