Author Topic: Reactivating a DRY dormant starter  (Read 1665 times)

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Reactivating a DRY dormant starter
« on: April 16, 2010, 11:24:18 AM »
Just wondering how you guys reactivate a powdered dry form of starter.   I recently received some starter to test out from forum member Gotrocks.  Thanks GRs! you Rock!!

I mixed it with a bit of filtered water and then mixed in some unbleached flour to feed.  It's been sitting at room temps for 8 hours and no activity noted.  There is a bit of hooch on top, so this morning I stirred it back in and covered. 

My question is how long does it normally take to revive a starter from a dry state.  My concern is that if it does take 3-4 days to revive, the yeast in the flour could potentially take over and I don't want that.

Any tips or ideas would be appreciated.  I will update this thread as I get it going.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2010, 11:26:46 AM by Tranman »


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Reactivating a DRY dormant starter
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2010, 12:02:42 AM »
Wow, I guess I'm the first!  Cool!  ::)

So it's been 12 hours and there's a few bubbles in the center and some hooch on top.  I decided to pour the hooch out and notice there's some bubbling within the starter.  Since the consitency is really loose, I added a bit more flour.   After 20 hours there seems to be some life starting.  This is really promising.

Pic 1 (after 12 hours with some hooch on top)
Pic 2 (after 24 hours and signs of real life?)

Offline GotRocks

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Re: Reactivating a DRY dormant starter
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2010, 01:42:38 AM »
I am glad it is coming alive for you, please keep me/us updated on how it reacts, the flavor and the action of it for leavening when you get it going strong and decide to bake with it.

A skinny cook is not to be trusted!

Offline Matthew

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Re: Reactivating a DRY dormant starter
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2010, 05:31:16 AM »
Wow, I guess I'm the first!  Cool!  ::)

So it's been 12 hours and there's a few bubbles in the center and some hooch on top.  I decided to pour the hooch out and notice there's some bubbling within the starter.  Since the consitency is really loose, I added a bit more flour.   After 20 hours there seems to be some life starting.  This is really promising.

Pic 1 (after 12 hours with some hooch on top)
Pic 2 (after 24 hours and signs of real life?)

Don't pour the hooch out, just stir it in.  To me, it looks way too liquid, you may at this point want to start measuring out the flour & water.  1 cup of flour to 3/4 cup water is pretty common.  I personally go by weight because I like to maintain a very accurate consistency.  Once it's fully activated & you begin using it you can begin to adjust it to your desired consistency.  Generally speaking, a dormant stiffer starter (sponge) is much easier to reactivate than a liquid culture so keep that in mind when you adjust the consistency.


Matt
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 05:38:31 AM by Matthew »

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Reactivating a DRY dormant starter
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2010, 08:36:52 AM »
Thanks Mathew.  Just wondering, is there a reason to mix the hooch back in? I read online  whereby a breadmaker says it's an alcoholic byproduct (metabolic waste) of the yeast and to dump out.  I have done both before (stirring back in versus dumping) and noted really not a difference.
  How often should I be feeding it? Once or twice a day?  TIA.

Offline Matthew

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Re: Reactivating a DRY dormant starter
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2010, 01:07:01 PM »
Thanks Mathew.  Just wondering, is there a reason to mix the hooch back in? I read online  whereby a breadmaker says it's an alcoholic byproduct (metabolic waste) of the yeast and to dump out.  I have done both before (stirring back in versus dumping) and noted really not a difference.
  How often should I be feeding it? Once or twice a day?  TIA.

The hooch doesn't have any adverse effect on the culture so it's a matter of preference on whether you stir it it or discard it, it's totally up to you.  You should be feeding it until it's fully active.  Usually every 9-12 hours.  Once active, you can refrigerate it until it's ready to be used.  You know its fully active when it increases in volume by at least 2 inches within 2-3 hours of your last feeding.

Matt

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Reactivating a DRY dormant starter
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2010, 12:38:34 PM »
Thanks Matt.  I had been mixing the hooch back in and feeding about 2x a day but wasn't sure what the norm was.   

After 2 days, the starter looks promising.  It seems more bubbly throughout and has a few bigger bubbles on top.  Prior to it taking off, I did get nervous about that bacteria (?) that can kill off starters, so i did mix in 3-4 drops of lime juice.  Not sure if that had any effect, but made me feel better about it.

Day 3, the starter is active now!  YEAH!!  I just fed it this morning and it is quite active only after 3 hours!  Only a couple more feedings and it should be done.  I'm very happy to see it active after 3 days b/c this gives me confindence that I have my intended yeast mutliplying and not some variant strain from the food source. 

A starter from scratch would take about 6-7 days to get this active.

Pic 1 is day 2, and Pic 2 is day 3. 
« Last Edit: April 18, 2010, 12:40:37 PM by Tranman »

Offline Matthew

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Re: Reactivating a DRY dormant starter
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2010, 12:51:58 PM »
Thanks Matt.  I had been mixing the hooch back in and feeding about 2x a day but wasn't sure what the norm was.   

After 2 days, the starter looks promising.  It seems more bubbly throughout and has a few bigger bubbles on top.  Prior to it taking off, I did get nervous about that bacteria (?) that can kill off starters, so i did mix in 3-4 drops of lime juice.  Not sure if that had any effect, but made me feel better about it.

Day 3, the starter is active now!  YEAH!!  I just fed it this morning and it is quite active only after 3 hours!  Only a couple more feedings and it should be done.  I'm very happy to see it active after 3 days b/c this gives me confindence that I have my intended yeast mutliplying and not some variant strain from the food source. 

A starter from scratch would take about 6-7 days to get this active.

Pic 1 is day 2, and Pic 2 is day 3. 


Not sure what effect the lime juice would have as I've never used or heard of using it in reactivation a starter.  If you haven't done so already you should transfer it to a 1L wide mouth mason jar to measure the activity more accurately. 

Matt

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Reactivating a DRY dormant starter
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2010, 02:40:23 PM »
Matt, from what I have read about starters, bacteria and yeast live in a symbiotic relationship.  When first growing a new starter (or in my case reviving one) the bacteria usually can grow at a much faster rate than the yeast and outnumber them 100 to 1.  Yeast thrives in a more acidic environment.  Adding pineapple, orange, lemon, or lime juice (citric acid) helps lower the pH of the environment an thus slows down the growth of the bacteria giving the yeast a little help. 
  I have also read of another certain bacteria that tends to take over new starters, but I don't recall the name of it right now.  I'll post it if I find it or maybe someone in the know can enlighten us. 
  I have attempted to make a starter before with just yeast and water and it failed.  I've read that without the added citric acid, some 40% of starters will fail.   On my 2nd attempt, I added some lemon juice and the starter took off after 7 days.   I just carried that same line of thinking over to the new starter I'm reactivating. 
  I'll see about getting some liter jars at the store later, but I tend to think it's active if there is vigorous activity after 2 hours of feeding.   I fed the new starter this morning and it was quite active just after 2 hours.  I'll feed it a few more times to see if that makes a difference or not and for good measure.
  I'm curious to know how you judge when your starters are active or at their peak performance.  How long should it take an active starter to double in volume?   Thanks for your continued help.

Offline norma427

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Reactivating a DRY dormant starter
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2010, 05:18:16 PM »
yes, that's the bugger!  Thank you very much for the links Norma.  :-*
Good to know the juice isn't absolutely necessary.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2010, 05:32:35 PM by Tranman »

Offline norma427

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Re: Reactivating a DRY dormant starter
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2010, 05:28:30 PM »
yes, that's the bugger!  Thank you very much for the links Norma.  :-*

Farmer Tran,

You're quite welcome. for the bugger.  >:D

Norma
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Offline Matthew

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Re: Reactivating a DRY dormant starter
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2010, 07:45:01 PM »
I'm curious to know how you judge when your starters are active or at their peak performance.  How long should it take an active starter to double in volume?   Thanks for your continued help.

Your starter is fully active & ready for refrigeration and or use once it increases in volume by at least 2 inches (in a mason jar) within 2-3 hours of feeding (See the photo below).  I can't answer the 2nd question because all starters react differently.

Matt
« Last Edit: April 18, 2010, 07:46:45 PM by Matthew »

Offline sear

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Re: Reactivating a DRY dormant starter
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2010, 01:32:49 PM »
Matt, from what I have read about starters, bacteria and yeast live in a symbiotic relationship.  When first growing a new starter (or in my case reviving one) the bacteria usually can grow at a much faster rate than the yeast and outnumber them 100 to 1.  Yeast thrives in a more acidic environment.  Adding pineapple, orange, lemon, or lime juice (citric acid) helps lower the pH of the environment an thus slows down the growth of the bacteria giving the yeast a little help. 
  I have also read of another certain bacteria that tends to take over new starters, but I don't recall the name of it right now.  I'll post it if I find it or maybe someone in the know can enlighten us. 
  I have attempted to make a starter before with just yeast and water and it failed.  I've read that without the added citric acid, some 40% of starters will fail.   On my 2nd attempt, I added some lemon juice and the starter took off after 7 days.   I just carried that same line of thinking over to the new starter I'm reactivating. 
  I'll see about getting some liter jars at the store later, but I tend to think it's active if there is vigorous activity after 2 hours of feeding.   I fed the new starter this morning and it was quite active just after 2 hours.  I'll feed it a few more times to see if that makes a difference or not and for good measure.
  I'm curious to know how you judge when your starters are active or at their peak performance.  How long should it take an active starter to double in volume?   Thanks for your continued help.

hey Tran, what temp did you activate the culture at ?
in the book that i got with the san francisco sd , it says to start it at 90 which keeps the mixture more acidic to prevent contamination. then it says to reduce temp to 70 so the acid is reduced and it will allow the yeast to grow more.
im not sure if its the same for all sd starters 

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Reactivating a DRY dormant starter
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2010, 01:38:30 PM »
Sear I have always activated starters at room temperature BUT come to think of it, starting at a higher temp makes perfect sense.  Why didn't I think of that?


 

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