Flournoy Valley Grape Sourdough Starter

This starter was developed by soaking ripe grapes from the Flournoy Valley in a flour-water mixture till it began “working”. It has proved to be resilient, forgiving and, best of all, vigorous. It is over 4 years old now and going strong.

Every time I withdraw some to make bread, I refresh the starter with 1/2 to 3/4 cups of flour and a like quantity of warm water. If I need to refresh it, I stir the settled mixture up vigorously, pour a cup or so down the drain and replace with a like amount of the flour/water mixture as above. With either of the above, I let the jug of starter sit at room temperature several hours (3-8) before refrigerating. If you want to ‘bulk up’ the starter, just use more of the refreshment but don’t forget to use a larger container.

If you’re not going to use the starter for an extended period, freeze it then refresh when it thaws. It should be fine.

After several days in the refrigerator the flour will settle and liquid will rise to the surface. This is normal and the liquid contains the alcohols from the fermentation of the flour carbohydrates by the yeasts. It will darken some but as long as it doesn’t mildew or turn pinkish it should be fine. She longer it sits the more yeasts will die out but mine has gone over a month without refreshment and been fine after being refreshed.