Feeding the starter makes it constantly able to be added on your dough when you are baking anytime of the day. It is like creating a living ingredient that actually makes your bread better since it is natural yeast. Now all you have to do is take care of your starter, try to make it fresh and “breathing” as possible this site.
Now to do that, you have to feed it. Feeding means you have to add new ingredients onto the old so that it will keep on living.
The common ratio of feeding starters is 1:2:2 (starter: flour: water). This is measured by weight, mostly in grams. When recently fed, the starter will grow double its size at about four to five hours when placed in room temperature. If it is colder, the doubling will take longer.
Once the starter has completely risen, it is stored in the refrigerator where it can last up to months.
During the first three days inside your fridge, you can directly use it to add on your dough. The starter is best used during the second and third day because it gives off a nice tangy flavor. Although there is a downside which is, the rising power is so much weaker. So if you need a full rise during baking, you should use the starter when it is still newly stored in the fridge.
Now, if you have stored your starter for weeks, or months, you need to revive your starter before adding it in your dough. You revive the starter by doing the whole feeding process. If the starter takes more than six hours to rise, you have to feed it the second time. But if it has risen double its size on the allotted six hours then it is fully revived.
There are cases when the starter had been stored for longer than two months. Sometimes it takes a third feeding before it fully revives. That means half a day of waiting. Remember that the feeding must be done at room temperature, because that is the standard measure of time, otherwise, time will vary.