Author Topic: Sourdough Starter question  (Read 1071 times)

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Offline JordyLordy

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Sourdough Starter question
« on: December 17, 2011, 01:06:08 PM »
Hello,
     I made a sourdough starter some time back and used it a few times for some excellent crusts.  It has been in the fridge forgotten now for I'd guess about six weeks.  I pulled it out today, thinking of making a sourdough crust with some Caputo 00. 
     When I smelled it, it smelled a little like the chemical my teachers used to use to make copies with in grade school (For those of you 50 or over, remember the purplish-ink papers) only stronger.  It might be an alcohol smell, but it's not on the same branch of the tree as would be common in beer brewing.  It is not hideous, but rather a kind of alcohol/chemical cross.  The liquid is smoky-gray in color and the dough underneath is still a white color.  When I stir it, I then get a faint smell (but only faint) of the old dough (brewing) that I remember.
     This was started using bread flour if that's relevent.
     MY QUESTION is, would this be something you would use or would you start over again with a new starter?  I understand, I'd probably need to dump half and refeed, but I'm wondering if it's safe.  Thanks.
Jordy


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Sourdough Starter question
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2011, 01:50:43 PM »
Hello,
     I made a sourdough starter some time back and used it a few times for some excellent crusts.  It has been in the fridge forgotten now for I'd guess about six weeks.  I pulled it out today, thinking of making a sourdough crust with some Caputo 00. 
     When I smelled it, it smelled a little like the chemical my teachers used to use to make copies with in grade school (For those of you 50 or over, remember the purplish-ink papers) only stronger.  It might be an alcohol smell, but it's not on the same branch of the tree as would be common in beer brewing.  It is not hideous, but rather a kind of alcohol/chemical cross.  The liquid is smoky-gray in color and the dough underneath is still a white color.  When I stir it, I then get a faint smell (but only faint) of the old dough (brewing) that I remember.
     This was started using bread flour if that's relevent.
     MY QUESTION is, would this be something you would use or would you start over again with a new starter?  I understand, I'd probably need to dump half and refeed, but I'm wondering if it's safe.  Thanks.
Jordy

I think what you describe is routine for a dormant starter. I feed my old starters for a couple of days to bring them back to full activity. If it still smells off, then maybe it has been contaminated.


Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Sourdough Starter question
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2011, 02:30:37 PM »
I agree with Bill, I often keep a starter in the fridge and forget about it for weeks at a time. I simply pour off the hooch, give it a good stir,and start a feeding regime all over again. It may take a few feeding cycles to get it up to strength

Offline MrA

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Re: Sourdough Starter question
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2012, 01:08:17 AM »
I keep starter in the frige also. the gray stuff is natural, just pour it off and fees your hungry yeasties. Leave it out all day if it bubbles it's still good. Six weeks is longer than I have ever not fed the starter. After a week , it gets to what you describe. It's probably good, just dormant, yesasts are hard to kill, unless you have been stirring it with a dirty spoon, and introduced some off bacteria. So what did you do? was it OK?


 

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