A failed starter can be humbling and discouraging – but it’s still scientifically important! Anecdotally, we know that starters DO fail sometimes – but we don’t yet understand the reasons why. This is partly because folks may not want to share their failures, and partly because there are so many different factors that contribute to a sourdough’s success, that it can be difficult to pinpoint the root cause of failure. By controlling for the age, environment, flour type, and the ratio of inputs (by using a single standardized recipe), and by claiming your failures, we hope to determine which factors might put a sourdough starter at greater risk of failure – meaning, hopefully, we can help you prevent other failures in the future. And we will add, make sure you are giving your starter enough time, the microbial succession process can take time (usually at least 14 days).  Many folks give up on their starters prematurely!