Sourdough Fermentation Time Calculator

Estimated Fermentation Time: hours


Sourdough baking is an art, and one of the key factors that determine the quality of your sourdough bread is the fermentation time of the starter. The Sourdough Fermentation Time Calculator simplifies this crucial step in the sourdough bread-making process. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a beginner, this calculator will help you achieve that perfect loaf.


The formula for estimating the fermentation time is as follows:

Estimated Fermentation Time (hours) = 16 + (Starter Weight / (Ambient Temperature + 15))

In this formula, the weight of the starter in grams is divided by the ambient temperature in degrees Celsius plus 15. The result is then added to 16 to provide the estimated fermentation time.

How to Use

Using the Sourdough Fermentation Time Calculator is straightforward:

  1. Enter the weight of your sourdough starter in grams.
  2. Input the ambient temperature in degrees Celsius. This is the temperature of the environment where the sourdough will ferment.
  3. Click the “Calculate” button, and the calculator will provide you with the estimated fermentation time in hours.


Suppose you have a sourdough starter weighing 200 grams, and the ambient temperature is 25°C. After entering these values into the calculator and clicking “Calculate,” you will find that the estimated fermentation time is approximately 24.67 hours.


  1. Why is the fermentation time of the sourdough starter important?
    • The fermentation time influences the flavor and structure of the sourdough bread, allowing it to develop its characteristic taste and texture.
  2. What is the ideal ambient temperature for sourdough fermentation?
    • The ideal temperature varies but is generally between 21°C to 24°C. Warmer temperatures lead to faster fermentation, while cooler temperatures slow it down.
  3. What happens if the starter weight or ambient temperature is incorrect in the calculation?
    • An incorrect starter weight or temperature may lead to inaccurate fermentation time estimates. It’s essential to use the right values.
  4. Can I adjust the estimated fermentation time for a specific sourdough recipe?
    • Yes, the fermentation time can be adjusted based on your recipe and desired sourness of the bread.
  5. What are the signs that my sourdough starter has fermented long enough?
    • Look for a bubbly and doubled-in-size starter with a tangy aroma. It should pass the float test when dropped in water.
  6. Is a longer fermentation time always better for sourdough?
    • Not necessarily. The optimal fermentation time depends on your preferences and the type of sourdough bread you want to create.
  7. Can I use this calculator for other fermentation processes like beer or wine?
    • This calculator is specifically designed for sourdough starter fermentation and may not be suitable for other processes.
  8. How can I control the sourness of my sourdough bread through fermentation time?
    • Longer fermentation times result in tangier bread, while shorter times yield a milder flavor.
  9. What are some tips for maintaining a healthy sourdough starter?
    • Regular feeding, proper temperature control, and good hygiene practices are essential for a healthy starter.
  10. Can I speed up sourdough fermentation if I’m in a hurry?
    • You can use warmer temperatures or increase the starter’s weight to speed up the process, but it may affect the flavor and texture of the bread.


The Sourdough Fermentation Time Calculator is an invaluable tool for sourdough enthusiasts looking to perfect their bread-making skills. By accurately estimating the fermentation time of your starter, you can create sourdough bread with the desired flavor and texture. Whether you’re aiming for a mild or tangy taste, this calculator is your trusted companion in the world of sourdough baking.

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