How Long Does Sourdough Starter Discard Last

A sourdough starter is an essential part of baking bread. It’s also a great way to get started making sourdough bread at home. However, there are times when you’ll want to throw away your starter.

A sourdough starter is an essential ingredient for making sourdough bread. It’s also used in other recipes such as pancakes, muffins, pizza dough, etc.

But how long does sourdough starter discard last? In this article, I’m going to give you a quick overview of how long sourdough starters should be discarded.

How Long Does Sourdough Starter Discard Last?

The first thing that comes into mind when thinking about the shelf life of sourdough starters is yeast. Yeast has a very short lifespan and will die off after just one or two days if not fed regularly.

How Long Does Sourdough Discard Last In The Fridge? - The Pantry Mama

This means that it can’t be stored indefinitely. If you have any leftover yeast from previous batches, then use them up within 2-3 weeks before discarding them.

Depending on how cold it is, sourdough starter waste might last anywhere from a week to a month. The longer your fridge lasts, the colder it is. If you want to keep it in good shape for a long time, you should feed it once a week. You may also put it in the freezer. If you’re using a large amount of flour then you need to make sure that you don’t let it sit too long because it could start fermenting. So try feeding it every 3-4 days instead of weekly.

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If you do decide to freeze your sourdough starter, remember to take out all of the ice crystals so they won’t damage your starter. Also, never thaw frozen starter directly in the water! Instead, place it in warm tap water until it warms up enough to handle safely. This method works best with small amounts of starters. For larger quantities, you can either heat some water in a microwave-safe container or boil it in a saucepan.

How Do I Know If I Can Still Use My Sourdough Discard?

You can still use your sourdough starter even though it looks like it’s gone bad. There are several ways to tell whether or not your starter is dead:

How to Reduce and Use Your Sourdough Discard - Baker Bettie

1) Check the smell – When you open the jar, check the air inside. Is it stale smelling? Or is it fresh-smelling? If it smells like moldy cheese, then chances are your starter isn’t alive anymore.

2) Taste test – Take a spoonful of your starter and taste it. If it tastes sweetish, then it probably doesn’t contain live bacteria. But if it tastes acidic, then it contains living bacteria.

3) Test for active fermentation – To see if your starter is actively producing CO2 gas, simply pour 1/8 cup of starter onto a plate covered by plastic wrap. Wait 10 minutes and then gently press down on the top of the mixture. If bubbles form around the edges, then your starter is working properly.

What Should I Do With Old Sourdough Starters?

Once you’ve decided that your starter is no longer viable, what should you do with it? Here are three options:

Option 1 – Make Bread Again

Bread made with an old sourdough starter is delicious but it takes more effort than regular bread. That said, you can always bake something else with your remaining starter. Try making pizza crusts, bagels, rolls, biscuits, pancakes, etc.

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Option 2 – Freeze It

Freezing your sourdough starter allows you to store it without having to worry about its viability. Just follow these steps:

• Pour the contents of your starter into an 8×12 inch baking dish.

• Cover tightly with aluminum foil and label well.

• Place in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, remove the foil and stir thoroughly before returning to the fridge. Repeat this process at least twice per week. Once your starter has been refrigerated for 6 months, transfer it to the freezer. Label again and repeat as needed.

Option 3 – Give Away

Sourdough starters aren’t just great for cooking; they’re also wonderful gifts. They have such a unique flavor that people love them almost immediately after tasting one. You could give away a few jars of starter to friends who might enjoy trying their hand at homemade bread. Alternatively, consider giving away whole loaves of bread baked from your starter. The recipient will be thrilled when he discovers how easy it was to make his own bread.

Ways To Use Your Sourdough Discard

There are many different uses for your sourdough discard. Some ideas include:

• Making Pizza Crusts

Pizza dough requires lots of yeast which makes it difficult to keep alive during storage. However, there are other types of leavening agents that work much better.

So why not try using your sourdough discard instead? Simply mix together equal parts flour and sourdough discard. Add water until the consistency resembles wet sand. Knead the dough vigorously for 5 or so minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes and roll out. Bake according to recipe directions.

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• Baking Bagels

You don’t need any special equipment to make bagel dough. All you really need is a bowl, a whisk, and a little bit of patience. Mix together 4 cups of all-purpose flour, salt, sugar, and instant dry milk powder. Whisk in enough cold water to create a soft ball of dough.

Allow the dough to sit for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 450 degrees, F. Roll, out the dough on a lightly floured surface to desired thickness. Cut into circles and place on greased cookie sheets. Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkles with poppy seeds. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before serving.

• Homemade Pancakes

If you want to use up some leftover pancake batter, simply add half a cup of sourdough discard to the mixture. This will help prevent the pancakes from sticking to the pan. If you prefer thicker pancakes, increase the amount of discard by ¼ cup.


Your sourdough discard isn’t going anywhere soon. So if you haven’t already started saving yours, now would be a good time!

By doing so, you’ll save yourself money because you won’t have to buy new ingredients every month. Plus, you’ll get to experience the joy of eating fresh homemade bread whenever you feel like it.

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