Barb at King Arthur

February 6, 2022 at 3:16pm

In reply to by Katlyn D (not verified)

Hi Katlyn, "ripe" starter means starter that you've recently fed at room temperature and allowed to rise to its highest point. It's considered ripe when it's at that high point, or just beginning to fall. If you're measuring your starter by cups, be sure to stir it down before measuring. When measuring by weight, there's no need to stir down the starter. Sourdough "discard" is the portion of starter you remove when it comes time to feed your starter (if you're not planning to bake with it), or starter taken directly from the refrigerator (without feeding). The discard you store in your refrigerator doesn't need to be fed, and can generally be used directly from the refrigerator in recipes that call for discard. I typically add to my "discard" container in the fridge for up to three weeks, and then dump that out and start fresh. Discard doesn't really go bad very quickly in the refrigerator, but it can separate and develop a dark liquid on top and tends to become a little funky flavored over time. Since you're always creating new discard, it makes sense to start fresh now and then. 

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