Author Topic: Wild yeast and relationship to quantity of water  (Read 2259 times)

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Offline Sqid

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Wild yeast and relationship to quantity of water
« on: May 23, 2012, 09:26:39 PM »
I keep my preferment/starter in the fridge overnight and it takes a long time to warm up and start thriving when I feed it in the morning.  
I am now taking out what I need and putting this directly into the mixer with water and an equal amount of flour (if I need to use 500g of 50% preferment, I will put in 250g of flour).  I then put in the water that I will be using (maybe 1200g).  This ammount of water will warm up the yeast much more quickly and  allow the yeast to start propogating.  The trouble is ..... with so much water I can't see if there is any activity going on.  Any bubbles are not held on the surface and I'm wondering if so much water is detrimental to yeast fermentation.
Can anybody help?


Offline Redshirt

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Re: Wild yeast and relationship to quantity of water
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2012, 05:38:32 AM »
It is very important to make sure that your starter is FULLY alive/active before using it, you cannot expect for it to come alive within your mixture.  In my experience it just throws everything off.  To make it easier, think about a live starter as if you were using using fresh yeast, and get to know it.

Offline JimmyG

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Re: Wild yeast and relationship to quantity of water
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2012, 08:06:19 AM »
Sqid,

If you could post the full recipe you are using? I think that would help diagnose and amend what problems you are having, 1200g sure sounds like a lot of water.
Jim
Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Wild yeast and relationship to quantity of water
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2012, 08:51:45 AM »
Yeah, that's 5 cups of water, how much dough are you making?

Offline Sqid

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Re: Wild yeast and relationship to quantity of water
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2012, 12:00:46 PM »
Thanks for the replies.
I need to clarify a few things.
Redshirt, I understand that it need to be fully alive before using it.   The problem is that with so much water its

not easy to gauge as the bubbles don't keep mounting up.  I was previously feeding the culture when I took it

out of the fridge and then waiting about 2.5 hours before putting it in the mixer.  This was OK but I'm trying to

streamline things as much as possible and a bucket of preferment was taking a long time to warm up and get

active.   I figured that if I just take out the yeast I want to use then I can add more water to it and it will warm up

to active temperature almost immediately.   I can then leave it in the mixer with a handful of flour for food for

about 90 mins and after it's active I can then get to work making the dough.  I just can't see when it is at full

strength and was wondering if the massive amount of water was to much for the yeast.  Hungry yeast animals

having to swim through an ocean of water to find a particle of flour to eat!
Jimmy, I'm using the following
Flour          2000
Water        1200
preferment   400
salt              35
And dm,  yeah it is a lot but I'm starting a pizza shop.  I get 12 or 13 balls out of it (260g).   It used to be

enough (very small shop!) but we are getting busier and we need to make 2 batches a day.  Hence my need to

streamline things as much as possible.

With the culture left in the bucket I top it up with 50/50 and let it ferment for about 2.5 hours before putting it

back in the fridge.
Everything is still changing daily but I would like to know if this amount of water 1200g would make any

difference to the reproductive rate of the yeast (400g of culture) being fed 200g of flour.
Scott said on another thread that I'm verging on masochism using non bromated flour and a wild yeast culture, I

beginning to see his point!

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Wild yeast and relationship to quantity of water
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2012, 04:07:59 PM »
The night before (12-14 hours) you should build the pre-ferment at room temp to be ready for mixing the next day. Try 25g cold starter with 250 grams each flour and water to get your 400g and see where it gets you. If you need more time, or the room temp is too high, you can adjust the amount of starter as needed. This way you can time your mix to whenever you want knowing you have an active pre-ferment, and you can see the development.

John

Offline Sqid

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Re: Wild yeast and relationship to quantity of water
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2012, 03:43:47 AM »
Hi John
I was doing something similar to that before.  I was feeding the starter after taking out of the fridge at night and then letting it rest at room temperature 'till morning.  It was great some of the time but I think it was getting over fermented.   The big difference that you have suggested is the ratio of starter to feed.  I will give that a try this evening.   Thanks.
It does still leave me with the problem that if I need to do a 2nd mix in the afternoon I wont have any starter ready.   Could I put out two lots of 25g and then put one in the fridge in the morning ready for afternoon use?
Another question that comes to mind is that the 25g when it has fermented to 600g will be quite fresh and may not have so much flavor?

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Wild yeast and relationship to quantity of water
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2012, 01:40:06 PM »
You can make a larger amount of pre-ferment and then in the morning take a portion and refeed it. Use a percentage that will let the levain be ready for your afternoon batch if needed. After fermentation at room temp, the levain will be highly active and be ready faster.

I don't know what your fermentation schedule is, but using a small inoculation and a long pre-ferment will give you all the flavor your strain is capable of. You need to figure out what percentage of innoculant at your ambient room temp will get the levain to the dome stage when you are ready to mix in the morning.

John
« Last Edit: May 26, 2012, 01:44:49 PM by dellavecchia »

Offline Sqid

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Re: Wild yeast and relationship to quantity of water
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2012, 05:19:02 AM »
Hi John
I made the first batch with your method this morning.  It seems to be working as usual but I shan't be using this schedule in the future.   It adds to the complication.   Now I have 2 or maybe 3 lots of yeast to time correctly and look after!   I'm looking for a way that I can keep my mother load (bucket) of yeast healthy and happy and a way to be sure its up to full strength when I come to use it.
At the present time I'm making up dough to be refridgerated for 24 hours.   I would like to do longer but have restrictions on fridge space.
So back to my original question about water content.
I take out  600g of starter, feed the bucket with 300g water, 330g flour.    With the 600g, I feed it with 300g flour and 1500g of water.
When the bucket of starter is active and bubbling merrily will my other starter be further along or dead or need more time?
Any ideas there?
Thanks for your time.

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Wild yeast and relationship to quantity of water
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2012, 08:02:47 AM »
I understand - starters are very time consuming and take time and effort to get right. As for your initial question I don't have an answer as I have never done it that way. Starter is best activated in a covered container with equal flour and water percentages (or more near that)

As an aside, your workflow is more akin to commercial yeast. Can I ask why you are using starter? You could probably get better results with IDY using 24 hours cold ferment. Just my opinion though.

John
« Last Edit: May 27, 2012, 08:04:56 AM by dellavecchia »


Offline Sqid

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Re: Wild yeast and relationship to quantity of water
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2012, 04:25:11 PM »
I'm trying to get a system in place where my main starter batch is already semi activated,  i.e it is being fed at least once every day.   From that point I want to find the quickest most convenient route to getting it it up to full strength.   I have tried putting the starter in the still warm (from the previous night) oven,  using warm water to feed it in the morning,  feeding it at night and leaving it at room temperature 'till the morning, using different ratios of water/flour to control the rate of ferment.   Many variations.  All of which have their own problems!
I now like the idea of bringing it up to a workable temperature by adding a lot of room temperature water but then have no visual indications of what is going on!   The main starter can also be getting its morning feed and I can leave that out of the fridge while it reactivates itself.  The two processes can be done simultaneously thereby saving time and hopefully getting consistent results.
I have tried IDY but the flavor of the finished crust lends no comparison.  It would be so eeeeasy but once you've gone natural yeast starter you can't go back.  The lacto bacilllae add so much.   My customers seem to agree and we get many comments on how great the crust is.  Plus of course we're actually turning a profit now!
Thanks for your ideas John, ratio of 'starter to feed' was new to me and got the brain cells churning again!  Any more thoughts are much appreciated.

Offline bakerboy

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Re: Wild yeast and relationship to quantity of water
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2012, 11:27:53 AM »
Sqid, here's an idea that might work for you. I understand how using starter and overnight rising can get a bit frustrating because we do it. This is what ended up working for our round pies:  we made an initial large batch of dough using our preferment. We then saved a portion of that dough to use in the next batch. I would leave this dough out and let it double, so we knew it was nice and active. We used a piece of dough that was 20% of the weight of the flour for our next batch.  We let this dough rise overnight. It gave us a really nice fermented flavor and helped us simplify and streamline without sacrificing flavor. Using your dough eliminates hydration issues too.  Hope this helps
Barry

Offline Sqid

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Re: Wild yeast and relationship to quantity of water
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2012, 02:55:56 AM »
Thanks for that suggestion Barry.  Using a madre/mother if I'm not mistaken?  Never really considered it before and will take a few days to get my head around it!
The main trouble is that at the moment we cannot predict how much dough we will be using.  We had a great weekend which carried over 'till Monday night which is usually our slowest.  We've had a couple of 1 pizza days on Monday - but I hope we are permanently past that point now!  Then yesterday, Tuesday, was unusually quite.   Today we have a lot of pizza dough waiting and unlikely we will use it all.  Tomorrow it may well be over fermented and difficult to open.
Sometimes we make 1 mix a day and sometimes 2.  I'm trying to gear up for the scenario when we need to make 3 (hopes).  I know that it going to be nigh on impossible to be sure we're beginning with the starter at the same level of activity every time but I want get it as predictable as possible.  I shall be giving your idea some serious consideration.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2012, 01:12:09 PM by Sqid »

Offline Sqid

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Re: Wild yeast and relationship to quantity of water
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2012, 03:21:00 AM »
You're point about hydration issues is also well taken.  This morning, bearing in mind that the dough might be over fermented after 48 hours in the fridge,  I reduced the starter amount from 600g to 400g.  It was only after finishing mixing that I realised I hadn't compensated the water added.  Therefore we have an unplanned change in hydration from 65.5% to 62.5%.   All adds to the fun of working out what's happened to the final product when I open it tomorrow or the next day!!   


 

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