Author Topic: do all sourdough starter cultures become the same?  (Read 21844 times)

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: do all sourdough starter cultures become the same?
« Reply #300 on: May 02, 2012, 10:29:11 PM »
Jimmy, sorry I have not been following this thread more carefully.  If you plan to innoculate the new starter with a small amount of the older more established starter, how often do you plan on feeding it once the innoculation takes place?   Will you be refreshing (dumping and feeding) as soon as it domes or are you planning to let it go further. 


Chau


Offline JimmyG

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Re: do all sourdough starter cultures become the same?
« Reply #301 on: May 02, 2012, 11:30:37 PM »
Quote
Jimmy, sorry I have not been following this thread more carefully.  If you plan to inoculate the new starter with a small amount of the older more established starter, how often do you plan on feeding it once the inoculation takes place?   Will you be refreshing (dumping and feeding) as soon as it domes or are you planning to let it go further. 

Good question. I haven't thought that far ahead yet to be honest. I may search the food science lit. tonight or tomorrow and see if there is anything that may give me some ideas for how best to proceed. If you (or any other members) have any suggestions, I'm all ears.
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: do all sourdough starter cultures become the same?
« Reply #302 on: May 03, 2012, 08:29:30 AM »
Good question. I haven't thought that far ahead yet to be honest. I may search the food science lit. tonight or tomorrow and see if there is anything that may give me some ideas for how best to proceed. If you (or any other members) have any suggestions, I'm all ears.

Jim, if you decide to do the experiment, I think you will have an answer in 1-2 days tops.  How I would proceed.  

Sample 1 - active established starter (AES)
Sample 2 - active new starter (ANS)
Sample 3 - ANS innoculated with small amount AES

I would first get both to similar states of activity by dumping and refeeding until both starters reach similar states of activity in similar time frames.  It doesn't have to be exact.   Then take half of the ANS and 1/4 or less of the AES and mix thoroughly in a new container.  Now feed, and allow to get active again (or domed).  Taste it and refresh again.   Do at least 4 refreshes tasting it each time it becomes active after a refeeding.  At least 4-5 feedings b/c this should allow you to rid most of the AES if it's not activately replicating or being over taken by the new starter.  

You can note if with each feeding the flavors are leaning more towards one starter or the other, sweeter or more acidic.   You can also refresh the other 2 starters (AES and ANS) alongside this experimental batch AIS (Activated Innoculated Starter) as control samples.   Again 5 or more feedings is sufficient to give a strong indication if the AIS is leaning one way or the other or perhaps the 2 yeast samples will coexist peacefully.  
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 06:42:44 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline JimmyG

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Re: do all sourdough starter cultures become the same?
« Reply #303 on: May 03, 2012, 01:14:28 PM »
Chau,
I think that sounds reasonable enough. Any thoughts about the proportions to use in the mixed starter?
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: do all sourdough starter cultures become the same?
« Reply #304 on: May 03, 2012, 03:57:59 PM »
Chau,
I think that sounds reasonable enough. Any thoughts about the proportions to use in the mixed starter?

I'd say 20-25% is plenty.  I don't think the exact amount is critical.  I'm really just curious if you will end up with a hybrid starter or if one or the other will takeover eventually.

Chau

Offline JimmyG

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Re: do all sourdough starter cultures become the same?
« Reply #305 on: May 03, 2012, 05:54:23 PM »
Well then, my tentative plan is to mix 25% of the old starter with 25% of the new starter and 50% flour and water for the mixed starter and see how they compare to the originals. I will probably start this experiment either Sat or Sun. so if anyone has any comments, questions, concerns or additions, let me know in the next 48-72h.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 05:56:07 PM by JimmyG »
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Offline JimmyG

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Re: do all sourdough starter cultures become the same?
« Reply #306 on: May 06, 2012, 05:18:26 PM »
I started the inoculation experiment this morning following the methods outlined in the previous posts. I will attempt to refeed all starters when they have roughly doubled in volume. Ill report back when I have something to report.
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: do all sourdough starter cultures become the same?
« Reply #307 on: May 06, 2012, 05:52:06 PM »
Thank you for doing the experiment Jim.  Looking forward to your results and thoughts.

Chau

Offline JimmyG

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Re: do all sourdough starter cultures become the same?
« Reply #308 on: May 08, 2012, 08:01:15 PM »
Inoculation experiment update: Since Sunday, I have conducted 6 refeedings of the three starters. I wish I had conclusive results to share at this time, but at present, the mixed starters are showing characteristics from both starters. It is a little boozy like the new starter but also has sharp, acidic characteristics reminiscent from my original sourdough starter. The acidic and alcoholic flavors are so overwhelming it is difficult to tell whether or not it is a take over of specific flora or whether these are lingering flavors from the portions that did not get flushed down the drain. At present I am dumping about 85% of the starters off during feeding. I am going to keep this going for two more days to see if anything changes or if the pendulum will swing one way or the other.
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cornicione54

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Re: do all sourdough starter cultures become the same?
« Reply #309 on: May 09, 2012, 12:11:21 PM »
Slightly off topic (forgive me):
I've tried once more to initiate a starter culture using white flour + water. Changed brands again, this will be the 7th flour I've tried - it's an organic bread flour.
Day 8 now feeding at 2:1:1 (ie 1 part starter to 1 part food) and as in all my experiments before it has turned somewhat sourdough-like with a citrusy smell and lots of tiny micro-bubbles on the surface but absolutely no sign of yeast rise whatsoever. I'll keep feeding it another few days but it seems like this method is still not working for me.

Starting to wonder whether the conventional wisdom of "yeast in the flour" is actually true...I know that Debra Wink has hinted in the past in her articles that it might not be the case. There might be something to the old myth of "yeast from the air", or at least from the environment.


cornicione54

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Re: do all sourdough starter cultures become the same?
« Reply #310 on: May 09, 2012, 12:28:11 PM »
oh I'm not suggesting that all yeast comes from the "air". Certainly with wholegrain flours I think that there may be some yeast in the actual flour which I'd speculate grew/attached itself to the outer layers of the grain while it was growing which may have worked its way onto the bran layer but perhaps not the endosperm?

However when you get to refined white flours which have been through a roller mill, the bran is stripped away and the heat during the roller milling process probably doesn't help either.  So when white flour is being used to start a sourdough culture, I wonder if environmental organisms are more likely to be a factor?

Offline JimmyG

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Re: do all sourdough starter cultures become the same?
« Reply #311 on: May 10, 2012, 08:04:45 AM »
I agree with you, I think environment plays a large role in the what types starters we will cultivate in the end. I certainly feel your pain, I too have had many unsuccessful attempts in the past. I wish I knew the secret to capturing a hearty wild yeast strain, but I think much of it relies on chance to some degree. My only thought is that you could inoculate your starter with commercial yeast to see what happens. I know to some it would be sacrilegious but if you can get enough sour flavor from the starter, all you will need now is some leavening.  From what I have read, the majority of yeast strains produce very similar flavor compounds, so I would not expect it to radically change what flavors are in the starter you have. Good luck.
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Offline David Deas

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Re: do all sourdough starter cultures become the same?
« Reply #312 on: May 10, 2012, 10:58:08 AM »
Slightly off topic (forgive me):
I've tried once more to initiate a starter culture using white flour + water. Changed brands again, this will be the 7th flour I've tried - it's an organic bread flour.
Day 8 now feeding at 2:1:1 (ie 1 part starter to 1 part food) and as in all my experiments before it has turned somewhat sourdough-like with a citrusy smell and lots of tiny micro-bubbles on the surface but absolutely no sign of yeast rise whatsoever. I'll keep feeding it another few days but it seems like this method is still not working for me.

Starting to wonder whether the conventional wisdom of "yeast in the flour" is actually true...I know that Debra Wink has hinted in the past in her articles that it might not be the case. There might be something to the old myth of "yeast from the air", or at least from the environment.


It takes a long time to start a sourdough starter from just straight flour and water.  As I've said before, I think it probably takes me a month or more to obtain something serviceable.

A lot of guys cheat.  They'll throw in some fruit or do this or do that which is fine.  But if you're using just straight flour and water in a clean environment then you have to be prepared for the longer journey.

Offline norma427

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Re: do all sourdough starter cultures become the same?
« Reply #313 on: May 10, 2012, 11:33:27 AM »
David,

I donít want to disagree with you, but when Toby (Infoodel) helped me understand how to make natural starters at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10008.20.html it didnít take too long to get the natural starters active enough to transition and use.

Norma
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Offline David Deas

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Re: do all sourdough starter cultures become the same?
« Reply #314 on: May 10, 2012, 07:46:54 PM »
Well thats fine.  If there is one thing this thread teaches its that everybody has their own experiences.  All I can really say then is that it takes me a long time to obtain something stable and useful with just flour and water.

Offline MikeSwifty

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Re: do all sourdough starter cultures become the same?
« Reply #315 on: May 12, 2012, 07:48:38 AM »
oh I'm not suggesting that all yeast comes from the "air". Certainly with wholegrain flours I think that there may be some yeast in the actual flour which I'd speculate grew/attached itself to the outer layers of the grain while it was growing which may have worked its way onto the bran layer but perhaps not the endosperm?

However when you get to refined white flours which have been through a roller mill, the bran is stripped away and the heat during the roller milling process probably doesn't help either.  So when white flour is being used to start a sourdough culture, I wonder if environmental organisms are more likely to be a factor?


Using WHOLEGRAIN flour will probably be a lot easier.  I haven't seen anyone recommend using WHITE flour to get a starter going.  Using WHOLE WHEAT or RYE and then switching to white flour after the first couple of days is the usual recommendation.

Offline JimmyG

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Re: do all sourdough starter cultures become the same?
« Reply #316 on: May 12, 2012, 02:20:59 PM »
So I refed the inoculates and two other starters for 2 more days to see if I could notice any changes in flavor. The inoculate has turned into a mixed bag of sorts. It sort of resemble the two original starters but not entirely. I am now curious if there wasn't a reshuffling of the flora in the inoculate. I wasn't for sure so I starved inoculate for 1.5 days and then refed to see if there would be a change. The flavor did not change too much, if anything it sort of tastes now more like the new I cultivated in the previous experiment, but it is not entirely the same, it is definately distinct. I should note that the doubling time with the inoculate has increased dramatically over the experiment. It now take about twice as long and never fully doubles. I am wondering if the yeast have been over taken by the bacteria for some reason.  There are some still some flavor notes from the old starter, however it is minor. In summery, I would say that this is a new inoculated starter that shows minor characteristics of the original two starters but is distinct in its own right.
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: do all sourdough starter cultures become the same?
« Reply #317 on: May 13, 2012, 10:33:21 PM »
Jim, thanks for doing the experiment and posting your results.  I have also done a similar experiment that resulted in very similar results.  That neither yeast took over the other, but seemingly could coexist as a new culture.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=12824.msg124147#msg124147

Offline rcbaughn

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Re: do all sourdough starter cultures become the same?
« Reply #318 on: August 22, 2012, 06:03:54 PM »
So is the consensus here that whenever two starters intermingle they coexist usually? Or do some characteristics from both integrate into the starter leaving behind only some of their attributes?
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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: do all sourdough starter cultures become the same?
« Reply #319 on: August 24, 2012, 12:54:02 PM »
I have always been absolutely certain that eventually one will dominate. Maybe now I'm willing to accept that mixing could possibly result in an entirely new culture in that new combinations could been stronger. I'm involved right now in an extreme, but unscientific, experiment with a mixture of 5 starters, The Frankenstarter:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/103351246202164737889/103351246202164737889