There are a few common reasons why a sourdough starter may not be rising properly:
- Lack of Feeding: One of the most common reasons for a sourdough starter not rising is a lack of feeding. If you’re not feeding your starter regularly, it won’t have the energy it needs to produce bubbles and rise. Try feeding your starter with fresh flour and water every 12 hours to keep it healthy and active.
- Poor Quality Flour: Another reason for a sourdough starter not rising is using poor quality flour. Make sure you’re using a high-quality flour that is fresh and unbleached. Whole wheat flour or rye flour can also be used to help jumpstart the fermentation process.
- Low Temperature: A sourdough starter requires a warm environment to thrive. If the temperature is too low, the fermentation process will slow down and the starter won’t rise properly. Try keeping your starter in a warm spot, such as on top of the refrigerator or in a proofing box.
- Contamination: If your starter is contaminated with bacteria or mold, it won’t rise properly. Make sure you’re using clean utensils and containers to handle your starter, and discard any starter that looks or smells off.
- Overfeeding: Overfeeding your starter can also cause it to stop rising. Make sure you’re only feeding your starter with the amount of flour and water it needs to stay healthy and active, and avoid adding too much at once.
- Inactive Yeast: Finally, if your sourdough starter is not rising, it may be because the yeast is not active. This can happen if you’re using old or expired yeast, or if the yeast has been exposed to extreme temperatures. Try using fresh yeast or allowing your starter to rest at a warmer temperature to activate the yeast.
To avoid these common mistakes, make sure you’re following a reliable sourdough starter recipe and feeding your starter regularly. With patience and practice, you should be able to create a healthy, active starter that rises properly.