Author Topic: Ischia starter and pH tests  (Read 3161 times)

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Online norma427

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Ischia starter and pH tests
« on: November 25, 2013, 06:30:49 PM »
I have not fed the Ischia starter since I made dough for Steve's home to try out in my Blackstone unit.  I noticed this morning that the starter that was pushed in the back of the refrigerator developed a gray liquid on top of the starter and the lid that does fit too well anyway was up a little.  I just had rubber bands on the plastic container to help keep the lid on.  I thought I better get it out of the fridge and feed it.  I did not think at the time to try to take the pH of the starter with the gray liquid on top but the Ischia starter smelled like acetone.  My pH meter was at market anyway and I only thought today while I was at market maybe I could find out something about starters if I took the pH meter home. 

The Ischia starter was feed this morning with KAAP after the gray liquid was drained off.  When I got home from market a little while ago I did take the pH number.  The pH number was 3.86 as shown on the one photo.  I am going to feed the starter again tonight and take the pH number again. 

I might take some more pH numbers for a little while.

If anyone wants me to do anything else or feed it different flours just let me know.


Norma
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Online norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2013, 06:57:15 AM »
If anyone is interested these are the pH numbers right after feeding the Ischia starter last evening and before it was fed this morning.  The pH number did not change much since the feeding last evening.  The starter is not active enough and although the smell is getting better if does not have the pleasant smell that the Ischia starter usually does when it is ready to be used.

Mmmph was kind to send me some of his dried Moby, or Cape Fear starter with great instructions.  Mmmph also had the Moby dried culture wrapped very well.  Thanks Mmmph!  ;D Life has been busy lately so I did not have the chance to activate it, but I will take some pH numbers when I do activate the Moby culture to see if the pH numbers are different than the Ischia starter.

I know taking pH numbers might not tell me anything, but I was interested if they might tell me something.

Does anyone know what pH number might tell when a starter culture is ready to use?

Norma
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Offline JD

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2013, 07:45:47 AM »
This is interesting Norma, I'll be following this thread.

You do not need to do this experiment, but in the past I had some severe breakdown of gluten structure from allowing a dough to proof at a very warm temperature (85-95*). I was falling behind schedule and tried to "super-activate" the yeast.  I believe the dough became highly acidified, but have no way of knowing. If you happen to be in this situation one day, I'd be curious to know the ph level of that dough.

Thanks for posting!
Josh

Online norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2013, 09:16:09 PM »
This is interesting Norma, I'll be following this thread.

You do not need to do this experiment, but in the past I had some severe breakdown of gluten structure from allowing a dough to proof at a very warm temperature (85-95*). I was falling behind schedule and tried to "super-activate" the yeast.  I believe the dough became highly acidified, but have no way of knowing. If you happen to be in this situation one day, I'd be curious to know the ph level of that dough.

Thanks for posting!

JD,

I did do some pH numbers before on some doughs and some other tests using the pH meter.  I can't recall off hand all that I did. 

Hmm, that sounds interesting that you have some severe breakdown of the gluten structure in dough when proofing at a warm temperature.  I do take my dough balls at market and put them into the warming cabinet when I am behind in letting dough balls warm up and the temperature in the proofing or warming cabinet is about the same temperature you mentioned.  I never saw those dough ball acidify.  Do you mean a dough ball with a starter as the yeast?  I will remember what you posted and take the pH of a dough ball if I think the dough ball has done what you said. 

Norma
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Offline JD

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2013, 07:54:43 AM »
Do you mean a dough ball with a starter as the yeast?

Yes, I have been making a 24hr dough using Ischia, and I believe the dough would acidify long before fermentation was complete. I keep my starter in the fridge and refresh only when I'm making pizza. I'm sure my starter is also very low in PH like yours.
Josh

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2013, 08:34:31 AM »
Yes, I have been making a 24hr dough using Ischia, and I believe the dough would acidify long before fermentation was complete. I keep my starter in the fridge and refresh only when I'm making pizza. I'm sure my starter is also very low in PH like yours.

JD,

You are probably right that if you are making a 24 hr. dough using the Ischia starter and if the starter amount was high enough the dough might acidify if you used higher warming up techniques.  What amount of the Ischia starter do you use in your dough for the 24 hr. ferment and do you do a controlled temperature ferment?  Sometime when I have an extra Ischia dough ball I will try a higher temperature warm up to see what happens.

Norma
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Online norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2013, 08:36:16 AM »
These are the pH number photo readings from last evening before the Ischia starter was fed and this morning after the starter was fed last evening.

I think I might have to ramp up the feedings to three times a day to get this starter more active.  If someone has some other ideas of feedings, or if they just want me to feed the starter two times a day to see what happens let me know.

Norma
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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2013, 08:49:42 AM »
Norma,

These posts might help refresh your memory on the pH numbers:

Reply 5 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,853.msg7771/topicseen.html#msg7771

Reply 24 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,19156.msg191743.html#msg191743

Reply 155 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11700.msg111250/topicseen.html#msg111250

Reply 189 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12173.msg119874/topicseen.html#msg119874

Reply 35 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14610.msg145978/topicseen.html#msg145978 (this post also discusses in paragraph 2 the protease matter that relate to what you and Josh have discussed)

I think that you will find that your pH numbers will be low for some time as you resurrect your Ischia culture because of its highly acidic nature. Once the Ischia culture is adequately fed and back to normal and functional for purposes of making dough, the pH values for the dough should be something close to 4.5-5.0 (for a basic dough).

Peter


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2013, 09:33:14 AM »
the pH values for the dough should be something close to 4.5-5.0 (for a basic dough).

This sentence could be a good left-brain / right-brain test. If you see the homonym you're left-brained.
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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2013, 10:00:23 AM »
This sentence could be a good left-brain / right-brain test. If you see the homonym you're left-brained.

Craig,

"basic" = alkaline? :-D

The parenthetical comment was an afterthought. I was trying to preclude the addition of things to the dough that might change the pH, like buffers or acidulants.

I always thought of myself as more left-brained than right-brained although I saw enough examples in my case of both that gave me pause to question the theory. Recently, I saw this report on the subject: http://www.livescience.com/39373-left-brain-right-brain-myth.html.

Peter


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2013, 10:12:39 AM »
Craig,

"basic" = alkaline? :-D

The parenthetical comment was an afterthought. I was trying to preclude the addition of things to the dough that might change the pH, like buffers or acidulants.

I always thought of myself as more left-brained than right-brained although I saw enough examples in my case of both that gave me pause to question the theory. Recently, I saw this report on the subject: http://www.livescience.com/39373-left-brain-right-brain-myth.html.

Peter


I't doesn't surprise me that the left-brain / right-brain is false in the literal sense, but there are certainly differences in the way people think. When I read it, I immediately read basic as in alkaline. My next thought was simultaneously that 4.5-5.0 is acidic and also that you didn't mean alkaline. I thought it was kind of interesting as you are so precise in your word selection.

Had my wife read that sentence (and she knows both meanings of basic) alkaline would not have crossed her mind.
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Online norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2013, 10:22:54 AM »
Norma,

These posts might help refresh your memory on the pH numbers:

Reply 5 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,853.msg7771/topicseen.html#msg7771

Reply 24 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,19156.msg191743.html#msg191743

Reply 155 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11700.msg111250/topicseen.html#msg111250

Reply 189 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,12173.msg119874/topicseen.html#msg119874

Reply 35 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14610.msg145978/topicseen.html#msg145978 (this post also discusses in paragraph 2 the protease matter that relate to what you and Josh have discussed)

I think that you will find that your pH numbers will be low for some time as you resurrect your Ischia culture because of its highly acidic nature. Once the Ischia culture is adequately fed and back to normal and functional for purposes of making dough, the pH values for the dough should be something close to 4.5-5.0 (for a basic dough).

Peter


Peter,

Thanks for refreshing my memory with the links you referenced about pH numbers.  Those were helpful to me. 

I wonder if I should also take the pH of the two waters I have been using to feed the Ischia starter.  I have been using my well water sometimes and water I purchased that is put into gallon bottles.  Maybe in the end I should just stick to one water.   

Thanks also for telling me that I will find the pH numbers will be low for some time as I resurrect the Ischia culture because of its highly acidic nature.  Usually I just feed and smell to see when I think the Ischia culture is active enough to use. 

I see the last link you referenced helps with what Josh and I have discussed.

Norma
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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2013, 10:42:39 AM »
I't doesn't surprise me that the left-brain / right-brain is false in the literal sense, but there are certainly differences in the way people think. When I read it, I immediately read basic as in alkaline. My next thought was simultaneously that 4.5-5.0 is acidic and also that you didn't mean alkaline. I thought it was kind of interesting as you are so precise in your word selection.

Had my wife read that sentence (and she knows both meanings of basic) alkaline would not have crossed her mind.
Craig,

When I reread what I wrote, I can see what you mean. I added the parenthetical statement since I recalled that some of the links I referenced for Norma's benefit talked about things like milk kefir (where Norma got different pH readings than with her Ischia), dairy whey and malt (as related to crust coloration).

Peter

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2013, 12:51:27 PM »
My brother was visiting me for a little while this morning and I was telling him about the Ischia starter and taking pH numbers.  He mentioned to me he thought using ultraviolet lights might also affect how soon a starter culture will be ready.  I then wondered about what he said.  I don't have any ultraviolet lights at home, but could get one if anyone thinks it might be worth a try.  I looked on the web some about what an ultraviolet light might do, but did not find anything definitive relating to starter cultures.  Has anyone tried using a ultraviolet light to speed up the process of making the Ischia culture active faster?  Maybe UV light might help reduce the airborne microbes and help control microorganisms. 

Norma
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2013, 01:12:45 PM »
Nothing good will come from exposing your culture to UV. The very best possible outcome would be nothing different happens. To the extent the UV can penetrate the culture, it will kill both yeast and bacteria.
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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2013, 01:22:48 PM »
Nothing good will come from exposing your culture to UV. The very best possible outcome would be nothing different happens. To the extent the UV can penetrate the culture, it will kill both yeast and bacteria.

Craig,

Thanks for telling me that nothing good will come from exposing my culture to UV.  If I understand it right some breweries do expose their cultures to UV light to kill some of the unwanted things.  I don't really know enough about brewing, but think that includes the yeast.

Norma
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Online norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2013, 01:26:51 PM »
In case anyone is interested the pH numbers for the two different waters I used to feed the Ischia starter are:

Bottled water I also use for my dough at market.  pH 5.95
Well water use for my culture sometimes and also sometimes for pizza doughs made at home. pH 6.28

I wonder if anyone thinks one would be better to use than the other.

Norma
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2013, 02:55:27 PM »
If I understand it right some breweries do expose their cultures to UV light to kill some of the unwanted things.  I don't really know enough about brewing, but think that includes the yeast.

That makes sense, but I can guarantee they are not exposing things to UV after they start fermenting.
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Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2013, 02:58:12 PM »
I'm a bit surprised by the range of bottled water pH.

http://phconnection.com/Bottled_Water_pH_List.html
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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2013, 05:13:26 PM »
Norma,


I use my pH meter for cheesemaking, but this thread got me wondering about the pH of my Ischia:




 

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