Activate Ruby

Activating 'Ruby' in cooler weather


As sourdough starter is a real living thing, like the seasons, the way it activates and feeds changes especially in different climates. Continue reading for everything you'll need to know about feeding your starter in these cooler months.

Hey there, sourdough superstars! Let's get Ruby’s party started!

  • Grab your 1L glass or plastic clean jar – we're talking squeaky clean! – and follow the instructions on your little packet of Ruby. Mix her up well with no dry lumps and not too watery.
  • Remember, temperature is key here – warmer means faster bubbles (summer is ideal), while chilly temps will slow things down (under 24C). Patience is key!
  • The best way to activate Ruby when it is cold under 24C is to put her in a small insulated bag with a hot water bottle. Reheat the hot water bottle every 4hrs with boiling water.
  • Do not leave her for more than 12 hrs unfed or she can go mouldy. She must be refed at the 12hr mark.
  • 12hrs from the first feed you should see small bubbles along the side of your jar. 
  • It's feedin' time again! (second feed 12hrs from first feed) Follow the instructions on the packet. Put her in the insulated bag again with the hot water bottle for 10-12 hrs, reheating the hot water bottle again every 4hrs.
  • 10-12 hrs later - She will be bubbly and smelling sweet and yeasty – that's when you know she’s alive and kickin'!
  • A good indicator is bubbles on the side of the jar and when you drag a fork through the top of the mixture it is bubbly, mousse like and active. It will have doubled in size and you will notice a huge change in the texture and activity in the starter.
  • GOOD IDEA: If you are nervous because this is your first time owning a starter, you can choose to activate half the packet (10g) and halve all of the measurements on the instructions. Keep the other half of dehydrated Ruby as back up.

Cold Snap Conundrum: 

    • Choose a few warm days coming up in your area to activate her for her best chance of coming alive.
    • Use tepid water with every feed.
  • I find the hot water bottle and insulated bag method above works the best and is easy. But here's a few other ideas below:
  • Pop her in the oven on the hot water bottle. On bottom shelf place a bowl of boiling water to try and keep that 24-25C temp she loves.  Reheat every 4hrs.
  • If you have a seedling mat or reptile mat that will work well set at 24-25C.
  • A dehydrator is good too. Just don’t crank it up over 25C. We are going for fermentation not incineration! 24-25C is best.
  • If you have a yoghurt maker you can wake her up in that with the right temp setting. 
  • Next to the fire place is lovely and warm!

Remember, maintaining your starter is like nurturing a tiny, delicious ecosystem. The more she is fed and used the more robust Ruby becomes. Give her regular feeds to strengthen her up.

Let's dive into some sourdough savvy, shall we?

Maintenance Magic: Treat your starter like the Queen she is with regular feeds. Ideally feed her every 7-10 days to keep her happy and healthy! You want to avoid mould growing with the regular feeds.

Mould: If mould rears its ugly head, it might be time to bid Ruby adieu and start fresh.  Do not leave her unfed for more than 12 hrs or she can go mouldy.

H2-Oh Yeah: Filtered water is the name of the game here. The chlorine and fluoride in tap water can really P her off and she won’t perform.

So there you have it, my sourdough pals and gals! Get ready to rock your sourdough world with these tips, tricks, and a whole lotta love. Let's bake some magic together!

Please watch complete video's before starting your sourdough journey