Sourdough “discard” is a misleading name. I have many students confused about this and wonder what it is. If you don’t know what sourdough discard is, read this post here: What is sourdough discard?
Saving Sourdough Discard Tips:
- Start a discard collection jar in the fridge that you add excess unused starter to.
- Date your discard with blue painter’s paint to keep track of when it was added to
- Use the discard within 3-4 weeks
- Find sourdough discard recipes to try. Like some of these
Why is there liquid on top of my discard?
This layer of liquid is alcohol and is also known as “hooch”. It is released by the microorganisms as a way to protect themselves. Simply pour it off to use your discard. Some people stir it in, but there’s no documented benefit, it just adds that sour flavor into the starter.
Will the starter go bad or make me sick?
As long as it has not been contaminated by mold, it will become more and more sour. If left long enough it will begin producing an alcohol layer.
How long can sourdough discard be stored?
Best practice is to use the discard within 3-4 weeks, but if left longer it is okay. It just becomes more broken down and sour over time.
If the idea of having an emergency supply of sourdough discard or discard for recipes is appealing, then learning how to store sourdough discard it is a good idea. But if that idea overwhelms you, you can discard it or compost it, just make sure to keep a remainder going for your next batch.
Or maybe you wonder why you should save it? I cover more of that in this post: Why keep sourdough discard?
Check out the rest of the series!
For a more complete introduction to sourdough, check out my Sourdough Quick Start Guide here: