Can Sourdough Starter Go Bad/Spoil?

Sourdough starters require you to give your undivided attention to the ingredients in order to ensure yeast grows in your starter, but not bacteria.

Here are some pointers to look out for to determine if your sourdough starter has gone bad.

Color of the sourdough starter

After preparing your sourdough starter using either dried yeast or wild yeast, examine the color of your sourdough starter. If you notice your sourdough starter is pink, orange, or dark brown, this is an indication that the starter is contaminated and that you should toss out the batch.

Mold on the sourdough starter

While there is some lee-way for tending to your starter, neglecting your starter will cause mold to develop or result in the bad bacteria taking over the batch. Mold can manifest in various colors and is generally fuzzy in appearance.

Liquid on top of the sourdough starter

As your sourdough starter is developing, you may notice a liquid forming on top of the starter. This liquid is referred to as “hooch”. Hooch is the alcohol given off as the wild yeast begins to ferment.