Sourdough starters not working properly

Hello everybody. Finally got into CDDA a few days (weeks?) ago and I’m loving it. First post ahead:

So I think the sourdough mechanics is broken, in both a realism sense and also with a bug. Maybe they’re one and the same.

When you have a mature sourdough starter (complete in a glass jar) and you want to make freshly fed sourdough starter you need a glass jar. So this recipe effectively destroys a glass jar, since there are no byproducts. This is the bug.

In real life, when you have a mature sourdough starter (let’s say 100ml for the sake of easy math) and you want to feed it, you have two options:

  1. discard half (50ml) and add equal parts water and flour (25ml each). This is somewhat accurately reflected in the game when you craft the sourdough bread recipe, since you get a freshly fed sourdough as a byproduct. If you consider that part of the flour and water are going into the actual sourdough bread recipe and part of it is going into refeeding the sourdough, this is pretty accurate:
  • start with 100ml mature sourdough
  • use 50ml to make bread (adding flour and water)
  • add flour and water to remaining 50ml
  • end up with baked sourdough bread and 100ml of freshly fed sourdough starter
  1. double the recipe. If I want to increase the amount of sourdough starter I have, in order to make more bread, I could:
  • separate half (50ml) of the mature sourdough starter into another glass jar
  • feed both jars with equal parts flour and water (25ml of each in each jar, so 50ml of each in total)
  • end up with two 100ml jars of freshly fed sourdough starter, effectively doubling the amount of starter

As of right now, there’s no reason to craft freshly fed SD, since it destroys a jar, doesn’t increase the amount of SD, reverts to non-mature status and wouldn’t spoil anyway, in current game mechanics. Which brings me to my next point: starters become dormant, spoil, and are heavily dependant on temperature. A few furure suggestions, to make it more realistic:

  • freshly fed starters should turn into mature after 2 days in winter or 1 day in other seasons;
  • mature starters should spoil after 4 days in winter or 2 days in other seasons;
  • frozen starters (as well as dehydrated) should have 2 seasons shelf life;
  • mature starter + 1 glass jar + 1 water + 1 flour = 2 freshly fed. This will allow for easy doubling through batches;
  • mature starter + 1 flour + 1 water = 1 freshly fed. This means basically discarding half of the starter in order to reset the spoil timer. Bakers with starters that don’t cook every day do this everyday to keep their starters healty.

As a last point, the best sourdough starters in the world have been maintained for centuries. The same starter. I think it’s fair to say that if a player maintains a starter for more than a month (freezing doesn’t count) he would end up with a better selected batch, and the resulting products should taste much better and have more nutritional qualities. This would function as an incentive for a player to maintain a healthy starter. Also, it makes sense to consider sourdough starter a better alternative to yeast, in pretty much any case.

Thanks everybody for such an awesome game, and I hope I haven’t rambled on too much. I love bread.


Admittedly, I’m a few versions behind in the experimental, but — this isn’t an April 1 post? There’s sourdough starter in the game now?

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After a more careful review of the actual current values, I have a few more objective suggestions. May or may not require some sort of overhaul, but it definitely reflects reality better. Consider the following as amateurly educated—through many failed attempts—suggestions:

  1. Actually, since everything else in the game doesn’t spoil when frozen, starters should behave the same.

  2. Freshly fed SD could continue as a non-perishable and mature into sourdough starter regardless of being frozen or not. But it would be a bit more accurate to stop the maturing process in case it’s frozen. But it’s basically as inedible as raw flour.

2.5) on a side note, store-bought white flour–the common kind–does make for a high-calories, low-nutrition food. But the wheat we’re manually grinding on mortars and pestles should be considered whole-wheat flour. Maybe as nutritious as wastebread. I really think, for the sake of realism, that this differentiation should exist. A portion of sourdough 100% whole-wheat bread should easily stand in nutritionally for any other whole-wheat grain (barley, oats, rye), and maybe surpass them, since the sourdough yeast basically develops nutrition in the flour.

  1. A new sourdough starter (such as the juvenile one we can craft) does take at least two days before becoming mature enough to use (even though you actually need to feed it every day, but this probably would require too much custom code)…

  2. …but an already mature starter that is freshly fed should come back to mature in much less time. Like 2-4 hours in the summer, 3-6 in spring/fall, 4-8 in winter. Since freshly fed cannot become a perishable to have varying maturing timers (i think?), because is has to “transform” instead of spoiling, I would average that at 8 hours of maturing. This might be a bit above the actual starter maturing time, but:

    • sourdough bread actual cooking time in the oven is 30-ish minutes (in game it’s 20m atm)
    • sourdough bread needs considerably longer rises and wait times before baking. Like 15 minutes kneading + 2 hours rising + 5 minutes shaping + 1-2 hours final rise before baking. I think it makes sense to incorporate the rising times into starter maturing times. So 8 total sound reasonable as a year-round average.
    • likewise, kneading times should factor into craft time. So 30 min baking + 15 minutes kneading + 5 minutes shaping = 50 minutes. This is consistent with baking 2 medium to large loaf. I’ll address volumes and weights up ahead.
  3. “mature” sourdough starter (the one that has just transformed from freshly fed) definitely should be perishable.

    • 1 freshly fed or 1 juvenile SD starter should, after their respective maturing timers, transform into 1 glass jar containing x/x mature sourdough starter (fresh) – a perishable with shelf life of 72 hours.
    • This perishable should be edible raw, at very low enjoyability, but a little quenching, less calories than when cooked but highly nutritious, especially if you’re using whole wheat. It might give you some indigestion or force you to the bathroom (kinda like yogurt on steroids, so 50% chance for 2h nausea sounds reasonable), but it won’t poison you and it’s definitely nutritious, if only for the good bacteria you’re eating (kinda like yogurt).
    • Code-wise it might be better to change juvenile sourdough starter and freshly fed sourdough starter into 1 glass jar containing 1 juvenile/freshly fed sourdough starter and put the maturing timer on this. It should need a watertight container, if possible. But it would be nice to store a bunch of frozen starter on a big jar.
  4. Weighs and Volumes. The basic sourdough starter recipe is 50 grams water + 50 grams flour (or 2 parts flour and 1 part water, by volume; in this phase, measurement precision is not all that important). These combined 100g, after maturing, are enough starter for 2 medium loaves. So 2 “units” of mature sourdough.

    • 1 unit of water in-game is 250ml, or 250g. For that you would need 250g of flour. This is a pretty large batch of sourdough starter, enough for 10 loaves. 1 flour in game equals 13g so: 1 water + 19 flour would be the closest ratio using in game units. But it easily works with 20. Round it to 20.

      • 1 water + 20 flour = large batch of juvenile sourdough starter (510g, 750ml). It would actually need a much bigger pot to account for rising space, refeeding, etc. If we consider this “necessary” volume for the starter phase, a 3L glass jar makes the most sense for a batch this large.
      • After 72h of maturing, large batch of juvenile sourdough starter turns into 10 mature sourdough starter (fresh) with 72 hours of shelf life at room temp. Divided into 10 units since 51g is a reasonable amount for one loaf of bread.
      • When it’s ready to use, I guess 1 unit at 51g and 100ml is a good number for the starter (it’s “ready” at almost peak rise)
      • In the 3L glass jar you should have 10/30 mature sourdough starter (at 510g and 1L)
      • So after maturing you could fit 5/5 in a 500ml glass jar (at 255g)
    • It would be sensible to allow a half batch (wasting water):

      • 1 water (of which we’ll use half) + 10 flour = medium batch of juvenile sourdough starter (255g, 375ml; again, extra space is needed for rising)
      • After 72h of maturing, medium batch of juvenile sourdough starter turns into 5 mature sourdough starter (fresh)
      • this would require a glass jar (500ml) and would yield a neat 5/5 stack.
    • It makes sense to treat it as a liquid. Pourable and all.

  5. Before spoiling, you could craft

    • Sourdough bread: 1 mature sourdough starter (51g, 100ml) + 20 flour (260g, 500ml) + 1 water (250g, 250ml) = 10/10 slices of sourdough bread. These should be 40-55g, 100-150ml each. With dark, thick crust and blistered bubbles on the outside and a chewy, soft and highly aerated interior. A marvel of chemistry, physics, temperature and time.

      • craft time for 1 loaf (10/10 slices) should probably be around 1h, to account for the previously mentioned 50m work time and some mise en place beforehand.
      • craft time for batches should probably be 50% after 1 loaf, since basically half the work is oven time. Dunno if you guys normally account for changing containers, but IRL each loaf needs its container to bake (but not to store).
    • Large batch of freshly fed sourdough starter: 5 mature sourdough starter (255g, 500ml) + 1 water (we’ll use half) + 10 flour (250ml, 130g).

      • like the juvenile large batch, should require 3L jars.
      • Medium batch of freshly fed sourdough starter should adapt by reducing mature sourdough more than flour and water. So: 2 mature sourdough starter (102g, 375ml) + 1 water (we’ll use a quarter) + 5 flour (125ml, 65g). Like the juvenile version, can fit in a 500ml glass jar.

Lots of measurements, but I really think it’s way more realistic, considering the weight of 1 unit of flour in game.

I thought I fixed the glass jar disappearing thing some months ago. Are you on experimental with that?

A mature starter doesn’t go bad in four days. I’ve had mine sit mistreated on the counter for weeks at a time and it’s just fine… In fact it tends to get strengthened by the occasional bit of neglect, since yeast and lactobacillus both sporulate and are very robust. Although it’s possible for it to mold and go bad, if it’s mature in a clean jar and sealed, I have no idea how you’d go about estimating a shelf life… I’d fight you quite hard on 72 hours, given very extensive personal experience.

If you want to add more detailed flour types I don’t think anyone would stop you. A lot of the little changes you’re thinking about are either updating the recipe (weights and volumes didn’t go into increments like 50g/ml when I made sourdough), which is fine. Nutrition inheritance should solve the rest if you add whole wheat flour.

There isn’t really a good mechanic in game to differentiate a “this will make some bread” sourdough starter, or a “this is five years old and makes award winning bread” sourdough starter. If you have c++ support, you could look into it, but our enjoyability scores are pretty chunky and it’d be hard to represent the difference nicely… I left the current enjoyability to assume the bread is nice and mature, so I guess a barely mature starter could have a lower enjoyment.

Beetle at: sourdough has been in the game for over a year, it was one of my first additions.


Yes. I’m on 0.D-12445-g55cabb7 at the moment.

Fair enough. I’m totally willing to give up on that number. My personal experience was with clean (although not sterilized) jars. So unless the recipe called for canning, I’d argue that emptying a jar with rotten food and then making sourdough should have a lower shelf life. Also I’m also in Brazil, so much higher average temp than a lot of places. I agree that 72h is probably way too little for a year-round average for the game. But: if hard cheese is considered to have a 72h shelf life, I don’t see how an untouched starter could be considered unperishable. That said, I’m very much enjoying my pantry of starters everytime I wanna make some bread. Thanks for the contribution.

Oh, didn’t know that was a thing. That’s awesome.

Yea, I imagined that would be hard to emulate. It seems the game remembers what everything is made of (like dehydrated vegetables made from “old carrots”). If the game remembers that many layers in, I guess you could count the number of “parents” until you reach the juvenile starter, and use that number as a bonus to enjoyment? I’m not very code savvy, so it’d take me a really long time to figure it out.

Cool. Although I’m actually proposing to change the product from ground wheat. I’ll read up some more on the basic scripting and guidelines before delving into making additions or changes.

Thx, mate

There seems to be some sort of issue with the sourdough starters right now. I just updated my game and checking in my juvenile starters I was told that they weren’t ready yet and I should check again in 12 years.

I wasn’t prepared to wait that long so I prepared another two batches, was told to come back in two days but when I did it had jumped up to 2 years. At which point I just debugged them in.