When is a sourdough starter ready?

A brilliant, straightforward post on how to know when your sourdough starter is ready!


The readiness of a sourdough starter, for baking or otherwise, depends greatly on the age (hours since refreshment) of the starter in it’s perpetual cycle of refreshment. Here’s a little diagram of this cycle which we will explore in the text below:-


How old is your sourdough starter?

Your starter cycle begins at hour zero (the point at which you refresh it), at which point you have a small seed amount of mature culture, and a whole heap of food. Your starter will then go through three stages over a 24 hour period:-

  • Young – 0-8 hours
  • Vibrant – 8-16 hours
  • Mature – 16-24 hours

[Note these times will vary with temperature of the starter and it’s hydration, but are a good starting point when thinking about when a sourdough starter is ready]

How can you tell what stage a starter is at?

You need to a) know the stages it…

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