Author Topic: Ischia after activation  (Read 601 times)

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Offline Roman

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Ischia after activation
« on: January 17, 2014, 07:09:29 AM »
It seems the starter and activation has taken hold and indications are this last feeding will allow me to refrigerate my Ischia. After reading the sheets provided with the Ischia and the Sourdough book, I'm still unsure about procedure when I pull the culture to use on the day. Is it required to wash and feed everytime prior to using? In Ed's fundamentals-fully active culture, he mentions that refrigerated and warmed culture increases acidity, but by adding warm water when it is pulled from frig, removing half and then feeding, will stabilize acidity. A bit confused as I've also read somewhere that all that is required is remove from frig, remove half and then feed, let warm to room temp after several hours and then it is ready to use. Eager to take this next step, reluctant to blowup these babies.

Thank you all for your help.


Offline Qarl

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Re: Ischia after activation
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2014, 07:32:14 AM »
My washing it, do you mean just adding some water and then flour to feed?

Here is what I do...

I always make sure it is at roome temperature when I use it.    I always make sure it is freshly fed before I use it.  So if it I plan to make dough and it's been refrigerated, I will take it out ahead of time, pour off a little, add about 1/3 cup flour a little water, stir and let it do it's think.

How much time.. well if it's been about a week (or less) since it was last used, it's simple to reactivate and you can reactivate/feed in only 8 hours

If it's been over a 10 days since it was placed in the fridge and you notice that some of the alcohol has separated on top of the yeast, I pour that off, add flour, some more water and go through 2 activation cycles.  This can take more than 8 hours... 12-24.

If it's been over a month since it was last used, you may need 2 or 3 activations/feedings to get it 100% active and viable.

Just make sure you don't remove TOO MUCH and activate/feed (always keep it at about 20%) ... or else you could create a blow-out.   

You're always looking for a thick pankcake batter type consistency when you activated/feed

I just stick mine on the counter (away from the oven) and cover with a dark kitchen towel (make sure no sunlight hits it and gets it too warm).




Offline Roman

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Re: Ischia after activation
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2014, 08:38:56 AM »
Qarl, thank you for your timely response.

The Sourdough Book confused me because of the placement immediately after the activation instructions. It may have been well intended to do so should contamination occur early in the activation process. My cultures have been divided into two jars and appear healthy, aromatically sweet and are ready to be placed in refrigerator for later use. Their emphasis for the need for "washing" was to eliminate all buta cup of the culture, then fill with warm water, vigorously stir, remove all but a cup and then feed repeatedly if necessary for reactivation.

Given my culture was not contaminated, it appears that their "washing" is not necessary and your approach for use as you described as removing enough to feed and countertop reactivate what needs to be done based on storage and inactivity time.

Thanks for your detailed response. I look forward to someday share from my experience as well!

Offline jsaras

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Re: Ischia after activation
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2014, 04:33:50 PM »
Hi Qarl,

I'm new to sourdoughs, so just to be sure I understand your procedure correctly, a feeding = discard about 20% of the culture and then replace it with the same amount  with 100% hydrated flour (could also be thought of as a 50/50 mix of water and flour).  Is that right?

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Offline breadstoneovens

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Re: Ischia after activation
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2014, 04:41:30 PM »
This is what has worked best for me.

I keep my culture on the counter top. When I know I am going to use it:
The day before I keep only about 4 soup spoons of it, about 100g. Place it in a new container with 100g water and 100g flour.
I make sure it rises nicely during the next 12 hours.
Then the next day I make the dough using 2% during the summer and 5% during the winter.

Antoine
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Offline jsaras

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Re: Ischia after activation
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2014, 05:54:45 PM »
Forgive me for being a bit dense on this.  I currently have about 550 g of active Ischia in a 1 liter container.  So you're saying that you only keep 100 grams and ditch the rest? 

I'm reading Gabrielle Bonci's "Pizza" book that has a short section on natural yeast.  He says to remove 100 grams from the main jar (that has had 10 days of feedings that were only "additions"; no discarding of anything, so it should be quite a bit of starter), and then to add that 100g portion 100 grams of fresh flour and 100 grams of water and set it aside for a couple of hours.   

So my question is, what is done to the main "mother" jar if anything?   Do you just let it sit "as-is" and keep on taking out 100 grams at a time?  At some point that main jar is going to be empty.   That jar has to be fed as well, right?  The instructions from sourdo.com are also confusing on this point.  I would seem to me that I could just feed the large jar and use a small portion from that container to use in my dough.
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Offline parallei

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Re: Ischia after activation
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2014, 06:43:04 PM »
Quote
So my question is, what is done to the main "mother" jar if anything?

Consider the mother as your stash, you need to keep it fed.

Quote
Do you just let it sit "as-is" and keep on taking out 100 grams at a time?

No.

Quote
That jar has to be fed as well, right?

Right!

Quote
I would seem to me that I could just feed the large jar and use a small portion from that container to use in my dough.

That's right.  The only twist is you need to "activate" (feed it that is) the "mother" a few times before you use it.  Feeding means discard about 1/2 and add 1/2 back with an equal weights of water and flour.

Once it is active, you take a small portion out and use it to make what you need.  This can be just using a tablespoon or so and adding it to the weight of flour/water you need for your leaven.  For instance,  if making bread one might take a tablespoon of active starter (the rest could go back in the fridge), add it to 150g of flour and 150g of water and let it sit overnight and wake up to 300g of leaven.

Just think of it as growing the amount you will need, and always keeping a stash in the fridge (or on the counter if you feed it every few days).  I keep one at room temp and feed it every few days and I also keep a stash in the fridge that I feed every couple of weeks.

You'll get the hang of it.  Just don't kill it!
« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 06:46:31 PM by parallei »

Offline jsaras

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Re: Ischia after activation
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2014, 10:38:31 AM »
That's pretty much what I've been doing.  I've been doing feedings 2x/day using dark rye flour to get it established and it's bubbling and rising very nicely.  Now that I think it's pretty healthy I'm feeding it all purpose flour. 

I just mixed a batch of Pizzarium with the starter.  It's not the normal usage of sourdough (10% leaven, a couple of hours at room temp, refrigerated overnight, then room temp for 1.5 hours before the bake).  I'll be curious to see how it compares to IDY.

Cheers,
Jonas
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Offline breadstoneovens

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Re: Ischia after activation
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2014, 07:46:22 PM »
So you're saying that you only keep 100 grams and ditch the rest? 

Yes, I only keep 100g that I fee. The rest is trash as otherwise it gets too big.

I work from that single jar only. Meaning when I do pizza, I only take what I need out of it to make the dough. Keep 100g of the jar, toss the extra and that's it.

I simply keep it on the counter top. Nothing else required.

The only back up is a little bit of starter in the fridge that I feed every 2 month or so.

Ultimately you will have to develop your own technique which is a combination of what others do.
I think I red 5 books and a dozen website about starter. None of them worked for me. Some people have special containment set-up with small heaters, ... many are too complicated and comber some.

My rule is if the starter is too weak to survive in normal environment then I let it die of natural causes.  :-D

As a side note, I also keep a vinegar mother and it is the same. I never dump any out but take what I need and randomly add left over wine to it. I have had this one for close to 15 years.
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