Author Topic: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters  (Read 44116 times)

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Offline vtsteve

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #225 on: February 28, 2016, 11:00:11 AM »
It is now sitting on my kitchen counter at 68 degrees.
When the house is cool, I put my starter in the cabinet over the fridge (it's about 5 degrees warmer in there).
« Last Edit: February 28, 2016, 11:01:48 AM by vtsteve »
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Offline Pizzaposer

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #226 on: February 28, 2016, 03:51:59 PM »
Great idea! Thank you.

Offline Pizzaposer

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #227 on: February 29, 2016, 09:07:16 PM »
I just became a supporting member.  I'm absolutely not saying this because I want a pat on the back (if I wanted a pat on the back I would have become a lifetime member).  It's just that I've been sitting here for last two hours reading everything written about "poolish" and "starters" and I came to realize that there is so much information here that I could no longer deny that this forum has a true monetary value.  Just saying thanks to Pete and those of you who have contributed your knowledge is not enough.  I think that was I am saying is; after nearly three years of lurking and many nights of acquired knowledge I had to show that I appreciate the effort.  I should have contributed after reading the ENTIRE 200+ pages of the Blackstone thread and I can only say I am very sorry for not doing so sooner.  If only I weren't too cheap to become a lifetime member!  :-D :-D :-D

BTW, my starter no longer has an odor, had some bubbles this evening when I got home from work and has been fed.  I am hopeful... .

Thanks again for the help -- Robb

P.S.  I wish there were a way to give somewhere between the $10 annual and $100 lifetime dues. ???

Offline Steve

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #228 on: February 29, 2016, 09:14:49 PM »
I just became a supporting member.

Thanks for supporting the site, it is very much appreciated!

Offline Pizzaposer

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #229 on: March 01, 2016, 09:54:48 PM »
Ok, so I'm not sure anyone is reading this, but then again I might just be writing as therapy.  So this morning I was running late for a meeting and forgot to feed the starter.  Day 3 and I forget!  My son is home for Spring Break so I sat in my office all day fretting over whether to ask him to do it.  I know he will screw it up (he's looking over my shoulder as I type :D...)  so I decided to bite the bullet and wait until I get home.  I don't get home until 7:30 and there is absolutely no rise to the stater.  I discarded half and fed with over one half cup of flour and a half cup of warm water.  It is now 9:40 and it is growing like crazy!

Question:  Ed Wood says it is now time (tomorrow morning) to divide the starter into two batches.  Should I do this?  Wait a few more feedings?  I know, someone might be wanting to tell me that everyone treats their starters differently, but I am just looking for a general consensus.  It would be greatly appreciated.  Best -- Robb

Offline norma427

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #230 on: March 01, 2016, 10:01:38 PM »
Robb,

You could discard some and feed the starter for another day.  It's takes a little while for the Ischia starter to become stable enough to use. 

Norma

Offline texmex

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #231 on: March 02, 2016, 07:56:59 AM »
Writing as therapy is a good thing.  Nurturing starters as therapy is also pretty cool.

I found that with the Ischia you want to feed and discard on a regular schedule when leaving the culture on the counter. I skipped one feeding and my Ischia went to the dark side.    :-\

Fortunately I had already split my culture into 2 batches and had already stored 1 batch in the fridge...so my backup became my main.  You can wash your culture if it goes bad so don't panic too much if that happens. 

Sounds like you're having success,  keep up your writing therapy so that others might learn from your experiences.  There are plenty of threads already here about the exact same process and worries and questions about Ischia starter, but following your own documentation can also help you remember how things turned out the way they did after the fact.  Next thing you know you are blaming yourself for not doing it right, or blaming yourself for not letting your son take care of it since he probably would have done it right! :-D 
Reesa

Offline Pizzaposer

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #232 on: March 02, 2016, 08:40:32 PM »
Norma/texmex,

Thanks for the helpful comments.  I am going to take Norma's advice feed the starter for another day or two before I split it.  It really smells nice.  It was fed at exactly 7:30 am and p.m. and it has doubled both times. 

texmex,  I think you are right (though I am using Norma's thread and maybe should be posting this elsewhere) this writing is clearing my mind and keeping me focused.  I hope I am now on the regular schedule you recommend. 

While exploring this thread http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=38034.msg418034#msg418034 , I learned that others, including Craig, are having great success with starters that have lain dormant for very long periods.  I plan to get this starter stable and let it sit until early April when I can break out the Blackstone.  If it revives I am off to the next adventure.

I have loved using a tweaked version of Glutenboy's dough (god bless you dude!) for the last two years but I am really hoping to do a poor-man's clone of a Craig this year.  Per his instructions, I've got the ice bottle and cooler ready for the ferment and have read over the starter tool about 15 times.  If only I had some math skills to make some of these conversions in my head I might be halfway there.  Best -- Robb

Offline norma427

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #233 on: May 28, 2016, 11:36:38 AM »
I am not sure what is going on with the Ischia starter.  I did post on another thread that I wanted to get the Ischia starter activated again after it being dormant in the fridge since December of 2015.  The Ischia starter was removed from the fridge on Thursday evening and some was discarded and it was fed water and KAAP.  By Friday morning it didn't look like it had done very much.  I then fed it 00 Americana flour and didn't expect too much from that either.   I knew the 00 Americana flour has some malt in it.  When I got home yesterday the starter was active.  It was fed again and was ready to be used last evening for pizza dough.  Does anyone know if the malt in the 00 Americana flour will hurt or help the starter?   ???

Photos of starter last evening, this morning after being fed and another Ischia starter that still is in the fridge.  The dormant starter was put in the fridge when the other other one was in December 2015.

Norma

Offline texmex

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #234 on: May 28, 2016, 12:33:18 PM »
I am not sure what is going on with the Ischia starter.  I did post on another thread that I wanted to get the Ischia starter activated again after it being dormant in the fridge since December of 2015.  The Ischia starter was removed from the fridge on Thursday evening and some was discarded and it was fed water and KAAP.  By Friday morning it didn't look like it had done very much.  I then fed it 00 Americana flour and didn't expect too much from that either.   I knew the 00 Americana flour has some malt in it.  When I got home yesterday the starter was active.  It was fed again and was ready to be used last evening for pizza dough.  Does anyone know if the malt in the 00 Americana flour will hurt or help the starter?   ???

Photos of starter last evening, this morning after being fed and another Ischia starter that still is in the fridge.  The dormant starter was put in the fridge when the other other one was in December 2015.

Norma

This is a very interesting question, malt in our starters...good or bad?  I ran across this very interesting brewers article which discusses additives for yeasts and starters.  Similar type discussions, does it translate when thinking of baking rather than brewing?  I  would hope there is crossover knowledge to be learned...https://www.maltosefalcons.com/tech/yeast-propagation-and-maintenance-principles-and-practices
I find it interesting that the mention of varying  salt additions is another factor for brewer yeast propogation.


 "If the flour's ingredient label doesn't indicate enzymes or malt were added, then add powdered, diastatic malt at a rate of 0-2% of the flour weight. Calvel used 0.5% based on the flour weight in the initial dough of his primary-culture levain"  https://en.m.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cookbook:Sourdough_Starter

TURBO CHARGING (doping) a starter: 
http://samartha.net/SD/images/BYDATE/02-08-14/index.html
« Last Edit: May 28, 2016, 01:19:27 PM by texmex »
Reesa

Offline norma427

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #235 on: May 28, 2016, 03:45:39 PM »
Reesa,

I am not sure if beer starters and a starter like the Ischia are somewhat the same.  Thanks for the link! The Ischia starter doesn't smell any different than from previous times  since the malted flour was added. 

Norma

Offline texmex

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #236 on: May 28, 2016, 04:05:37 PM »
Reesa,

I am not sure if beer starters and a starter like the Ischia are somewhat the same.  Thanks for the link! The Ischia starter doesn't smell any different than from previous times  since the malted flour was added. 

Norma

Norma, I am sure there are major differences, but yeast is yeast!  Certain things help them to have their little parties in their yeast hotels and make millions of yeastie babies for us.  Beer, being my favorite food group, is something that I really want to correlate to the dough....I mean, just look at all thos Capt.Bob beer pizzas!  Dreamy....swoon.  LOL

I am glad your Ischia smells decent after all this time.  Hopefully it wakes right up and is raring to go!
I have not tried to revive mine again.  I do have this jar of Moby going. It was immature, and spent, so I took 15 g SD and added 75g water, 75g flour on May the 4th.  Straight back to the fridge.  It never rose, had small bubbles, and smells like wine.  Today I took it from the fridge and fed it 100/100 at 11:30.... no discard....2 hours later at room temp it had a lot of bubbles, but very minimal rise so far.
Reesa


Offline norma427

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #237 on: May 28, 2016, 11:53:56 PM »
Norma, I am sure there are major differences, but yeast is yeast!  Certain things help them to have their little parties in their yeast hotels and make millions of yeastie babies for us.  Beer, being my favorite food group, is something that I really want to correlate to the dough....I mean, just look at all thos Capt.Bob beer pizzas!  Dreamy....swoon.  LOL

I am glad your Ischia smells decent after all this time.  Hopefully it wakes right up and is raring to go!
I have not tried to revive mine again.  I do have this jar of Moby going. It was immature, and spent, so I took 15 g SD and added 75g water, 75g flour on May the 4th.  Straight back to the fridge.  It never rose, had small bubbles, and smells like wine.  Today I took it from the fridge and fed it 100/100 at 11:30.... no discard....2 hours later at room temp it had a lot of bubbles, but very minimal rise so far.

Reesa,

I know yeast is yeast, but starters are a different animal, at least for me.  You made me chuckle when you talked about certain things help them to have their little parties in their yeast hotels and then make millions of yeastie babies for us.  :-D I know CaptBob makes delicious pizza with beer in his poolish.

The Ischia did wake up and was raring to go. There were some pizzas made tonight with the Ishcia as the leavening agent.

Glad to hear your Moby starter is doing so well now.  ;D

Norma

Offline paulraphael

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #238 on: June 21, 2016, 10:43:13 AM »
Jumping on the Ischia bandwagon here.

I'm in the process of activating my first Ischia starter, and want to make sure things are ok. I had to leave town for a day and a half in the middle of activation, which seems to have dealt the starter a setback.

In the beginning, I was paranoid about contamination, so I sterilized my first batch of flour (KAap) in a canning jar in a pressure cooker, and hydrated with water that had been boiled. I then let it sit at exactly 90°F.
After 18 hours, it was bubbling madly—seemed more like the LAB than any yeast. The liquid on top was clear, and it smelled strongly of fermentation (my girlfriend said it smelled like kefir).

I then dropped to 70°F and started feeding every 12 hours. It bubbled, but never foamed up. Smell eventually got milder over 48 hours.

Then I had to abandon it for about 30 hours. I gave it a feeding beforehand and left it at around 65–75°F. When I got back it had a lot of clear liquid on top, a fair number of bubbles, and a sweeter fermented smell. I poured off about 2/3, fed again, continued at 70°

Now after 12 hours the activity seems very low. Clear liquid, smells good, but very few bubbles. Should I feed as normal this morning, or do something else?

Thanks so much for any input.

Edited to add: I checked the pH and it's hovering around 3.5. Is this unusually acidic? Could this be impeding the yeast? And if so, is there a way to buffer it besides feeding it a lot?

Edited 5 hours later to add: I dumped all but a cup and fed it, and it seems to have sprung to life. This time I divided into two batches, just as an experiment: one is in a cooler at 70°F, the other is on the counter at 80°F. Both are doing well. The cooler one last measured pH 4.2 and smells sweeter. The warmer one measured pH 3.9. This fits what I'd expect. I'm assuming the yeast will ultimately build up stronger in the cooler one, since 70-75 seems to have the highest yeast vs. LAB activity.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2016, 04:29:21 PM by paulraphael »

Offline norma427

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Re: Finally Am Trying to Activate My Starters
« Reply #239 on: June 24, 2016, 09:11:44 AM »
Paul,

It sounds what you are trying is working well.  Just keep feeding a discarding. 

Norma