Herman FAQs

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If you have a question about Herman, this is the place to ask. Check below to see if the answer is here before posting your question.

There have been so many of you writing in to ask questions about how to manage, store, deal with your Herman. Well here are some of the top questions that you have asked:

Most asked question: A Herman with no bubbles!


Why is my Herman starter not bubbling?

Many people have emailed or left comments telling me their Herman starter has no bubbles. There is a big thing that Herman should have bubbles all the time and actually, that is half the fun of watching him grow over the 10 days.

However, a Herman with no bubbles doesn’t necessarily mean he is dead. Catherine Jennings the blog author at For Bella and Will is a friend of Herman’s website. She has given advice to many readers and helped me out with a few technical aspects concerning Herman. Regarding a non bubling Herman, she says:

I wonder if now it’s winter the Hermans are being kept in cool kitchens so aren’t bubbling so much, they will definitely react in the warm weather and be a bit more lively.
I wouldn’t really worry about how bubbly they are, as long as they are at least a bit bubbly and smell a sweet, alcoholic, yeasty smell and not vinegary in any way!
Keeping Herman in the fridge will slow him down a bit, means you can go away for the weekend and not worry too much but then give him a good whisk and feed when you take him out.


1. I was given a Herman starter but I am going away for a few days. Can I leave him for a couple of days without stirring him?

Herman says:

I will be ok for a day or so but don’t leave me for too long. Loosely covered is good, so I can still bubble. Give me a good stir when you get back. See the next question, which may help.

2. Can I put Herman in the fridge?

Herman says:

Although my instructions tell you not to put me in the fridge, I don’t really mind. I won’t (shouldn’t) die, it just means I will not ferment as quickly. If you are away for a couple of days pop me in the fridge and I will rest a while until you get back. I don’t like the cold for too long though!

3. Can I freeze Herman?

Herman says:

I recently spent a few weeks in a freezer, in a plastic tub with a lid on. It was cold but when I thawed i was more alive than before. Freezing me as a starter is fine and can be a good idea if you have no friends. Sorry, I mean nobody to pass me on to :o) Just start the cycle from day one.

4. Can I make my own Herman starter?

Herman says:

Making me from scratch is so easy and takes about 10 minutes. Take a look at How To Make Your Own Sourdough Starter For a Herman The German Friendship Cake. There is even a video.

5. What else can I make with my Herman starter?

Herman says:

My starter can be used in a number of different baking recipes. Try me in scones, buns, muffins, bread and more. Here is a sourdough baking book to help you out.

6. My Herman starter has got lumps in after I fed him, how do I fix this?

Herman says:

People try all sorts of things to rid me of lumps but the best two methods are – whisk me well with a good whisk; this will add more air to me to help me grow as well as breaking up the lumps. Or you could try pushing me through a sieve to break up the lumps. I prefer a good whisk though to be honest.

7. My Herman smells of beer – why is that?

Herman says:

Enough with the insults! I know I whiff a bit but its actually the fermentation process of the yeast inside me. The process produces alcohol *hic* and turns to acids.

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