How to Increase Your Sourdough Starter Amount

If you’re wondering how to increase your sourdough starter amount, you’ve come to the right place. I’m sharing how I’ve increased a quart of starter to a gallon overnight. It’s super simple and easy when you have the right information. In this post, I’m sharing my tips and strategies to help you increase your starter without any bumps in the road.

Source: Plum Branch Home

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How to Increase Your Sourdough Starter Amount

  1. Transfer almost all of your existing sourdough starter from the smaller jar to a gallon-sized jar.
  2. Prepare a mixture of flour and water in a 2:1 ratio (for example, 2 cups of flour to 1 cup of water). Use this mixture to fill the gallon-sized jar halfway.
  3. Stir the flour, water, and existing sourdough starter together until well combined inside the gallon-sized jar.
  4. Allow the mixture to sit overnight at room temperature, typically around 8 to 12 hours, to ferment and develop.
  5. The next morning, feed the sourdough starter with a small amount of flour and water mixture in a 2:1 ratio. For instance, add 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water.
  6. Let the fed starter sit for about 4 hours to allow it to become active and bubbly.
  7. Congratulations! You now have a gallon of ready-to-use active sourdough starter instead of just one quart.

Make sure that when you’re increasing your starter amount, you only feed your starter until the jar is halfway to 2/3 of the way full. You need to leave it room to ferment and grow.

Video Explanation

Source: Plum Branch Home

Why You Need to Save a Little Back During the Transfer

It’s always smart to save a little starter in the old jar when transferring. This gives you “insurance” and eases your mind; if something were to go wrong, you’d still have a starter. I recommend saving around 2 tablespoons in the old jar. Once your larger starter is established in its new container, you can add the 2 tablespoons along with the rest. 

I highly recommend keeping a little bit of dehydrated starter in your pantry at all times.

Reasons To Increase Your Starter Quantity

  • You run out easily when baking with your starter.
  • You’re starting an at-home bakery.
  • You’re giving away parts of your starter to friends and family.
  • You’re selling parts of your starter.
  • Your family is growing.
  • You plan to start making more items from scratch instead of buying store-bought items.

    How to Feed a Large Amount of Sourdough Starter

    You’ll feed it like normal with a 2:1 ratio, but depending on how much space is left in your jar, you may feed it more. You don’t necessarily need to feed it a larger 2:1 quantity just because the starter is bigger. However, if you’re feeding a gallon size jar only 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup water, it will get hungry much faster and need to be fed more frequently.

    My Larger Starter Feeding Recommendation

    I recommend if you have a gallon jar storing your starter and you keep it half full. You’ll want to feed it 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of water. Just keep the starter around 1/2 to 2/3 of the jar so it has room to ferment. Don’t get too hung up on the amount you feed it.

    For feeding FAQs and tips, read this guide: The Best Sourdough Starter Feeding Ratio and Guide

    a large jar of starter on the counter
    Source: Plum Branch Home

    Increasing Sourdough Starter FAQ

    Do I have to feed my larger starter differently than the smaller one?

    You’ll still want to do the 2:1 feeding ratio, but you’ll want to increase the amount of flour and water you’re using. 

    Does my starter have to be mature to increase the amount of starter?

    Yes, it needs to be mature, meaning it’s been established for at least 3–4 months.

    If I have a small amount of starter like 1 cup, can I turn it into a gallon?

    Yes, you can! Just follow the instructions above. 

    Does increasing my sourdough starter amount dilute it?

    Not at all; the already present, mature cultures eat up the large amount of flour and water, fermenting it all into mature starter once again, but in a larger size. 

    How long does it take to increase your starter amount?

    You can do it overnight or in 12–24 hours.

    When I increased my amount of starter, the 2:1 ratio made it a little too dry. Should I add more water?

    Yes, if your starter is super thick after increasing it, by all means, add more water. The consistency should be a thick pancake batter. Do what you need to get it to that consistency. 

    Do I need to use a different feeding ratio for my larger starter?

    No, you’ll want to stick with a 2:1 feeding ratio, no matter the size of your starter. But you will want to feed in larger quantities of the 2:1 ratio. For example, a quart of starter can be fed 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup water. But a gallon of starter should be fed more like 2 cups flour and 1 cup water unless the jar is close to 2/3 of the way full. Then you can feed it a smaller quantity of the 2:1 ratio. 

    If I increase my starter amount, do I have to use more starter per week because it’s larger?

    Not at all! Whether your starter is a gallon or a quart, you can use it once a week or once a day. The quantity doesn’t change anything.

    Will a larger starter take longer to become active after feeding it?

    Not really; even though there’s more starter, it doesn’t take longer to ferment after a feeding. The temperature in your home is what will make the biggest difference. Lower temperatures, under 70 degrees, will take longer to ferment your starter after a feeding than temperatures over 70 degrees.

    Read These Other Sourdough Guides

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    4 Comments

    1. Wow, that’s so easy!! I thought you had to slowly grow it. That made a lot more and quickly.
      Great video explaining the process.
      I love your jar, where did you find it?
      Thanks for posting this, great blog!

      1. It sure does, it’s so simple and easy! So happy to help shine a light on how simple the process can be! I got it at Target for only $6 (it’s triple on Amazon)😲. It’s the 1-gallon, Target brand. You’re so welcome😊

        1. Thank you for the information! 😊