Quick Kefir or Kombucha Sourdough Starter

How to use kombucha to make a quick sourdough starter.

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Get a jump on your sourdough bread with kombucha, milk kefir, water kefir, or jun. Using a yeast-based culture will result in a vigorous starter in just 24 hours. Perfect for anyone struggling to make traditional sourdough bread.


Units Scale
  • 2 oz flour (or 1/2 cup depending on the weight of the flour)
  • 2 oz fermented beverage (1/4 cup, see section above for options)


  1. Mix equal parts (by weight) of flour and a fermented beverage in a glass container.
  2. Loosely cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm spot. Near a heater or above the fridge works well.
  3. Stir vigorously twice a day until ready to use. This brings air into the ferment and prevents crusting. Let it ferment for at least 24 hours and up to 72 hours (3 days).


  • The best beverages to use are either milk kefir or an unflavoured kombucha. Don’t include the actual SCOBY or grains. The fermented liquid will have enough yeast and bacteria to kick start the sourdough starter. However, avoid using off-the-shelf grocery store kefir and kombucha. They usually don’t contain active strains of yeasts. 
  • Most sourdough bread recipes require a 100% hydration ratio for the starter. (Meaning equal portions of water and flour by weight.) This is easiest to do with a digital scale that has a zeroing function. If you have to measure the ingredients by volume then remember that whole grain flour is heavier than white flour.
  • This quick sourdough bread method will work for gluten-free recipes as well! Just use a gluten-free bread flour mix and GF bread recipe.
  • See the section above for information on how to feed and maintain this type of sourdough starter.