I'm currently in the process of trying to activate the Ischia culture and have been closely following Ed Woods instruction booklet. After the initial 24 hour period, the culture smelt gorgeous, but 5-6 hours later, a layer of hooch formed underneath approx 2-3cm of foam and bubbles. The smell isn't yet unpleasant, but doesn't seem as good as before. Perhaps it now just smells a lot more acidic.
I'll stick to the feeding schedule for now, but in the event that it begins to smell bad, I wondered if somebody could confirm the washing procedure to me. Ed's booklet states the following:
"After mixing, dump all except 1 cup and fill with warm water. Then stir vigorously, and again dump all except 1 cup. Feed with 140gm flour and 180 ml of water, stir vigorously, then proof at 29-32C for 6-12 hours....Repeat the entire process several times until the culture becomes active 2-4 hours after the last feeding"
So every 6-12 hours I dump all except 1 cup, fill the rest of the quart sized jar with water, dump and feed etc? Filling the whole jar seems like quite a lot of water and would heavily dilute what is left of the original culture - is this definitely correct? Also, am I right in thinking that this would probably need repeating 2-3 times, and thereafter I would feed as normal until activated?
Many thanks to Marco btw for sharing these Italian cultures with us