Does Freezing Harm Sourdough Starter?

Your starter will stay strong and usable as long as you keep feeding it. But what if life takes over and you’re no longer getting enough time to bake sourdough bread as much as you used to. Can you freeze it, or will that kill off all the yeast in your starter?

Freezing your sourdough starter will generally not harm the starter if done correctly. 

Some yeast in your starter may die off, but there will be more than enough that survive to get your starter active again once it has defrosted.

If your sourdough starter is less than a few months old, then freezing is not recommended. The yeast and bacteria will not yet have developed enough strength to survive the freezing process.

Although a brand new sourdough starter can take anything from 1 to 3 weeks to become active enough to make bread with, it contains a living community of bacteria and yeast that continue to evolve and grow.

Your fresh new sourdough starter will continue to get stronger over a period of about 3 months, at which time it becomes ‘mature’.

This is the time when it has enough strength in terms of the complexity and quantity of yeast and bacteria in it, for it to survive the freezing process.

So if you’ve just made your sourdough starter, it’s not really a good time to freeze it. You’ll need to maintain it and continue to refresh/feed it until a good few months before it’s strong enough to freeze.

Swipe up for more best methods for freezing sourdough starter depending on your needs.