Author Topic: Ischia activation problem  (Read 331 times)

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Offline drogus

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Ischia activation problem
« on: May 29, 2014, 11:16:45 AM »
Hi

Sorry for another ischia activation topic. I searched the forum and read through other threads, but I'm still not sure what to do. I purchased Italian cultures from sourdo.com a while ago and about 2 weeks ago I decided to activate ischia (it was in the fridge for a few weeks). I followed the instructions provided with starters, ie. start with 24h in 32C, then put it in 21C for a few days, feed every 12h with 140g of flour, discard about half of it before each feeding. During the first 24h it looked promising. After putting it in 21C I didn't see almost any activity and I saw hooch dividing from the starter. About 4 days later I realised that it's not going to magically raise a few inches in such state and started looking for some tips - I found that hooch is usually a thing which happens in the fridge, so I decided to take it out of proofing box and put it in the room temperature (it's usually about 24-25C in my apartment). After that I saw a lot more activity, so I continued to feed it like usually for a few more days. The outcome is that it usually raises about an 2-3cm in about 2-3 hours (I'm using 1L jar, quite standard proportions I guess), but I've never seen it raising 2-3 inches as it should according to instructions (sometimes it raises even less than 2-3cm, today I think it's about 1cm). The smell is quite nice, a bit kefir-like and a bit like yeast or something that starts to ferment mildly.

Is there something I should try to make it work better? Did I kill it with my procedure? Is it likely that some other culture won during the first days when hooch was forming and there was a little activity?

I will probably try making a dough with it and see how it behaves, but it would be great to know more on what's going on.

Also, if you're reading this and you have an activated ischia culture and you live somewhere in Germany, Czech Republic or Poland, can I ask for a PM? I would gladly borrow some of it and compare with what I've got.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2014, 11:39:33 AM by drogus »


Offline Totti

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Re: Ischia activation problem
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2014, 10:19:11 PM »
Hmm.. Good luck. Took me 2 tries with sourdo to get a working Ischia. Perhaps they first lot we were sent were duds.. As mine only ever few 1-2cms per day.. Now I have a healthy starter.

Forget Eds instructions, they are vague at best (As are his emails these days). I kept 200 grams of starter and fed it 100 grams of flour and 100 grams of water (Water first, whisk the hell out of it before adding flour). Try that for a few days at 22c and let me know how you go.

Offline Chaze215

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Re: Ischia activation problem
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2014, 10:35:13 PM »
I had some ischia in my fridge for 7+ months and forgot about it until 2 weeks ago. I fed it 2x a day and left it out on the counter uncovered. After 2 weeks, its back to where it was 7+ months ago. Good luck!
Chaz

Offline drogus

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Re: Ischia activation problem
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2014, 01:16:56 PM »
I was feeding it a while longer with the same effect and then I started using it for pizza anyway (with yeast, just in case it doesn't have too much rising power). The crust indeed tasted better, although I don't have another ischia to compare.

Now the best part. Then I put it in the fridge, took it out once to use it, put in the fridge again and yesterday, after taking it out, it rose about 2 inches, maybe a little more (I haven't marked the spot where it started). Today it was the same. I'm not sure if it's still ischia, but I guess I'll use it for now ;)

Offline Matt C

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Re: Ischia activation problem
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2014, 06:17:14 PM »
I've been using my ischia culture for probably about 2 years.  I had the same problem if I had not used it in awhile. I found I was able to "wake it up" faster by taking some out of the mason jar and reactivating it in a bowl or other container with a larger surface area on the top and less depth, with a loose cover. Usually 're-feed" every 12 hours and continue until I'm getting lots of activity.  I use bottled water only and then refill my mason jar with some of this before making pizza.  I live in Florida so usually don't need the proofing box.