Author Topic: Need help with my starter--I think.  (Read 968 times)

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Offline cunninmp

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Need help with my starter--I think.
« on: December 05, 2011, 01:56:47 PM »
Hi Everyone,
To begin with. I got SF Sourdough culture from Ed Wood. Also built a proofing box. I started the process
on the morning of Dec 2nd. Now it's Dec 5th, so I'm 72 hours into it. I used the culture and 3/4 cup flour and water
just like he says. After 24 hours proofing at 88 degrees it had grown 2 1/2 times and smelled great. Then I started the
12 hour routine of 1 cup flour and enough water to maintain consistency. The second 24 hours went well. Nice smell
and bubbles. So last night and this morning fed as normal, but the smell isn't nearly as strong and growth is almost
nonexistent. Smells more like just flour and water. After the first 24 hours proofing at room temp around 70 degrees.
Taste is good, not to strong and not to mild.
I'm following his instructions to the letter. He states the contamination might occur in the first 24 hours and it would have
an "unpleasant odor". Mine smelled pretty good to me.
So am I jumping to conclusions or is it just to early in the process? Should I wash it or give it a few more days?
Also saw in one post the suggestion of adding some rye flour, not sure if I should.
Thanks for any light you might shed on this.
Mike C.
Groveland, CA
 


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Need help with my starter--I think.
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2011, 03:21:34 PM »
What was your temp after you started the 12 hour routine? My SF culutre (also from Ed Wood) took more than 24 hours to activiate. Several days if I remember correctly; it's been a number of years. Unless you got it too hot and killed it, my guess is that is either too cool and activity has slowed, or you had something else growing at first and now the SF culture is starting to take over. I'd give it some time and keep following the instructions to the letter.

If you decide to try deviating from the instructions - adding rye or pineapple juice (someone will reccomend this) or whatever else, I'd divide the culture in half and only experient with one of the halves.
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline cunninmp

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Re: Need help with my starter--I think.
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2011, 03:34:47 PM »
Thanks so much for the reply. The first 24 hours it ran at 87 to 88 degrees. Ed did say not to go over 90.
At night the house does get kinda cool. We're at 3000 ft and it's been 24 to 26 outside.
Been keeping the inside at 67 to 68 night, and 70 to 71 during the day.
Does this info help any???

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Need help with my starter--I think.
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2011, 04:21:08 PM »
Thanks so much for the reply. The first 24 hours it ran at 87 to 88 degrees. Ed did say not to go over 90.
At night the house does get kinda cool. We're at 3000 ft and it's been 24 to 26 outside.
Been keeping the inside at 67 to 68 night, and 70 to 71 during the day.
Does this info help any???

Yes, I think it may be your answer. The yeast growth rate is slowing by 50% or so at 67-70F vs 87F. I'd try keeping it at about 80-82F for now (which should be near optimal) and see what happens. Once you're sure you have good activity, it is OK to bring it down to lower temps for storage. Even the refrigerator is fine. Just remember that the colder you get it and the longer you have it there (particularly if not feeding it regularly), the longer it willtake to get it back up to full lactivity. After a few months in the fridge, for example, it might take a couple days to get it back to full activity.

I keep my cultures in the fridge, but the ones I get out and use and feed every week come back to full activity in less than a day.

Hope this helps.

Craig
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline cunninmp

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Re: Need help with my starter--I think.
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2011, 04:39:11 PM »
TXCraig1
Wow---a picture is worth a thousand words.
So I've put it back in the proof box. Running 79/80 degrees.
Will report back tomorrow with results.
Again, thanks so much for the graph. Amazing what a few degree's will do.
 

Offline cunninmp

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Re: Need help with my starter--I think.
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2011, 11:42:58 AM »
Craig,
So yesterday afternoon, probably 1:00pm pst, I cranked the proof box to 80 degrees. Put both 1 quart
wide mouth jars and starter in it. Fed at around 9:00pm last night. Also instead of throwing out half of the
starter, I put it in another 1 quart jar to give to a friend, total of about 2 cups starter in that jar.
Put my 2 regular jars back in the proofing box at 80 degrees and left the third jar out. At 6:00am this morning
house was around 66/67 degrees. Lifted proofing box and both cultures had doubled.
Now for the shocking find, the third culture that I had left out in ambient air was actually trying to push the cap
off of the jar. The shot of heat I gave them yesterday appears to have really activated the yeast.
It's now almost 12 hours since the last feeding and all 3 jars have receded about 1". So now I'll feed all three and keep track
of when they double. Will leave 2 in the proofing box and the other in ambient air.  Might drop proof box down to 77/78
degrees and see what happens. One final thought, the 2 in the proof box smell only slightly stronger then the one in
ambient air. Amazing.
Mike C.   Groveland, CA

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Need help with my starter--I think.
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2011, 11:55:23 AM »
Glad to hear it is working. Once you start experimenting, if you have any specific questions I or others can help with, please don't hesitate to ask.

Craig
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline cunninmp

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Re: Need help with my starter--I think.
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2011, 04:42:46 PM »
Craig,
This is unbelievable.
It's only been 3 hours since the last feeding and I have a mess on my hands.
The 2 jars in the proof box (76 degrees) have popped their lids and I have starter
all over. I put wax paper under them so no big deal.
They are now in ambient at 69 to 70 and they are refusing to stop growing. The 1 jar at ambient has
grown about 2 inches. Another 3 and it'll overflow.
I'll feed again tonight and just leave them at room temp.
If I get the same reaction, can I put them in the frig tomorrow morning?? That'll be 5 days from the start.
One more question. Will the Ischia culture react to temp like the San Francisco?? I'll start that one
in a couple of weeks. I also have the culture from Naples.
That chart is worth it's weight in gold. Can't thank you enough.
Mike Cunningham    Groveland, CA 20 miles from the west gate going into Yosemite N.P. 3000 ft altitude.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Need help with my starter--I think.
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2011, 08:54:05 PM »
I think you'll find both the Ischia and SF show similar changes in growth rate vs. temp. I use both, and that has been my experience. You should be ready to go to the fridge any time now.

CL
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.