Author Topic: Ischia starter and pH tests  (Read 9026 times)

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Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #50 on: December 09, 2013, 08:57:17 PM »
Does anyone know how much my sourdough should weigh if I wanted to keep the same TF as I posted at Rely 43 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,28766.msg291436.html#msg291436  and used my 8x10 steel pan instead of the 10x14 steel pan I had planned to use?

Norma

Online Pete-zza

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #51 on: December 09, 2013, 09:37:46 PM »
Does anyone know how much my sourdough should weigh if I wanted to keep the same TF as I posted at Rely 43 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,28766.msg291436.html#msg291436  and used my 8x10 steel pan instead of the 10x14 steel pan I had planned to use?
Norma,

It's (8 x 10)/(10 x 14) x 503.57 grams = 287.75 grams, or 10.15 ounces.

For a cross check, you can use whatever dough calculating tool you used and enter the 8" x 10" pan size.

Peter

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #52 on: December 09, 2013, 10:03:44 PM »
Norma,

It's (8 x 10)/(10 x 14) x 503.57 grams = 287.75 grams, or 10.15 ounces.

For a cross check, you can use whatever dough calculating tool you used and enter the 8" x 10" pan size.

Peter

Peter,

Thank you for doing the calculation for a 8"x10" pan.  I thought I was going to make a thinner crust than the Detroit style pizzas I make but guess that is not the case unless I don't let the dough temper in the steel pan.

Norma

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #53 on: December 10, 2013, 08:56:06 AM »
I did divide the sourdough into two pieces last evening.  I am glad I did because the sourdough really felt slack.  I had thought I had developed the sourdough enough with the methods I used for mixing and with the three sets of stretch and folds, but I really don't think the sourdough was developed enough after feeling it.

The one piece of sourdough was scaled to 9.5 ounce and then balled.  The other sourdough piece was 254 grams and was also balled.  The dough balls looked plump after balling but this morning they do not look plump at all.  The Ischia starter is fermenting the dough balls nicely at controlled temperatures.  At least the dough is fermenting well in my opinion.

Snow in our area when I woke up too.

Norma

Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #54 on: December 10, 2013, 06:07:53 PM »
These are a few of the photos of the 80% Ischia starter pizza.  The sourdough pizza was made in my Blackstone unit.  If anyone is interested in the other photos they start at Reply 271 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,26483.msg291662.html#msg291662  The pH value of the sourdough ball before I opened it was 4.82. 

I am soon ready to put the other sourdough dough ball into a steel pan to temper some. 

Norma

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #55 on: December 10, 2013, 07:48:20 PM »
Looks wonderful, Norma!  :drool:
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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #56 on: December 10, 2013, 08:45:08 PM »
Looks wonderful, Norma!  :drool:

Thanks Mary Ann!

Norma

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #57 on: December 10, 2013, 08:49:58 PM »
The pan pizza made with the Ischia sourdough turned out good in my opinion.  It was different than the Detroit style pizzas I make though.  The dough was tempered in the steel pan with the oven light on for over an hour.  The sourdough pan pizza was baked at 476 degrees F on the second to the highest rack position on the pizza stone.

The crumb was light and there were a crunch on the bottom and side edges, but not the same as the Detroit style pizzas I make.  I used the same cheese as I normally do when I make Detroit style pizzas. 

The pH of this Ischia sourdough dough ball was 4.21 before it was placed in the steel pan. 

Norma

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #58 on: December 10, 2013, 08:54:25 PM »
Norma

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #59 on: December 11, 2013, 01:43:17 PM »
I left both Ischia starters go for a day without any feedings.  I did feed last evening.  Both of them have a very acidic smell as of this morning.  I will keep feeding two times a day until the smell gets less acidic and then place them into the fridge.  These were the pH numbers as of this morning.  My Ischia starter still has a lower pH value than Steve's does. 

I really don't think the pH number values tell a lot.  If anyone want me to keep taking them I will. 

I placed both Ischia starters into new containers this morning after taking the pH numbers.

Norma

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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: January 24, 2016, 10:17:41 AM by Pete-zza »
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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   



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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: January 24, 2016, 10:22:22 AM by Pete-zza »
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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

Offline texmex

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #64 on: January 12, 2016, 08:23:27 AM »
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

I am resurrecting this thread because I forgot to feed my counter Ischia last night and it smells heavily of acetone this morning.  I discarded the majority, and fed it and stuck it in the fridge for now.  Luckily I still have my original fridge backup of Ischia, but dang, I  barely got this culture, and already messed it up? 

Today I will sing the praises of Camaldoli, you sweet little workhorse of a starter.....it has been easier using you straight outta the fridge, as you always seem bubbled up, sweet smelling and ready to go without having been fed first. 

Norma, as usual provides stellar information!  I don't know the pH of my acetone starter, but feeding for weeks on end just to maybe get this backup Ischia sweet again...nah.  it is going into the compost bin!  I will treat the original ischia with much more care outta the fridge.  Fickle thing that it appears to be.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, 09:20:42 AM by texmex »
Reesa

Offline minn

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #65 on: January 23, 2016, 09:40:14 PM »
Hi,Texmex

mind sharing what the taste/flavor is supposed to like in the baked crust of your Ischia? I have been tweaking around my Ischia for a year, and still could not figure out if I really got the true version of this starter. thank you in advance

Offline norma427

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #66 on: January 23, 2016, 10:29:31 PM »
I am resurrecting this thread because I forgot to feed my counter Ischia last night and it smells heavily of acetone this morning.  I discarded the majority, and fed it and stuck it in the fridge for now.  Luckily I still have my original fridge backup of Ischia, but dang, I  barely got this culture, and already messed it up? 

Today I will sing the praises of Camaldoli, you sweet little workhorse of a starter.....it has been easier using you straight outta the fridge, as you always seem bubbled up, sweet smelling and ready to go without having been fed first. 

Norma, as usual provides stellar information!  I don't know the pH of my acetone starter, but feeding for weeks on end just to maybe get this backup Ischia sweet again...nah.  it is going into the compost bin!  I will treat the original ischia with much more care outta the fridge.  Fickle thing that it appears to be.

Ressa,

Sorry I missed your post! I also messed up my Ischia starter one time and really can't say why.  Mine had a little acetone smell that never fully went away.  I tried feeding and discarding many times.  I finally had to get a little Ischia starter from Steve (Ev). 

Norma

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #67 on: January 24, 2016, 08:19:37 AM »
Hi,Texmex

mind sharing what the taste/flavor is supposed to like in the baked crust of your Ischia? I have been tweaking around my Ischia for a year, and still could not figure out if I really got the true version of this starter. thank you in advance
minn,  it is not something I can specifically pinpoint as far as flavor goes.   Sourdough is a true mystery to me.

  The manner of feeding and the temperature of the starter can change the flavor very quickly.  I have 5 different sourdough types and two are sweeter smelling and faster rising than the other 3.  The Ischia is the most sour and also the most unstable of all my cultures.

I cannot say if using sourdough is better for pizza, but yes it does impart a nice flavor. I often wonder if I  should stop trying to use it in pizza and go back to commercial yeast.  I merely use it because I enjoy the challenge.. .plus I like to bake bread.
Reesa

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #68 on: January 24, 2016, 08:25:56 AM »
Ressa,

Sorry I missed your post! I also messed up my Ischia starter one time and really can't say why.  Mine had a little acetone smell that never fully went away.  I tried feeding and discarding many times.  I finally had to get a little Ischia starter from Steve (Ev). 

Norma

No worries, Norma. I  wasn't  really expecting an answer. I  brought up this post for others to see because it seems to be the norm that Ischia is going to be a problem to get going. I went through many threads about Ischia and they all went thru trauma of trying to keep the culture from going bad or failing.  Everyone seems to have had to wash their ischia cultures or start all over with them only to have to still wash them.  Ischia is a big baby!  Your ph tests are fascinating since the ischia that went acetone on  you never really seemed to recover properly no matter how hard you tried to repair it. 
Reesa

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #69 on: January 24, 2016, 08:55:23 AM »
No worries, Norma. I  wasn't  really expecting an answer. I  brought up this post for others to see because it seems to be the norm that Ischia is going to be a problem to get going. I went through many threads about Ischia and they all went thru trauma of trying to keep the culture from going bad or failing.  Everyone seems to have had to wash their ischia cultures or start all over with them only to have to still wash them.  Ischia is a big baby!  Your ph tests are fascinating since the ischia that went acetone on  you never really seemed to recover properly no matter how hard you tried to repair it.

Reesa,

I didn't have problems activating the Ischia the first time when it was from the pouch from Ed Wood's.  I have no idea why my one went bad, except I left it in the fridge too long, or maybe I didn't feed and discard right.  Less than two months ago I took the jar of Ischia out of the fridge.  It had gray matter on the top.  I took the gray mater off and started feeding and discarding again.  That time the Ischia smelled wonderful and did ferment doughs.  I noticed a slight off smell when not feeding the Ischia enough, but it wasn't the acetone smell.  I am not an expert in using sourdoughs, but do like the Ischia very much for doughs.

Norma

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #70 on: January 24, 2016, 09:53:16 AM »
It is all so mysterious!   The first loaf I made with Ischia was good but the 2nd loaf was terrible and bitter.  I think the starter was just going into acetone stage the second time I used it, so it fermented the dough into a bitter blob of yuck.

  I was going to wash my bitter ischia, but read about how you tried to wash your starter and basically gave up on it and used Steve's since it never lost the acetone odor.

  Luckily for me I had a backup Ischia in my fridge, so I have been using it and it appears to still be healthy,slightly sour and smells pretty normal for sd.

 I threw my bad Ischia onto the compost pile. The worms probably love it!
Reesa

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Re: Ischia starter and pH tests
« Reply #71 on: January 24, 2016, 12:46:32 PM »
It is all so mysterious!   The first loaf I made with Ischia was good but the 2nd loaf was terrible and bitter.  I think the starter was just going into acetone stage the second time I used it, so it fermented the dough into a bitter blob of yuck.

  I was going to wash my bitter ischia, but read about how you tried to wash your starter and basically gave up on it and used Steve's since it never lost the acetone odor.

  Luckily for me I had a backup Ischia in my fridge, so I have been using it and it appears to still be healthy,slightly sour and smells pretty normal for sd.

 I threw my bad Ischia onto the compost pile. The worms probably love it!

Reesa,

I agree that it is all mysterious.   ;D  I don't do enough bread baking or pizza dough making to really understand different starters.  I only have the Ischia starter right now, although I have had others.

You were smart in having an extra Ischia in the fridge!  ;)  Lol about throwing your Ischia onto the compost pile and the worms probably loving it!  :-D

Norma