Feeding Sourdough Barm

I started making sourdough about two weeks ago and am getting to the point of having to give bits away because there’s just too much of it.  Be warned, after a couple days it smells like pure rubbing alcohol, I’m told that’s normal.  So for everyone I give some too here’s how to take care of it.

Sourdough Barm1. Feed your barm at least every three days, if you can’t then refrigerate it for up to 2 months or freeze it for up to 6 in a tightly sealed container.  When you are ready to start using it again throw away all but 1/2 cup and refresh two consecutive days as described below.

2. Every time you feed the barm you must at least double it.  That is if you have 1 cup of barm add about 2/3 cup flour (either bread or high-gluten) and 1/3 cup water.  For sourer bread double the barm at every feeding, for less sour you can triple or quadruple it.  This will get a bit unmanageable after a few rounds of feeding and you will have to start discarding barm (or giving it to a friend).

Pro-tip: I keep mine in an airtight, flip-lid, plastic container I got from Target.  Its freezable so you don’t have to transfer it to something else for long term storage and it keeps the boozy smell out of the rest of the kitchen so Lynn doesn’t think I’ve been sneaking rubbing alcohol shots.