Author Topic: Multiple Starters  (Read 762 times)

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Offline pdog

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Multiple Starters
« on: May 09, 2011, 02:52:03 PM »
Hi,

Has anyone every grow multiple starters at the same time?  I have always heard that yeast can take over a large area.  Would the two starters turn into a hybrid of a new starter? Or can you have two different strands of yeast co-mingling without issue?

Thanks
« Last Edit: May 09, 2011, 02:56:26 PM by pdog »


foolishpoolish

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Re: Multiple Starters
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2011, 03:14:20 PM »
Hi,

Has anyone every grow multiple starters at the same time?  I have always heard that yeast can take over a large area.  Would the two starters turn into a hybrid of a new starter? Or can you have two different strands of yeast co-mingling without issue?

Thanks

Hi pdog. In considering this, it's important to remember that a starter cannot be defined by yeast alone. It's a balance of lactic acid bacteria (most notably lactobacilli) and yes yeast. So, in no way would you be creating a hybrid in the conventional sense of the word. Nor is it really a case of "A vs B" duelling it out. If both have been fed under exactly the same conditions, it would not be surprising if they already shared lactobacilli (or indeed yeast) strains in common.

The balance in any sourdough culture can be quite complex. Different bacteria will metabolise in multitude ways depending on species/strain, conditions, angle of the sun....I kid, but only slightly ;)  so the short answer is: the mixture will find a new balance over time.

Whether you want to call it a "hybrid" is up to you. If you expect it to somehow retain all the characteristics of both its predecessors, or become some sort of "super starter" then you'll probably be disappointed. Personally, I'd say, if you have two stable starters you're happy with, you're better off maintaining those two as separate entities and using them as you see fit.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2011, 03:15:57 PM by foolishpoolish »

Offline pdog

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Re: Multiple Starters
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2011, 03:23:17 PM »
Thanks for the info........ I was concerned that if I had three or four different sourdo starters growing at once they would over take each other. 

Would the cultures remain separate if I grow them in separate containers.

I guess I am really asking if I spend the money to grow different starters will I simple end up with one?

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Multiple Starters
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2011, 03:26:18 PM »
Lots of members here keep more than one starter going with no problems. I have kept 3 for several years and they are all still very different.

CL
Pizza is not bread.

Offline pdog

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Re: Multiple Starters
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2011, 03:34:01 PM »
Great...... I think I am going to start a two more this week.

Thanks for putting my mind at ease.

Have a good week.

foolishpoolish

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Re: Multiple Starters
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2011, 03:34:48 PM »
Thanks for the info........ I was concerned that if I had three or four different sourdo starters growing at once they would over take each other.  

Would the cultures remain separate if I grow them in separate containers.

I guess I am really asking if I spend the money to grow different starters will I simple end up with one?

Due to the many different ways folks have initiated and cultivated starters over the years, it is certainly possible to observe variety between them.

On these forums Bill (Bill/SFNM) has considerable experience with maintaining a variety of starters from sourdo.com etc. and I'm sure he'd testify to each possessing its own unique character providing you observe their respective feeding habits/cycles and, yes, keep them separate containers.

I used to keep  5 or 6 cultures but for different reasons (they were maintained using different flours) but I've long since given that up. :)

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Multiple Starters
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2011, 04:14:46 PM »
Maintaining multiple starters is not a problem. I now have 5 unique starters in my stable. My rule is never to be working with more than one starter at a time, mainly as precaution against me doing something stupid.

However, I always recommend for the initial activation to only do one at a time. Contamination is a serious danger at this point since the good guys are very weak and living and less than optimum conditions. You may be OK, but I wouldn't risk it.


 

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