Do You Need a Special Jar for Sourdough Starter?

Any non-reactive container can hold sourdough starter. We have heard of bakers keeping sourdough in ziplock bags and plastic to-go containers. Mason jars and old sauerkraut jars are popular favorites. Crocks are very traditional. Any of these can be a fine jar to use when you start baking sourdough bread. Don’t let finding the perfect jar stop you from baking your first loaves! But once you start baking regularly, you may find yourself looking for something better.

Don’t Let the Wrong Jar Come Between You and Baking.

If your jar is a pain to use, you may find yourself dreading feeding your starter and baking less than you would. Here is a checklist that will save you some misery down the road.  

  1. Starter jars get messy fast. Watch out for nooks, corners, and threaded closure where sourdough starter can collect, dry and cling.
  2. As sourdough bakers, we want to watch our starters grow. If your container is opaque then you might not see that it’s starving or miss the window when it is ready to use. 
  3. Watch out for containers that use cloth/cork lids or any lid that rest on the inside of the jar wall. These designs can allow contamination and invite the dreaded pink mold.
  4. Never use aluminum or other reactive jar materials. Starter creates acid (that’s what makes it sour) and should only be kept in non-reactive jars.
    Checklist for a Good Starter Jar
To our surprise, there were no jars that checked off ALL of these criteria - so we made it ourselves.

The Anatomy of an Easy-to-Clean Starter Jar

Having a jar that is a pleasure to use will help you take better care of your starter. 

The Sourhouse Starter Jars features:

  • No threaded closure where starter can cling and gunk up
  • Straight sides to easily track the rise
  • No shoulder that makes it hard to pour out, scrape out and stir starter
  • A lid that closes over the outside of the jar, keeping contaminants out
  • Flexible silicone lid that allows dry hard starter to flake off with a squeeze.

Pressure Release Channels - Lets the Gas Out

When you close a jar with an air-tight lid, all the gas from fermentation will be trapped inside. This pushes down on your starter as it wants to rise. Our jar lid has built-in air channels that allows CO2 to escape even when you close it all the way. With a Sourhouse Starter Jar, nothing’s gonna keep your starter down.

Just Enough Info

Sourhouse Starter Jars have simple dots to help you track your starter double, triple (or even more!) Each side has different increments, so it’s useful both when you are keeping a small amount for maintenance and when you are scaling up for a bake.

Our jars come in pint size and quart size. That means our pint jar can hold about 200g of starter without spilling over when it triples. The quart jar can hold twice as much.

Completes Your Goldie

Sourhouse starter jars are the perfect companion to Goldie, our starter jar warmer. Not only do they look nice together, the flat bottom makes faster and more efficient transfer of warmth to your starter.