Author Topic: Ischia starter and pH tests  (Read 3451 times)

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Offline Donjo911

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #60 on: February 21, 2014, 06:19:27 PM »
Norma,

I was curios if you ever concluded whether it was the plastic container that effected your starter.  Especially as I read your comments that your friend Steve's when kept in glass was initially better smelling (healthier?) at that point. It seemed that when you were personally maintaining both Steve's and your own side-by-side that they assimilated eachother and became closer to the same smell.

 I just purchased a few dry starters to play with.  I have been using one that I started wild in 2012 however, I neglected my 2012 starter for a week on the counter and it grew mold so I felt obligated to toss it and revive from my stash 2012 dormant in the fridge.  I'm in Oregon and noticed, as many posts on this site in addition to technical papers on sourdough yeast and bacteria point out, temperature can have a very significant impact on yeast growth and with respect to lactic acid production.  In my own experiments, my starter really becomes a 'preferment' in fall and winter as the yeast building slows down to a embarrassingly slow and difficult to manage/predict rate.  I still use it and incorporate a smallish less than .05% of ADY (because I have it and not IDY - and have been happy with the results of a 5 to 8 day refrigerator cold ferment.)

The reason I ask is: I may have to invest in a cooler/lightbulb/therm to maintain my starter at a consistent temp.  I'm curious about your recollection of how temperature perhaps more than Ph effects your Ischia starter performance as a flavor agent and more so in terms of its leavening strength.  Your pies posted in this post look excellent, as always. Especially, in the case of the blackstone/ round pie (NY-Sourdough?)

On a personal note, I have to thank you for all of your wonderful questions and dialog with other members.  Pete-zza in particular. I have spent (as silly as this sounds) 100's of hours reading and advanced searching many of your topics that span years to learn and also to avoid posting a question that has already been answered.  In regard to starter temperature, I have read an afternoons worth but have not reached a final conclusion with regard to the 'user tested' experience demonstrating the perhaps narrow tolerance Ischia (others too?) starters may have.  My guess is the at you will say you are managing it and the most effective range is  76 to 82 degrees yet at a consistent point within that range.  Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

And, again many thanks to you and the forum as here is what my pies generally look like. ;)

Don
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 07:21:15 PM by Donjo911 »
I have done wrong.. but what I did, I thought needed to be done.


Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #61 on: February 21, 2014, 07:35:50 PM »
Norma,

I was curios if you ever concluded whether it was the plastic container that effected your starter.  Especially as I read your comments that your friend Steve's when kept in glass was initially better smelling (healthier?) at that point. It seemed that when you were personally maintaining both Steve's and your own side-by-side that they assimilated eachother and became closer to the same smell.

 I just purchased a few dry starters to play with.  I have been using one that I started wild in 2012 however, I neglected my 2012 starter for a week on the counter and it grew mold so I felt obligated to toss it and revive from my stash 2012 dormant in the fridge.  I'm in Oregon and noticed, as many posts on this site in addition to technical papers on sourdough yeast and bacteria point out, temperature can have a very significant impact on yeast growth and with respect to lactic acid production.  In my own experiments, my starter really becomes a 'preferment' in fall and winter as the yeast building slows down to a embarrassingly slow and difficult to manage/predict rate.  I still use it and incorporate a smallish less than .05% of ADY (because I have it and not IDY - and have been happy with the results of a 5 to 8 day refrigerator cold ferment.)

The reason I ask is: I may have to invest in a cooler/lightbulb/therm to maintain my starter at a consistent temp.  I'm curious about your recollection of how temperature perhaps more than Ph effects your Ischia starter performance as a flavor agent and more so in terms of its leavening strength.  Your pies posted in this post look excellent, as always. Especially, in the case of the blackstone/ round pie (NY-Sourdough?)

On a personal note, I have to thank you for all of your wonderful questions and dialog with other members.  Pete-zza in particular. I have spent (as silly as this sounds) 100's of hours reading and advanced searching many of your topics that span years to learn and also to avoid posting a question that has already been answered.  In regard to starter temperature, I have read an afternoons worth but have not reached a final conclusion with regard to the 'user tested' experience demonstrating the perhaps narrow tolerance Ischia (others too?) starters may have.  My guess is the at you will say you are managing it and the most effective range is  76 to 82 degrees yet at a consistent point within that range.  Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

And, again many thanks to you and the forum as here is what my pies generally look like. ;)

Don

Donjo911,

No, I never concluded whether it was the plastic container I used that effected my starter.  Yes, Steve Ischia starter was better smelling than mine and I never got mine exactly smelling like Steve's.  I did maintain both starters for awhile until I killed both of them.  :-[ I don't even know how that happened.

I really don't know a lot about what really affects starters temperature wise because I did not do experiments with using different temperatures to maintain my starters, or pH levels in different temperatures.  It is interesting that you think that temperates can have a very significant impact on yeast growth and lactic acid production in maintaining a starter. 

If I understand you right, what kind of flavor agent in the crust are you looking for when using a starter?  Really I am not looking for a what I call a sourdough taste when I make pizzas with a starter.  To me it is just a difference taste than when using ADY, IDY or cake yeast.  Do you like a real sourdough taste in your crusts?

Sorry I can't give you better answers about using different temperatures for starters. 

Right now I do have an Ischia starter sitting in my kitchen I am maintaining.  These are two photos of it.  Don't mind the sloppy sides of the glass jar.  :-D Right now is was not fed today but it quickly doubles in size when fed and has the smell I really like.  I hope I can keep it that way.  I had planned to use it for a dough today to use to make a pizza in the BS tomorrow, but so far the dough has not been mixed. 

Peter is a gem and has helped me many times here on the forum.  I am glad you enjoyed our posts and learned something from those posts. 

Your pies made with your starter look really great!  ;D  Do you mind sharing what formulation you use for your pies?  Also could you tell us what flour you use?  What kind of flavor in the crust do you get with doing a 5-8 day cold ferment in the fridge?  What kind of dry starters did you purchase?

Norma   

Always working and looking for new information!

Offline Donjo911

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #62 on: February 21, 2014, 08:42:11 PM »
Norma,

Thank you for your kind reply.  I appreciate you taking time to think about the past ischia experiments.  I am sorry that they did not work out for you long term. However, it sounds like you kept a strong version of the ischia as you still have it going strong. Good for you!

With regard to temperatures and flavors (sour acidic, etc) of sourdough starters - it's just what I've read. It seems that temp. In a lab environment can actually produce measured results of how much yeast and how much acid are produced at different rates which in theory can explain why some dough performs and tastes better after a long ferment as you have proven many times with your Lehman doughs.  It's really why I asked you. I know what I've read from TXCraig and he has clearly mastered the workflow with ischia.  I thought about each ing out to him after seeing what your results were.  I love reading TXCraigs posts too.  Like you, Pete, Craig, and others.... I fear I may not be able to follow up the ask with details that are worthy of the request  :-D

I do love the different tastes of all kinds of bread, pizza crusts, and grains. With regard to sourdough, I do really appreciate the different favors. I spent a fair amour of time in the SF Bay Area and didn't realize until I was not regularly eating sourdough - how much I missed it.  I ordered the dry versions of the Ischia and it's mate starter from Ed Wood's site. I can't recall the name. It started with a 'C' Perhaps Columni???  The third dry starter is a French version that is supposed to be milder. I was torn between that and the Polish version for many reasons but settled on those three to start.  I have a rye starter that is home grown and my 2012 Oregon Starter that is wild.

As for flour...I'm a little embarrassed to say.  I know you have done lots of experimenting with many brands and formulations.  In my case I started with King Arthur SL. I found that (and this apples to everything I'll say on this topic) looking back many of my decisions as to why I made a change in flour or hydration or workflow have not been made for scientific reasons.  To that end, after KASL I purchased some Caputo '00' red back and began futzing with percentages of KASL and AC00 Red.  Considering it's for home use in my case, I tried using just AC00 Red but as you know, I didn't have enough heat in my oven to make that work on its own - even with adding sugar or maltose, or honey, etc.  I also tried AC00 Blue Pizzeria flour bought in bulk from a supply house on a trip to Washington state. It was great when mixed with what was my next and current 'standard AP Flour. It's organic flour. It's Central Mills Logan Utah (source Costco) Most recently I stumbled upon what may be Antico Caputo '00' Pink. It came from MA and not from Wisconsin so I hope it's legit. It was not on the Antico Caputo site at the time I ordered it. However, I asked the distributor to send me the 55# paper bag and it looks right from a branding perspective. It's supposed to be able to create what may just be good marketing in that it's used to create the pizzas made in Rome (not sure how exactly that's different as it's been 22 years since spending time in Naples, Rome, etc.)

If I use approximately 60% by weight AC00 Red or Blue to 40% Organic AP (Central Mills) I get consistent results. I do play around with hydration. I'm trying to get it 'right' and that can be anything from 62% to what started off as a very scary 76% that admittedly required an amount of bench flour that was not weighed so I am not sure of the end hydration.  But the 60 '00' to 40% AP can produce a very light and silky dough with great extensibility to 18" (perhaps larger - but that the limit of my soapstone (I copied you there too) and peel!)

I've kept a photo log and all the formulations/weights in a notebook (with a pen) and the dates along with pics of almost all of the pies I've made to try to track what the 'best' preferment/starter % to flour(s) type and % to salt and if used - sucrose of some kind so that I can share with the forum.  I need to get it into a spreadsheet using the dough formulation tool. Some of my first (and inexplicably best) results were done early on before I bought the KD8000 scale from MyWeigh.  Like your personal blog on the internet I wanted to show the progress and the detail but have some concerns about on what part of the forum and how to do it.  I don't want to photo-bomb a topic with 30 formulations and pics of each unless it's worthwhile to others.  To a reasonable extent - this post is a fairly good representation (lol)

Thank you for saying you liked the pictures I posted.   My pictures are ok. I feel like they don't really represent  the pies combing out of the oven due to lighting and that I'm taking the pictures with a phone camera. To me they look better than the pics - but it could just be the dopamine in my brain from the smell of the pizza at he time  :drool:

I am adding the pictures mentioned above.  Thank you again for your help!
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 08:58:37 PM by Donjo911 »
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Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #63 on: February 21, 2014, 10:07:49 PM »
Norma,

Thank you for your kind reply.  I appreciate you taking time to think about the past ischia experiments.  I am sorry that they did not work out for you long term. However, it sounds like you kept a strong version of the ischia as you still have it going strong. Good for you!

With regard to temperatures and flavors (sour acidic, etc) of sourdough starters - it's just what I've read. It seems that temp. In a lab environment can actually produce measured results of how much yeast and how much acid are produced at different rates which in theory can explain why some dough performs and tastes better after a long ferment as you have proven many times with your Lehman doughs.  It's really why I asked you. I know what I've read from TXCraig and he has clearly mastered the workflow with ischia.  I thought about each ing out to him after seeing what your results were.  I love reading TXCraigs posts too.  Like you, Pete, Craig, and others.... I fear I may not be able to follow up the ask with details that are worthy of the request  :-D

I do love the different tastes of all kinds of bread, pizza crusts, and grains. With regard to sourdough, I do really appreciate the different favors. I spent a fair amour of time in the SF Bay Area and didn't realize until I was not regularly eating sourdough - how much I missed it.  I ordered the dry versions of the Ischia and it's mate starter from Ed Wood's site. I can't recall the name. It started with a 'C' Perhaps Columni???  The third dry starter is a French version that is supposed to be milder. I was torn between that and the Polish version for many reasons but settled on those three to start.  I have a rye starter that is home grown and my 2012 Oregon Starter that is wild.

As for flour...I'm a little embarrassed to say.  I know you have done lots of experimenting with many brands and formulations.  In my case I started with King Arthur SL. I found that (and this apples to everything I'll say on this topic) looking back many of my decisions as to why I made a change in flour or hydration or workflow have not been made for scientific reasons.  To that end, after KASL I purchased some Caputo '00' red back and began futzing with percentages of KASL and AC00 Red.  Considering it's for home use in my case, I tried using just AC00 Red but as you know, I didn't have enough heat in my oven to make that work on its own - even with adding sugar or maltose, or honey, etc.  I also tried AC00 Blue Pizzeria flour bought in bulk from a supply house on a trip to Washington state. It was great when mixed with what was my next and current 'standard AP Flour. It's organic flour. It's Central Mills Logan Utah (source Costco) Most recently I stumbled upon what may be Antico Caputo '00' Pink. It came from MA and not from Wisconsin so I hope it's legit. It was not on the Antico Caputo site at the time I ordered it. However, I asked the distributor to send me the 55# paper bag and it looks right from a branding perspective. It's supposed to be able to create what may just be good marketing in that it's used to create the pizzas made in Rome (not sure how exactly that's different as it's been 22 years since spending time in Naples, Rome, etc.)

If I use approximately 60% by weight AC00 Red or Blue to 40% Organic AP (Central Mills) I get consistent results. I do play around with hydration. I'm trying to get it 'right' and that can be anything from 62% to what started off as a very scary 76% that admittedly required an amount of bench flour that was not weighed so I am not sure of the end hydration.  But the 60 '00' to 40% AP can produce a very light and silky dough with great extensibility to 18" (perhaps larger - but that the limit of my soapstone (I copied you there too) and peel!)

I've kept a photo log and all the formulations/weights in a notebook (with a pen) and the dates along with pics of almost all of the pies I've made to try to track what the 'best' preferment/starter % to flour(s) type and % to salt and if used - sucrose of some kind so that I can share with the forum.  I need to get it into a spreadsheet using the dough formulation tool. Some of my first (and inexplicably best) results were done early on before I bought the KD8000 scale from MyWeigh.  Like your personal blog on the internet I wanted to show the progress and the detail but have some concerns about on what part of the forum and how to do it.  I don't want to photo-bomb a topic with 30 formulations and pics of each unless it's worthwhile to others.  To a reasonable extent - this post is a fairly good representation (lol)

Thank you for saying you liked the pictures I posted.   My pictures are ok. I feel like they don't really represent  the pies combing out of the oven due to lighting and that I'm taking the pictures with a phone camera. To me they look better than the pics - but it could just be the dopamine in my brain from the smell of the pizza at he time  :drool:

I am adding the pictures mentioned above.  Thank you again for your help!

Don,

I was dumb enough not to keep a strong version of the Ischia starter dried, or another another one in the fridge.  :-[ Barry (barryvabeach) was kind enough to send me a dried Ischia starter and Steve gave me another starter. 

I have read a lot about starters too, and there have been discussions here on the forum about about starters. 

Yes, Craig has surely mastered the workflow with the Ischia starter.  I had the pleasure of tasting Craigs wonderful pizzas at his Pizza Summit.   :drool:

Don't hesitate to ask Craig questions, or other members that you might think can help you. Every request for more information is worthy.  As you already know this forum has many levels of pizza makers and most of us started out not knowing much of anything about making pizzas.  I have had my share of failures and still have a lot to learn about doughs. 

Thanks for telling us you do appreciate different flavors in the crust.  This is the thread where I activated the Ischia and Camaldoli starters. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=11578.0   Thanks for telling me about your starters too.  I did make a bunch of wild yeast starters here on the forum with the help of other members.  That was a fun journey. 

You should not be embarrassed to say you have done lots of experiments with many brands of flours and formulations.  Experimenting is what can tell us what we like and what we don't like.   

If you wanted to show your progression in the pizzas and formulations you used you could start a thread on the General Pizza Board.  I am sure members would be interested in all that you did.  8) I also have the same problems with taking photos sometimes and the photos not really representing what the pizzas looked like because of artificial lighting or the way I took those photos.  It is better in my opinion to post photos though because then other members can see what your pizzas look like. 

Thanks for adding the photos of some of the flours, or blends you have used.  Your Central Milling flour looks very interesting.

Keep up the great experimenting and post what you do.   ;)

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!


 

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