Author Topic: Story on Ischia  (Read 1300 times)

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Offline Omidz

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Story on Ischia
« on: January 11, 2013, 03:06:08 AM »
Anyone have info on the Ischia culture? How old from what bakery etc. I checked out Ed Woods site but didn't really say how old or give too much info on it.


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Story on Ischia
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2013, 03:28:22 AM »
Anyone have info on the Ischia culture? How old from what bakery etc. I checked out Ed Woods site but didn't really say how old or give too much info on it.

Ischia is an island in the Bay of Naples. The culture is from "the most famous bakery on the island ... that has been producing sourdoughs for over 200 years."

Offline Omidz

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Re: Story on Ischia
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2013, 10:41:53 PM »
Thanks bill. Just I just started mine. It began great until I put it in the fridge. I it totally separated the sponge was floating in a mass of hooch like water. I I took it out and tried to revive it by going with 1/3,1/3,1/3, of starter flour and water. I nothing yet. She well see what happens. I I've never seen anythinglike it before though ttotal separation

Offline bfguilford

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Re: Story on Ischia
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2013, 10:30:19 AM »
Some questions for you... How did you activate the starter (what was the feeding "schedule" and temperature you kept it at)? How long did you feed it before you put it into the fridge for the first time? What did it smell like before you put it into the fridge, and what does it smell like now? How long did you leave it in the fridge before you fed it again?

If you can't save it, do you have any more dried starter to try again?

When I activated my Ischia, I aimed for low 80s temperature throughout the process. I used a method that I learned when I activated my first starter several years ago.

I fed it 4 times a day for the first 2 days, using smaller amounts (1 tbs of flour plus water at a 50/50 ratio by weight. On day 3, I started to discard 1/4 cup of starter and feed it 2-3 times a day with 1/4 cup flour and water at 50/50 by weight) for the next 3 days. Then I upped the amount of flour to 1/3 cup, and discard/fed it 2-3 times a day for the rest of that first week. It became very well established with that discard/feed cycle. I don't keep more than a cup of starter in the fridge at any time (I just don't use that much). Most people go to larger volumes of flour/water more quickly, but this method has worked for others who were having trouble with their Ischia (see http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,22697.msg230257.html#msg230257).

Hope that helps, and good luck.

Barry
Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Offline Omidz

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Re: Story on Ischia
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2013, 07:14:38 PM »
Barry. Thanks for the follow up. I got the starter to a point where it had a really good spring. After reading the post I did realize the culture had a slight vomit smell to it but I just figured hey is sour dough what do you expect. after the last big rise 48 hours in I put it in the frige. I think I should have strengthened it by feeding it once more time before doing this. Maybe that was the problem. I have emailed Ed so we'll see what he says. I took 4 ounces out and added equal parts water and flour to try and revive it. the first feeding took about 4 hours but did rise (very small bubbles though). it was at night so I put it in the frdge and pulled it out today. did the same thing equal parts of culture, flour, and water. It seems to be rising again but again slowly with very small bubbles. Even if I can get the spring back my concern is contamination. How can I make sure it's not contaminated. maybe I should just start over and buy another.

Also I too keep about a cup of starter (my other starter from breadtopia). my management of this is to at least feed it once a week with equal parts of flour and water. when I want to use it for a back I will increase the amount by feeding it 2 times and not discard then use, feed what's left over and build back up to one cup and put in the fridge.

Is the above something along what you do to manage your starter? lately after reading posts I have been concerned that maybe even that starter from breadtopia is contaminated. Maybe I am overthinking the contamination thing. My older breadtopia starter is much more sour which made me feel that maybe somethingis off with it. I gues I can always dilute the sourness simply by feeding it more before using right?

Offline bfguilford

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Re: Story on Ischia
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2013, 08:29:51 PM »
I'm not clear if you mean that you put it into the fridge after a total of 48 hours. If that's the case, I think it was far too soon. If you kept it out longer than that during the activation process, let us know. One thing I always do is feed the starter and leave it out for 60-90 minutes before putting it back into the refrigerator.

If I were you, I would take a couple of tablespoons of the starter, and go through the process I described in my last post, keeping it out of the refrigerator for around 3-4 days while you build it back up with smaller feedings and then discarding and feeding on the schedule I suggested (others may have a different take on it, but it seems to work).

I don't really need to manage my starter because I use it 2-3 times a week. I pull it out of the refrigerator, let it come to room temperature, discard around 1/3 cup, and feed it with 1/3 cup of flour and an equal amount of warmed (testing it on my wrist so that it isn't too warm) water (by weight, which I can now do by sight). If it seems a little off when I mix it with my whisk, I'll adjust either the flour or water. I then keep it at mid-70s, and in 4-6 hours, it has doubled to tripled, and is ready to use.

When I was using it less frequently, sometimes I would find that I was getting a smell that was too alcoholic, so I would discard all but a couple of tablespoons of starter and feed it with more flour/water until I got it back to a less sour state.

Hope that helps.

Barry
Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Offline Omidz

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Re: Story on Ischia
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2013, 08:45:09 PM »
Yes very helpful. Attached I did put the starter in the fridge after 48 hours. That ill rebuild and discard for this whole week outside the fridge and see what happens. I right now it takes about 4 hours for it to rise 25%. I guess doing this will in a way wash the starter as well of any impurities the yeast is struggling with. I'll let you know what happens end of the week.

Offline bfguilford

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Re: Story on Ischia
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2013, 08:44:44 AM »
If it smells really off, you might want to try "washing" your starter (Ed Wood may have suggested this already). I took this description of how to do that from a post on thefreshloaf.com:

The waste products generated by the microorganisms in the culture are the quickest way to kill a culture (besides excess heat). When the build-up becomes dangerous, you need to wash the culture to remove the contaminates.
Bring the culture to room temp if refrigerated. Feed the culture normally, let it sit until fully activated, put half your culture in a very well rinsed water glass, cover the glass with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator as back-up.
You should keep about 1/2 cup of culture remaining in the jar. Fill the jar with about 1-1/2 to 2 cups of lukewarm water, around 90 degrees or so. Stir well, pour 1/2 cup of the diluted culture into a well rinsed measuring cup, dispose of the rest. Clean and rinse the jar USING NO SOAP. Pour the 1/2 cup culture back into the jar and add 4 ounces of flour only, adjust mixture as necessary using flour or water to get to thick pancake batter consistency. the diluted culture should reactivate quickly since the remaining microorganisms were active to start with.
A culture thatís been neglected in the refrigerator for quite a while may need to be fed regularly and washed every couple of days for three or so washings. If you have a good culture, the first thing youíll notice is the yeast and lactobacillus get real happy in a clean environment. If you should buy a real sourdough culture from someone like Sourdough International, NEVER put anything in it but flour and water...Period.
The way to tell if your culture is damaged is: if the flour settles to the bottom of the jar and packs to a semi-solid mass and you get sour brackish water on top, the bacteria survived but the yeast didnít (if youíve been dumping sugar or fruit juice in your culture, I wouldnít even want to hazard a guess at what bacterias youíve been growing; If youíve also been dumping vinegar in your culture you probably killed all the bacteria anyway so donít worry about it). If you get an active starter that just produces alcohol but no sourness, the yeast survived but the lactobacillus didnít. If all is well, toss or use the back-up in the water glass.

Good luck.

Barry
Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Offline Omidz

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Re: Story on Ischia
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2013, 01:36:45 AM »
All good Barry. I just needed more time. I'm making my first batch with it right now. Well see how it performs as far as oven spring.

Offline bfguilford

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Re: Story on Ischia
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2013, 07:32:52 PM »
That's great. Post some pics with the results.

Barry
Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.