No, not really. This starter goo just happens to look better in a rustic crockery bowl. This is what a homemade starter looks like when it’s ready and rarin’ to go: puffy with lots of big bubbles. This is not to say that a starter has to be in this kind of prime condition to be used. The microbes will still be lively even after the “dome” falls and the whole thing becomes more liquid. That’s about the point where, if you plan on keeping your starter permanently out on the counter (as some hardcores do), to feed it again. Otherwise it’ll keep getting runnier as it sits, initially developing more alcohol, but soon after molds and other undesirables. To prevent that from happening just put it in the fridge where it will keep for months. If you feed it every week or so, it will spring back to life in no time (this froth came up in just over a two hours once I mixed it with a fresh slurry). Otherwise it’ll go dormant and require a couple of days of feedings at room temperature to get back in fighting form.