Author Topic: Ischia starter and pH tests  (Read 4645 times)

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Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2013, 03:32:50 PM »

Very active before being placed in refrigerator. pH reading above was taken shortly after being removed from the refrigerator. The pH of the bottled water I have been using is 7.6.

Thanks Bill!

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #26 on: November 29, 2013, 07:20:30 AM »
I fed the Ischia culture 3 more times since yesterday morning.  The smell of the culture is getting nicer, but the pH number don't make a lot of sense.  The culture sure is not active enough to use either.  I am not sure if the cooler temperatures in the house are somewhat responsible for the starter being sluggish.   

I had been feeding the Ischia culture KAAP, but changed to Shurfine AP one time and when I did that the pH number fell.  I then fed the culture KABF.  I think I am going to change the flour to the organic Daisy flour http://daisyflour.com/annville-mill/mill-history.html  for the next feeding to see what happens.  Ian posted at Reply 6  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,28687.msg289930.html#msg289930 that a better flour might help.  I guess I will see what happens.

At least for me this time the culture seems to take longer for it to be active enough to be able to be used.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #27 on: November 29, 2013, 10:53:10 PM »
After one feeding of the Daisy organic bread flour and about 7 hrs. later there is not much difference in the pH number.  I fed the culture again with the same flour.

Norma
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Offline JD

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2013, 08:47:45 AM »
What is your feeding process Norma?


Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2013, 10:15:42 AM »
What is your feeding process Norma?

Josh,

Do you mean how many times I feed a day, or do you mean how much flour and water I am feeding after the discard?

If you mean how many times I feed a day, I was feeding two times a day and now I am feeding three times a day.  I really don't know why this time my starter culture is not active enough to use after all the feedings I gave the culture.

I just changed over to Daisy whole wheat pastry flour this morning to see what happens.  The Ischia starter smells okay, but not like it usually does after so many feedings.  Maybe someone with similar experiences can help me understand what is going on, or what I might be doing wrong.

Norma
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Offline JD

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2013, 10:25:00 AM »
Thanks Norma.

I was curious if you discarded half your starter and refreshed with equal amounts of flour and water, or if you start with one tablespoon of old starter and continued to double your feedings until fully active. I'm curious how the pH would compare between these two scenarios.

Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2013, 11:12:19 AM »
Thanks Norma.

I was curious if you discarded half your starter and refreshed with equal amounts of flour and water, or if you start with one tablespoon of old starter and continued to double your feedings until fully active. I'm curious how the pH would compare between these two scenarios.

Josh,

I don't measure how much of the starter I discard, but do try to take out the same amount for the discard.  I guess I should weigh the discard though.  I just feed 100g of flour and 100g of water each time.

Maybe in time I will try what you posted.

I might even be doing everything wrong.

Edit:  I don't know where my mind was but I only feed 50g of flour and 50g water.  :-[

Norma
« Last Edit: November 30, 2013, 02:10:36 PM by norma427 »
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Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2013, 07:43:43 AM »
Athough the Ischia culture in my opinion is active enough to be used to leaven pizza dough or bread there is something different about the Ischia starter this time at least for me.  Maybe I don't understand what is going on, but it does not have the same smell.  The smell is good but not like it is normally is when it is active enough to be used. 

I did feed the culture Daisy whole wheat pastry flour one time and it seemed to make it more active, but am not sure it that was just from more feedings or the flour.  I have been feeding with KAAP again for the last day and there were 3 feedings again.  I changed the amount of discard to more and added less water and flour in grams for the last feeding. 

The first 3 photos are of the pH numbers from a day and the 4th photo right after feeding this morning.

As can be seen my pH numbers from the Ischia culture are still not up to where Bill's were when he posted his pH value at Reply 16 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,28766.msg289821.html#msg289821 

Can anyone tell me what I might change to get my culture back on track?  I don't think I will ever be able to fully understand starters.   :-\

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #33 on: December 03, 2013, 06:31:03 AM »
I have not posted more pH numbers for the Ischia culture but have taking the pH numbers 3 times a day.  The number has never gone to 4.00, except right after a feeding.  This is the pH number for this morning after it was fed before I went to sleep last evening.  The amount of water and flour for the feedings has gone down in weight but I am still feeding with KAAP and have been discarding more. 

I am going to try and get a small amount of the Ischia culture from another member and see if something might be wrong with my Ischia culture, or if maybe my Ischia culture has always had about the same pH number when it was ready to be used.  My Ischia culture still does not have the same smell it used to have when it was active enough to be used, although the smell is okay. 

I was going to make a dough with the Ischia culture for today, but am waiting until I find out more about my Ischia culture.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #34 on: December 03, 2013, 10:20:43 PM »
Steve brought me some of his Ischia culture today to see what his pH was.  His Ischia culture has been in the refrigerator for two weeks.  He fed his starter this morning before he came to market.  These photos were taken this afternoon of the pH number and what his Ischia starter looks like.  His Ischia starter has a different smell than mine has but his pH number is somewhat in line with what mine were after I fed the Ischia starter different times.  His Ischia starter smells like mine used to.  I gave Steve his Ischia starter when he wanted to start using a culture so I don't know why my smell of my Ischia starter has changed.  ???

Norma 
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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2013, 05:53:48 PM »
Norma,


Have I missed a post in this thread where you have tried baking with this starter? Perhaps the results might be different, but they might also be better. I'd avoid conflating pH and smell. The proof will be in the pizza.


BTW, my French starter was activated this weekend - it produces the sweetest, least acid tasting of all my starters. It's pH was ~4.8 which is pretty close to the Ischia.
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Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #36 on: December 04, 2013, 10:22:04 PM »
Norma,


Have I missed a post in this thread where you have tried baking with this starter? Perhaps the results might be different, but they might also be better. I'd avoid conflating pH and smell. The proof will be in the pizza.


BTW, my French starter was activated this weekend - it produces the sweetest, least acid tasting of all my starters. It's pH was ~4.8 which is pretty close to the Ischia.

Bill,

No, you did not miss a post in this thread of me trying to bake with the original Ischia culture I started with in this thread.  I had wanted to make a dough for this past Tuesday, or one to bake in my Blackstone unit but have been dealing with my mother going into assisted living in a retirement community and that takes up more of my time right now.  The weather in our area right now is beautiful and I would love to try a starter dough in the Blackstone unit but I think it will have to wait a little while longer.  Thanks for telling me the proof will be in the final pizza.

Thanks also for telling me your French starter was activated this weekend and it produces the sweetest, least acid tasting of all of your starters.  Thanks for telling me the pH number too.  I wonder why your pH numbers are a lot different than mine.  Do you think the environment where a starter is fed changes the pH or smell?  Steve and I were talking about that yesterday and since I can explain why my Ischia starter smells different than his when they both started from the same sourdough starter.  Steve's Ischia starter is sweeter smelling than mine.

Am anxious to see what you bake up with your French starter.  ;D

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #37 on: December 05, 2013, 08:45:48 AM »
The Ischia starter that Steve gave me is smelling better all the time.  I really can't explain how it smells but it is somewhat sweet, earthy and somewhat fruity in smell.  It is just a more pleasant smell than my Ischia starter.  The photos of that starter are the ones in the glass jar.  My Ishcia starter is still not smelling the best but is okay.  I discarded more of my Ischia starter last evening and fed it more than the discard.  It is not as active as it was this morning.  I guess I will have to use less discard in the next feeding.

The Ischia starter is more complex than I though before these pH tests.  I normally just took my Ischia starter out of the fridge and fed until it was active enough to use.  Steve feeds his Ischia starter Ceresota flour.  I am curious if I would feed my starter with the Ceresota flour if my starter would change smells.  I don't have any Ceresota flour right now but might purchase some the next time I get to the supermarket. 

So far I don't think the pH numbers I have been taking are of much help. 

I should have smelled Craig's Ischia culture when I was at his Pizza Summit II but did not think about doing that.  I did watch Scot and Craig make dough with his Ischia starter.  There is no way I could make pizzas like Craig can with his beautiful oven but it would have been fun to smell his Ischia starter.  >:D :-D

Norma
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #38 on: December 05, 2013, 10:16:28 AM »
...it would have been fun to smell his Ischia starter.
Norma,

Whatever floats your boat.  :-D

Peter

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #39 on: December 05, 2013, 10:36:50 AM »
Norma,

Whatever floats your boat.  :-D

Peter

Peter,

It might have floated my boat to smell Craig's Ishcia starter.   :-D  I wonder if Craig could describe how it smells to me since I did not smell it while I was at Craig's home.  To me the smell of things is a powerful.  Maybe I am weird that way.    :-\

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2013, 05:36:32 AM »
I sure don't know what is wrong (or if anything really is wrong  ???) with the Ischia culture I started with in this thread.  The smell was still off and getting worse each day even though I have been feeding it at least two times a day and sometimes multiple times each day.  I did purchase some Ceresota flour.  I have now changed the Ischia starter to a glass container from a plastic container.  The plastic container was a cheaper one than I do not normally use for the Ischia starter or for my dough balls.  I have no idea if the plastic container was causing the Ischia starter to smell off though.  My Ischia starter is on the left in the 3rd photo and Steve's Ischia starter is on the right in the same photo.  After the feeding of my Ischia starter with KAAP last evening it is smelling a little bit better until this morning.  I fed Steve's Ischia starter with the Ceresota flour that I purchased yesterday.

Steve's Ischia culture was the one that the pH was taken before feeding it the Ceresota flour. 

Norma 
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Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #41 on: December 06, 2013, 08:15:51 PM »
I know members might think what I have to say could be weird.  :-D  I fed Steve's and my Ischia culture around lunchtime today.  Tonight both Ischia starters are starting to smell more like each other and both are about as active as each other.  They aren't far off in smell like they were before.

I wonder is the cheap plastic container I used had something to do with the off smell of the Ischia culture I started with on this thread and maybe was why I had problems with getting the starter to be acitve enough to be able to be used.  Before I placed my Ischia starter in the glass container is was starting to smell almost like vomit  :-X, or maybe not quite that bad.  Usually if I did use a plastic container to keep the Ischia starter in it was a Rubbermaid plastic container.  I wonder if any other members have had the same problems that I did with the Ischia starter in this thread.

The first photo is of my Ischia starter.  The second photo is of Steve's Ischia starter.  The third photo is of the pH of my Ischia starter and the fourth photo is of the pH of Steve's Ischia starter.

Norma
« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 08:19:11 PM by norma427 »
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Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #42 on: December 08, 2013, 07:39:37 AM »
I did not feed the two Ischia starters yesterday morning.  Both Ischia starters have been fed at least two times a day. When I went to smell and feed the two starters last evening their definitely was a sour smell to both of the starters.  The smell was not unpleasant but I think if I would have used either of the starters there probably would have been a more pronounced taste of sourdough in the crust of a pizza or bread.

The 3 photos were taken after the starters were feed and they sat for about an hour.  My Ischia starter in the first photo is on the left and Steve's Ischia starter is on the right.  My starter pH number is in the second photo and Steve's pH number is in the third photo.  Steve's pH number is still a little different than mine but I don't think that really matters.

After all the feedings I gave the Ischia starters my pH numbers still are not up to Bill's pH number he posted for his Ischia starter.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #43 on: December 09, 2013, 09:04:04 AM »
I decided to make a sourdough with my Ischia starter since I have not been able to change the pH numbers much with more feedings.  The dough was mixed last evening.  I used the preferment dough calculating tool to come up with the formulation using two Daisy Organic Flours.  The process can be seen in the photos.  The hydration is 80% and Grape Seed oil was used as the oil.  The mixing method was with the paddle only in my Kitchen Aid mixer and there was a gradual addition of flour after the initial adding the main part of the flour.  The sourdough was rested for 25 minutes after the mixing was done the first time and then it was mixed again until the dough pulled away from the sides of the mixer bowl.  There also were three sets of stretch and folds to make the sourdough less sticky.  The pH number of the dough after the first stretch and fold can been seen in the one photo.  The sourdough is being controlled temperature fermented.  It can be seen what the dough ball looks like this morning.

I had planned to try the Ischia starter dough tomorrow at market but am not sure if I can now.  It did snow yesterday and we had freezing rain overnight.  Tomorrow it is supposed to snow again so right now I am not sure if I am going to market.  If I don't go to market I will probably bake at home.  If I do bake at home I am not sure if I want to divide the sourdough and ball some of it.

If there are any questions just ask.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #44 on: December 09, 2013, 09:05:40 AM »
Norma
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Offline JD

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #45 on: December 09, 2013, 09:24:55 AM »
Thank you for posting your results Norma. A few months ago I had similar troubles getting my Ischia re-started. It was very sluggish for 2-3 weeks and then finally took off. I'm curious if PH has anything to do with it, and will continue to follow this thread.

Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #46 on: December 09, 2013, 11:02:56 AM »
Thank you for posting your results Norma. A few months ago I had similar troubles getting my Ischia re-started. It was very sluggish for 2-3 weeks and then finally took off. I'm curious if PH has anything to do with it, and will continue to follow this thread.

Josh,

I also had problems before getting my Ischia starter re-started.  I sure don't know what is up with that when some members don't seem to have that problem.  I still can not figure out if it might have been the plastic container I stored the Ischia starter in the fridge or not.  Steve (Ev) told me he had a similar problem awhile ago when he forgot to feed his Ischia starter sitting out at room temperature for just one day.  He said that Ischia starter never did smell the same after that after many feedings.  I guess that is why it is a good idea to dry some Ischia starter when it is right in everyway.  Steve does have a Ischia starter in his fridge now that has the same gray juice I had on my Ischia starter in the beginning of this thread.  He was going to bring it over to market tomorrow for me to take the pH number but I am not sure if I am going to market tomorrow.  That might have to wait for another week or I might have to let a part of my Ischia starter in the fridge again for awhile.

When I activate Mmmph's Cape Fear dried starter I will also take pH numbers to see if they are different.

The one problem is it is harder to use my Blackstone unit this time of the year for starter doughs.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #47 on: December 09, 2013, 06:47:47 PM »
This is what the sourdough dough ball looked like this afternoon.  It really does not look like a dough ball anymore though.  There are a few tiny bubbles on the top of the dough ball and also some small bubbles on the bottom of the dough ball.  The temperature of the controlled temperature Styrofoam box can be seen.  The pH of the sourdough this evening about 6:00 PM also can be seen.

I am not going to market tomorrow because it is supposed to snow in our area from 3”-5” inches starting around 7:00 AM tomorrow morning.  I was going to use the sourdough to make a pan pizza.  The size of the pan I was going to use was 10”x14”.  I am not sure of what to try now.

What do other members think I should do?  Bake in the 10”x14” pan in my home oven or divide the sourdough ball and bake in an 8”x10” steel pan and maybe try some of the dough in my Blackstone unit if it does not snow too much.

Norma
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Offline mbrulato

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #48 on: December 09, 2013, 06:53:58 PM »
This is what the sourdough dough ball looked like this afternoon.  It really does not look like a dough ball anymore though.  There are a few tiny bubbles on the top of the dough ball and also some small bubbles on the bottom of the dough ball.  The temperature of the controlled temperature Styrofoam box can be seen.  The pH of the sourdough this evening about 6:00 PM also can be seen.

I am not going to market tomorrow because it is supposed to snow in our area from 3”-5” inches starting around 7:00 AM tomorrow morning.  I was going to use the sourdough to make a pan pizza.  The size of the pan I was going to use was 10”x14”.  I am not sure of what to try now.

What do other members think I should do?  Bake in the 10”x14” pan in my home oven or divide the sourdough ball and bake in an 8”x10” steel pan and maybe try some of the dough in my Blackstone unit if it does not snow too much.

Norma

Norma,

I vote for the pan pizza.  Please share a picture of your decision.

Mary Ann
Mary Ann

Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #49 on: December 09, 2013, 06:58:32 PM »
Norma,

I vote for the pan pizza.  Please share a picture of your decision.

Mary Ann

Thanks for your vote Mary Ann.  ;)  I will share photos.

Norma
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