Author Topic: my starters aren't doing well  (Read 1252 times)

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Offline Pizzalogy

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my starters aren't doing well
« on: May 18, 2010, 09:57:18 PM »
a little over a month ago i made my first sour dough starter by following the pineapple method like in the video on breadtopia. it was doing great but i only got a chance to bake with it once since i discovered this website shortly thereafter and began focusing all of my attention on making pizza.

i did get around to attemping to make a rye starter though, by combing some of the whole wheat starter with rye flour and water. but my rye starter never took off and soon died. as for my whole wheat starter, it never regained it's health after i put it in the fridge. it's been out of the fridge for a few days now as i am trying to nurse it back to health and feeding it every day but it's not very active. nothing compared to how it was when i first created it. can anyone tell me what's wrong? how can i get it back into baking condition? why did my rye starter die?
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 09:59:06 PM by Pizzalogy »


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: my starters aren't doing well
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2010, 10:48:24 PM »
Just keep feeding your starter. As long as it has some activity it is alive and will get stronger.  Keep feeding it once or twice a day with equal amounts of flour and water and be patient. Sometimes a weakened or neglected starter can take 3-4 days to revive.

Your other rye starter may have died depending on how long it seemingly ha no activity. When starting a new starter give it 7-10 days. If there is still no activity after that, just start another one.  I'm making pizza at the moment so I can't go into detail or find the links but I can later.   

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: my starters aren't doing well
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2010, 11:55:20 PM »
thanks tranman. i can wait for more details. i made the rye starter by putting some of my whole wheat starter (once it was already alive and healthy) into another container and then feeding it rye flour and water. i was under the impression that it wouldn't take 7-10 days because all i was doing was transitioning from whole wheat to rye, i wasn't creating a rye starter from scratch.

as for the whole wheat starter, there is definitely activity so i will keep feeding it. i have a question about that though, on breadtopia i believe they said you should discard half of your starter every time you feed it. i have been doing that and feeding it one cup of flour each time. this seems to waste a lot of flour as you can imagine, especially if i were to feed it twice a day. is there a more economical way to feed your starter or is this just the price you have to pay for reviving it?

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: my starters aren't doing well
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2010, 12:31:42 AM »
Whoops sorry I misread your post about the rye starter.  Yes, I would think that would only take 1-2 days max.    I would start with 1 cup of active starter and then just add in 2 Tbs of rye flour and water, and repeat until active.

Yes some sources say use 1 cup of flour and discard half.  Maybe that's the proper way of doing things but I have never been into wasting stuff even if it's cheap.  I do things my own way and sometimes get slack for it but if it works it works. 

I usually just add about 1-2 Tbs of flour and eyeball a bit of water.  Stir it up.  If it's a bit dry add a bit more water in it.  I don't dump out any of the starter unless I've got a jar full and it's not active yet, but this rarely is the case. 

For a new starter, I usually feed it twice a day.  Once it starts to get more active, I'll feed it every 4 hours and then when it rises about a couple inches after a feeding within 2 hours it's active. 

To use it, I take it out and stir in a Tbs of flour and water and let it sit for a few hours.  Once it's semi active I'll use it.  I think the norm is to let it get fullly active before using. 

Here's why I think your starter died.  Read reply 8-10
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10753.0.html

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: my starters aren't doing well
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2010, 12:34:33 PM »
ok i think my starter is getting more healthy. last night i fed it, then a couple of hours later it had doubled in size and was very active. when i checked this morning, it had gone back down (i think maybe the reason i thought it was less active before was because i was feeding it at night, going to bed and then chekcing it in the morning). i may try to make some pizza dough with it this weekend, or perhaps bread. i don't know lol, too many possibilties. how do you alter a pizza dough recipe to use starter instead of yeast?

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: my starters aren't doing well
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2010, 07:52:46 PM »
I did an experiment sometime ago looking for a conversion factor for ADY and my starter and concluded that 1/8 tsp of ADY is equivalent to 15gm or approximately 1 Tbs of my starter.  You can read about it here.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10658.0.html.

It's not exact science but close enough. Depending on the strength of your starter you may find that conversion to be accurate or not. You can repeat the same experiment if you have the inclination.  I would use 1/10 tsp of IDY to 15gm of starter myself but again, experiment and adjust accordingly.   
« Last Edit: May 23, 2010, 06:45:24 AM by Tranman »

Offline Pizzalogy

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Re: my starters aren't doing well
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2010, 04:29:45 AM »
is the refrigeration/proofing procedure the same with the sourdough then?

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: my starters aren't doing well
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2010, 06:47:17 AM »
is the refrigeration/proofing procedure the same with the sourdough then?

pretty much unless your starter is really weak or really strong, the times should be approximately the same.


 

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