Author Topic: help with yeast  (Read 1480 times)

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Offline mooncrickett

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help with yeast
« on: March 15, 2010, 04:49:13 PM »
How can you tell if your yeast is too acidic, mine has been in the fridge for about 2mo(sourdo, Italian). and today was the first time i fed it, was a large layer of hooch on top, when mixed it smelled good, slight alcohol smell but good. however I am a baking rookie so i really don't know....
The perfect lover is one who turns into a pizza at 12:00 p.m


Offline mooncrickett

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Re: help with yeast
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2010, 05:14:26 PM »
wow, the help just comes pouring in
The perfect lover is one who turns into a pizza at 12:00 p.m

Offline Matthew

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Re: help with yeast
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2010, 05:24:39 PM »
How can you tell if your yeast is too acidic, mine has been in the fridge for about 2mo(sourdo, Italian). and today was the first time i fed it, was a large layer of hooch on top, when mixed it smelled good, slight alcohol smell but good. however I am a baking rookie so i really don't know....

What lead you to conclude that it's too acidic?  If you haven't used it in 2 months (presumably since you activated it) then it will likely require more than 1 feeding to activate it.  If it is not fully active by the 3rd feeding then you may want to give it a wash.  BTW, you may want to change your subject to "help with sourdough starter", maybe then you'll get more replies.

Matt

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: help with yeast
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2010, 05:27:12 PM »
wow, the help just comes pouring in

I wish I knew more about starters to give a better answer than this but sometimes a little is better than nothing right?

Here's what I do know.  Starters can last a really long time in the fridge.  I've heard of people reviving them after months and months of neglect.  This doesn't mean that you should take your starter for granted though.   Even if you are not using it at least once a week, you should feed it.  1 T of flour and a T of water will do.  Just mix it in and back in the fridge is fine.  

But if you've neglected it for a month or more, then it may require 2-3 feedings to get it back up to strength.
I would feed it and leave it on the counter.  A strong starter should get active and bubbly within 2 hours.  If it's taking 4-6 hours, then pour out half down the drain, add more flour and water and let it sit at room temps.   Repeat until you can get strong activity within 1-2 hours.  

As far as hooch goes, I use to pour it out, but now I mix it back in and use it.  I have no idea if it makes a difference or not.   To me, the hooch is where the flavor is.  :-D

Is your starter too acidic?   I guess it is if it doesn't revive within a couple of hours.   Hope that helps.

Tran
« Last Edit: March 18, 2010, 11:33:33 PM by Tranman »

Offline mooncrickett

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Re: help with yeast
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2010, 09:55:47 PM »
thanks fellas
The perfect lover is one who turns into a pizza at 12:00 p.m

Offline GotRocks

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Re: help with yeast
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2010, 04:39:54 PM »
I have got a sourdough sponge in my fridge that only gets used and fed 2-3 times a year, I have had the same batch in the same glass jar for well over 20 years now, I got a sample of the culture from my mother, she got it from her mother, and I think she got it from her mother before that! I have been told it originated in Palermo Sicily, but I doubt any of that original culture is viable yet.
I lost my sponge to improper storage many many years ago, and I was able to start a new batch by getting some starter from the batch my mother still has. it worked out nicely and I feel darn lucky she still had the stuff and it was usable.

I use it for my sourdough pancakes, and occasionally for breads on holidays where I have the time to play with a sourdough base. Now I wonder if it is workable for a decent pizza dough.

Doesn't the quality of sourdough all depend on the strains of wild yeast that are common in your immediate area?
 I was under the impression that different regions of the world have wildly different wild yeast strains each with their own unique flavor notes, strengths, and weaknesses.
 So if you brought a yeast culture from San Francisco with hopes to reproduce a San Francisco sourdough product, in less than a month that specific strain of yeast which is local to San Francisco would be taken over by what you have locally, and the flavor you expected to get a with a S-F sourdough would not be there anymore. that is what has me wondering about what I have, and if I am just lucky to have a decent yeast strain in this area.


I did do a little reading on the subject years ago, but in no way do I consider myself an expert on the topic. I just like the texture and flavor of what I am able to get from my culture which got handed down through a few generations.
If anyone wants a sample of what i have, I can send some out to you in dried form and let you rehydrate it to see what you get out of it.

Darn it, now I am thinking about making some pancakes with the stuff, I hope I still have some real syrup left from last year.
A skinny cook is not to be trusted!

Offline Bob1

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Re: help with yeast
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2010, 05:35:00 PM »
GotRocks,
The strongest strains are going to survive, especially in a weakend state and severe neglect, but I think it is more than the area.  There are thousands of yeast spores on flour and they are adapted to live on flour.  I personally believe it has more to do with what area the flour comes from than wild yeast in your kitchen.  Not that it really matters.

Bob

Offline GotRocks

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Re: help with yeast
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2010, 05:53:43 PM »
GotRocks,
The strongest strains are going to survive, especially in a weakend state and severe neglect, but I think it is more than the area.  There are thousands of yeast spores on flour and they are adapted to live on flour.  I personally believe it has more to do with what area the flour comes from than wild yeast in your kitchen.  Not that it really matters.
Bob

Thank you, I have been flipping back and forth between this section of the forum, and reading about sourdough starters on other sites and it got my wanting to bake a sourdough bread or some rolls now.
So I took my sponge out, took some of it out added flour & water, I fed the sponge, and I'll see what it looks like in the morning,
Now I am wondering what I can make without waiting a few days, because Pancakes are just not going to work for me today.

So what do you think about me starting another batch of sponge using an imported Granoro flour, and tiny amount of my current sponge as a starter?
 Do you think I would see a different end product, or would my base culture be the stronger of the two and stay the same as what i already have?
I am guessing I would need access to a gas chromatography lab to see what is actually happening, but I'll try it anyways and see what I come up with.

Sourdough is just way cool to play with, because it is like a weird science experiment that you get to eat, and it is not illegal! Ya gotta love it!!

Thanks to all you guys for giving me a project to play with to keep my mind occupied until I hear more news on my financing.
A skinny cook is not to be trusted!

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: help with yeast
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2010, 05:54:27 PM »
Gotrocks, pm sent. I'll grow a culture and test them side by side for fragrance, yeastiness, and flavor over time. I'd like to test out the theory about a local strain taking over a culture over time.  I agree with Bob, that the yeast in the feed is more likely to predominate than anything captured out of the air.  

Offline GotRocks

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Re: help with yeast
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2010, 03:30:09 PM »
I have 4-ounces of it drying on plastic right now, how much dried product is needed to start a batch? will a teaspoon or tablespoon of the dried culture be enough or do you need more?
 I do not have any batteries for the camera, so I cannot provide pictures at this time.

I plan to pull about 8-ounces out daily for a week,  and dry it so I have enough for anyone that wants some, then I'll get it refrigerated again.

my sponge is very soupy, just because that is how my mom & grandma kept it, so I do the same thing.
 Is there any benefit to having a lesser hydration for a culture that you need to keep dormant for long periods? I always have a layer of liquid on top equal to 1/3rd of the total volume. If it was not as wet, I think I would have problems during storage, what do you guys think?
A skinny cook is not to be trusted!


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: help with yeast
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2010, 05:32:22 PM »
Ooooohh good question GR. I don't know but I'm guessing not a lot. A couple of ounces maybe. Once activated it should grow pretty quick. I would imagine one could get a pretty good starter going just after 1-2 days tops.

When you use your starter, do you get any type of a sourdough taste?  The starter I'm using that I collected myself is active but doesn't impart a sourdough taste. But most things I mix it into gets used within 3 days.  Don't know what would happen beyond that.

Offline GotRocks

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Re: help with yeast
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2010, 11:10:06 PM »


I have heard some strains of wild yeast may have excellent leavening abilities, but they seriously lack flavor. the sample I am sending out is  very fragrant and imparts a heavenly flavor to breads.

I think you'll be impressed.
A skinny cook is not to be trusted!