Author Topic: Starter Activity Level  (Read 1098 times)

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Offline austintjones

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Starter Activity Level
« on: July 27, 2011, 01:57:04 PM »
Has anyone done an experiment to test the leavening power of a starter at various stages of activity after feeding? I have heard a broad range of opinions on when it is best to use an active starter after feeding, ranging from 2 hours to 12 hours. I know that doming is the generally accepted point of activity that it should be used, but how big of an effect does this have on flavor/oven spring/sourness? My idea is that after doming (4 hours or so in) the amount of yeast remains relatively the same for the next 8 hours, while the acidity is increasing still, am I off the mark in this thought? This would mean the oven spring would be relatively the same during that window but flavor would be vastly effected. I need some insight, any thoughts? I'm working with the ischia by the way.



Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Starter Activity Level
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2011, 04:08:41 PM »
Has anyone done an experiment to test the leavening power of a starter at various stages of activity after feeding? I have heard a broad range of opinions on when it is best to use an active starter after feeding, ranging from 2 hours to 12 hours. I know that doming is the generally accepted point of activity that it should be used, but how big of an effect does this have on flavor/oven spring/sourness? My idea is that after doming (4 hours or so in) the amount of yeast remains relatively the same for the next 8 hours, while the acidity is increasing still, am I off the mark in this thought? This would mean the oven spring would be relatively the same during that window but flavor would be vastly effected. I need some insight, any thoughts? I'm working with the ischia by the way.

I think you're leaving out some important variables not the least of which is how much you use in your formula. With the tiny amounts I use, I think the only effect would be on the fermentation time. If you use larger quantities, flavor may also be affected.

CL
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline austintjones

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Re: Starter Activity Level
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2011, 04:49:55 PM »
I think you're leaving out some important variables not the least of which is how much you use in your formula. With the tiny amounts I use, I think the only effect would be on the fermentation time. If you use larger quantities, flavor may also be affected.

CL

I use a smaller amountl, 1.8% of total dough currently. My curiosity is geared more towards the quantity of yeast as a starter matures within the culture itself. Does the yeast continue to feed on the culture and produce more yeast 5 hours after feeding? My scientific understanding of the process is minimal.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Starter Activity Level
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2011, 05:26:50 PM »
How long your yeast feed and reproduce after feeding has to do with a number of factors - what was the microbial count to start, temperature, amount of food introduced, hydration, etc. Once the food is exhausted, they will start to die off.

The activity of the starter will affect your fermentation time first and foremost. If you introduce more yeast (a more active culture), your fermentation will be faster. If you intoduce less, it will be slower. Assuming you take the dough fermentation to the same point (as opposed to fermenting for the same time), most of the finished dough attributes should be similar whether your culture is more or less active.

I think the most important consideration to worry about it having a similar level of activity each time you use the culture. This allows you to forecast your fermentation time and aids in consistency.

CL
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline texmex

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Re: Starter Activity Level
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2011, 05:32:32 PM »
I think the most important consideration to worry about it having a similar level of activity each time you use the culture. This allows you to forecast your fermentation time and aids in consistency.

CL

Oh hell, it's already Wednesday again!  ...which means my cold unfed 20 percenter needs to be made in roughly 30 minutes to get the optimum results.   :-D 
Reesa

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Starter Activity Level
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2011, 07:51:05 PM »
Oh hell, it's already Wednesday again!  ...which means my cold unfed 20 percenter needs to be made in roughly 30 minutes to get the optimum results.   :-D 

My point exactly... You know exactly how it's going to work.
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline texmex

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Re: Starter Activity Level
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2011, 08:31:37 PM »
Too true!

My window of opportunity is closing fast...but I guess I'll just wait til tomorrow and watch all my knowledge fly into another realm.  Yeah, I'll go where others fear to tread...haha. 
If I'm gonna push it, might as well try a 30% starter dough...heck, maybe it's time for bread again.
Reesa


 

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