Q: Melissa, I found your site when I was trying to find answers to me starter questions. I am not sure if you can help me or not, but you seem to know a lot about it.
I have been trying to make my own starter and am having issues with it “separating”. I am wondering if it is too hot right now to be doing this. I have used yeast, milk, sugar and flour. I made sure not to use any metal and I have it in a Hefty bag. The first day it looked good, but today, it has liquid on top and smells like alcohol. The temperatures here have been in the 90s. I had made a batch previously and left it on the counter, but it kept getting the liquid on it and smelled like alcohol so I threw it away. This time I tried to put it in an insulated cooler (no ice) to help regulate the temperature, but it separated the very next day. Is this the wrong time of year to be doing this, or am I doing something else wrong?
Thank you for your assistance.
A: Hi! Don’t worry! It is perfectly normal for your starter to separate. Each day you can just stir it with a wooden spoon and mix it back together or if you’re using a baggie to keep your starter, squish the baggie around mixing the starter together.
Whether you are making a traditional wheat flour based starter, Amish Friendship Bread starter, or a Sweet Sourdough starter, they will all have a tendency to separate. This is not a problem! As long as your starter as a nice sour or fermented smell, and is not growing mold you are okay!
Let me know how your bread turns out!