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Once used for your recipes, Sourdough can be stored in 3 ways, depending on how long you wish to keep it.

First, you must evaluate whether you want to have it available every day or if you prefer to use it from time to time. In the first case, you will need to refresh the sourdough daily and store it at room temperature (about 19°C (66°F)—20°C (68°F)) for 24 hours. 

In the second case, you can store it in the refrigerator or freezer for several days. However, I suggest scheduling the cycle of 3 refreshments at least once every 15-20 days to avoid diluting the yeasts and causing them to lose their strength.


Keep the Sourdough at room temperature and refresh it daily if you need to use it often (but this is unlikely to happen at home). Otherwise, please keep it in the refrigerator and refresh it every week to reinforce the Sourdough after several days of storage.

Let’s see how to refresh the Sourdough daily:

Remove the crust from the Sourdough’s surface and take the inner part if you refreshed the starter the previous day. Soak it in lightly sweetened water (2g of sugar/liter of water) at 38°C (100°F) and leave it for about 20 minutes.

Once the “bath” is complete, squeeze out the Sourdough and knead it with the following proportions:

  • 1kg of well-squeezed Sourdough
  • 1kg of Bread Flour
  • 300gr of water 30°C (86°F)

When you get a homogenous dough, roll it out with a rolling pin to a 1-2cm thickness, roll it up, and dip it in cold tap water (about 19°C (66°F)). Let the sourdough ferment at room temperature for 24 hours. If the room temperature rises above 28°C (82°F)(e.g., in summer), reduce the storage period to 12 hours.


I recommend this type of storage for home use because it allows you to keep the Sourdough for about one week without causing an excessive loss of strength.

After the bath (as explained above), squeeze and knead:

  • 1kg starter
  • 2kg of Bread Flour
  • 800gr water at 30°C (86°F)

Knead it, roll it to 1-2 cm of thickness, roll it up, and soak it in cold tap water (about 19°C (66°F))

Leave the Sourdough at room temperature until it comes to the surface. Then, place it in the fridge at +4°C (39°F) for 7-10 days.

Sourdough does not absorb odors that may be in the refrigerator, so you can leave it uncovered.

Evaluating the fridge’s temperature is crucial because if it is too far from +4°C, the sourdough’s shelf life will be reduced to 4-5 days. 

To reactivate the Sourdough starter, leave it at room temperature for 24 hours and proceed with the regular daily refreshments for at least 4-5 days before using it in the recipe.


To further extend the period of preservation – more than 1 month – I suggest to FREEZE your Sourdough Starter, moving as follows:

After soaking the Sourdough as explained above, squeeze it and knead it following these proportions:

  • 1 kg starter
  • 2 kg of Bread Flour
  • 800 g water at 30°C (86°F)

Knead all the ingredients, roll the dough to 1-2 cm of thickness, roll it up, and soak it in cold tap water at 19°C/20°C (66°F – 68°F). Leave at room temperature until the Sourdough rises to the surface and then place in the refrigerator, uncovered, at +4°C (39°F) for 24 hours. Put it in the freezer the next day and wait for the entire mass to completely freeze before covering the Sourdough with a plastic wrap sheet.

To reactivate the Sourdough, it is crucial to avoid temperature shocks. To do this, please place it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Then, put it at room temperature for 24 hours or until the Sourdough rises to the surface again. Finally, you can proceed with standard refreshments.


I don't use Sourdough very often. How can I store it without wasting too much flour?

Suppose you do not use Sourdough very often. In that case, the most rational solution is to store it in the refrigerator and refresh it every 5/7 days. For periods longer than 1 month, you can keep the yeast in the freezer. In both cases, it will be necessary to refresh the yeast with specific refreshers. 

How can I recycle the rest of the Sourdough discarded during refreshments?

One way to recycle it is to let them dry it first, then bake them in an oven at 100°C (212°F) for about 40/60 minutes and then pulverize them in a mixer. The resulting powder can be added to bread and pizza dough (about 10g/kg of flour) to enhance the acidic note.

What kind of flour do I use to refresh my Sourdough?

You can use a good quality Bread flour with around 14% of proteins. All-purpose flour is not the right choice as it is not rich enough in proteins and gluten.

Do I need to refresh the Sourdough Starter every day?

If you store the Sourdough at room temperature, it must be refreshed every day. Otherwise, you can refresh it every 5/7 days and store it in the refrigerator.

How many days can I store the Sourdough in the fridge?

If properly stored at a (stable) temperature around +4°C (39°F), you can keep the Sourdough in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Obviously, you will refresh the Sourdough before placing it in the fridge.

How many days should I refresh the Sourdough?

If Sourdough is left at room temperature, it should be refreshed every day. If you decide to keep it in the refrigerator, you can refresh it every 5-7 days.

How much water should I soak the yeast in?

The ideal proportion is for the water to be about 3 times the amount of starter: 1kg of yeast should be soaked in 3 liters of water.

Sourdough leaks into the water during the bath. How can I fix this?

Suppose you happen to lose a lot of Sourdough during the bath. The best solution is to collect as much as possible and make 2 to 3 refreshments in a row to regain the right mass. How to Feed the Sourdough Starter

I have very little Sourdough. How can I get more?

Suppose you happen to lose a lot of Sourdough during the bath. The best solution is to collect as much as possible and make 2 to 3 refreshments in a row to regain the right mass. How to refresh Sourdough

I keep the Sourdough in the fridge. How long after can I use it?

Sourdough cannot be used directly from the fridge. Once taken out, it must be left at room temperature for 24 hours and then fed daily for 4 to 5 days before using it in your recipe.

What is the ideal temperature to store the Sourdough at room temperature?

The ideal temperature for storing yeast is 19°C (66°F)with a margin of +/- 2°C.

Should I use water at 30°C even in the summer to refresh the Sourdough?

It depends; the final temperature of the dough should be around 26°C (78°F). You can use this simple formula (which works only with °C) and found out the right water temperature to use:
55 – Flour temp (°C) – Room temp (°C)

How many Sourdough should I store?

I recommend storing at least 700g of yeast to not lose too much during the bath. However, to limit the use of flour, you can keep the Sourdough in the refrigerator and refresh it every 5-7 days.

The Sourdough immediately comes to the surface during the bath. What should I do?

If the Sourdough rises to the surface too early during the bath, it is a clear sign that It is too weak.

To rebalance the acidities, simply refresh it with a sourdough: flour ratio of 1:0.8 (1kg sourdough and 800g bread flour).

The Sourdough does not come to the surface during the bath. What should I do?

Most likely, It is too acid and should be rebalanced by refreshing with a yeast: flour ratio of 1:1.2 (1kg yeast to 1.2kg bread flour).

The Sourdough smells too sour. What should I do?

If your Sourdough smells too acidic, it means it has developed excessive acidity. To rebalance it, first, you have to identify whether the cause of the excess acidity is lactic or acetic. Then, you can refresh it according to the specific case, as explained in this article about the most common problems of Sourdough.


31 comments about “Come conservare il Lievito Madre”

  1. Salve, vorrei chiedere se esiste una quantità minima di lievito madre per la conservazione. Ad esempio, posso conservare solo 30g di pasta madre in frigo? Lo chiedo perché non lo uso spesso e vorrei evitare sprechi. Grazie!

  2. Buongiorno ,mi servirebbe un consiglio.ieri ho rinfrescato il lievito madre che avevo messo in frigo lunedi’ ma sono andato lungo con i tempi e siccome ancora nn raddoppiava ed era tardi ieri sera l’ ho messo in frigo.oggi in pratica cosa dovrei fare?cioe’ l’ ho tolto per temperarlo ma ora che ha raggiunto il raddoppio posso usarlo direttamente per fare il pane oppure devo rinfrescarlo ancora ed aspettare il raddoppio?grazie

  3. Buongiorno, sto facendo lo lievito madre e avendone tanto ne vorrei mettere un po’ in freezer. Nella spiegazione c’è scritto di lasciare a temp ambiente in acqua, poi a +4 in frigorifero per 24h. Quando devo trasferirlo un freezer devo mettere tutto il contenitore con l’acqua?

    1. Ciao Paolo,
      esatto,lo conserverai in freezer a bagno nell’acqua e non coperto!Una volta comepletamente congelato, puoi estrarre tutto il blocco (lievito e acqua), avvolgere tutto con una pellicola e conservare fino a 6mesi!

      A presto!

    2. Buona sera
      Ho fatto il bagnetto… è venuto a galla…ho conservato in frigo e in acqua per le prime 24 ore…
      A questo punto se voglio il lievito per impastare gr.300 di farina per fare una focaccia/pizza che devo fare e fra quanto tempo la potrò programmare…. GRAZIE e saluti

    3. Ciao Giuseppe,
      stai usando il lievito madre solido (quello in pasta), oppure quello liquido nel barattolo (Levain)?

      Se stai usando il lievito madre solido, prima di usarlo nella ricetta, dovrai effettuare almeno 2rinfreschi a 30°C (how to feed sourdough starter)

      Tuttavia, se hai appena rinfrescato il lievito con il rinfresco corretto per la conservazione in frigo (1 parte di lievito e 2 di farina), allora il lievito non sarà ancora pronto dopo 24ore di frigorifero; aspetta almeno 3 giorni

      A presto!

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