Since TXCraig posted his Sourdough starter quantity predictive model http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,22649.0.html
I've been experimenting with cold fermentation in the fridge (35-40*F)
The purpose of these experiments was to test my assumption I could make a naturally leavened dough (no IDY/ADY/Cake Yeast) on any given night, and use it at my leisure during the week without the risk of over or under-fermenting the final dough. The quick summary is that I believe no fermentation occurs at fridge temps (under 40*F) The following is my initial findings:
*All dough made using 8.5% starter, 60% hydration, 550* NY Style*
Experiment #1 (control): 65* warm ferment only for 24 hours (no cold ferment). Great spring, mild flavor & color (due to lack of LAB effect)
Experiment #2: 84 hours cold ferment (fridge), then pull for 12.5 hours at 65* to verify predictive model. Dough seemed highly under-fermented. Poor spring, poor color. This was the initial experiment that started to raise my suspicions on whether a dough made with a starter did any fermentation in the fridge.
Experiment #3: 14 day cold ferment (fridge), 65* warm ferment for 24 hours. Although it would be a good assumption to say this dough would be way over-fermented, turns out that was not the case at all. This dough didn't start showing small bubbles until a minimum of 12 hours of 65* temps, and seemed about right around 24 hours. The spring and color were great. The only negative to this dough was the extreme extensiblility which was a catalyst for weak spots & holes. Other that that issue, the dough was perfect and this was the first time my suspensions were "verified" that little to no fermentation occurs at fridge temps.
Experiment #4: 5 day cold ferment (fridge), 65* warm ferment for 24 hours. This was a good middle of the road experiment to test between my control and my 14 day ferment. Although the dough seemed to be fully fermented, spring & color were very poor. I'm now beginning to suspect that the fridge actually damages the yeast in some way.
Experiment #4 was thrown away due to learning I stored dough in sub-freezing temperatures during this "cold ferment"
Experiment #5 (TBD). I will take a complete guess and assume 50% of yeast are "harmed" when put into the fridge. I have no reasoning for this number, just a guess. Therefore, I will raise my original 8.5% starter to 12.75% and perform experiment #4 again.
Experiment #5 is also thrown away since first day was in sub-freezing temperatures. Dough was under fermented with 13 hour rise at 72*