Author Topic: starter sourness  (Read 6743 times)

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Offline ctpiz

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starter sourness
« on: June 21, 2008, 01:10:22 PM »
I have the Camaldoli starter, it's been going good for about 2 months, I feed it once a week. When I bake with it, there isn't much flavor in the bread or pizza crust. Is the Camaldoli starter not as flavorful as others? I have the Ischia starter still in the package from sourdo.com in the fridge, how long long will that starter pack be good? Will the Ischia be more sour?


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: starter sourness
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2008, 01:24:34 PM »
You can tweak the sourness of any starter by playing around with the fermenting times and temps. Higher temps can produce more acid, but that can inhibit the yeast - a tricky balance. Also, you may get more flavor with less-frequent feedings.

These days I have found the best flavor for my tastes using either Ischia or Camaldoli is a 24-48 hour room temp fermentation (65F-75F). Although I started out preferring the Camaldoli (I used large quantities of starter with colder fermenting), I find both make great pies. I think the Ischia can be a bit more sour, but the flavor of both can be adjusted from mild to more sour.

 

Offline ctpiz

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Re: starter sourness
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2008, 08:11:33 PM »
So, feeding the starter once and letting it sit for 48 hours would produce more sourness? Or would I need multiple feedings during that time?
I'll have to give it a try.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: starter sourness
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2008, 09:12:53 PM »
So, feeding the starter once and letting it sit for 48 hours would produce more sourness? Or would I need multiple feedings during that time?
I'll have to give it a try.

No, that is not what I am saying. The 48 hours I refer to is after the activated starter is mixed in with the dough. For the Italian starters, I don't do multiple feedings.

Offline ctpiz

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Re: starter sourness
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2008, 09:42:20 AM »
I see. I usually make the dough and let it sit in the fridge for a few days and let it sit out for about 18 hours before using it. I'll try letting it sit out of the fridge a little longer. Thanks for the tip.

Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: starter sourness
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2008, 09:51:04 AM »
No, that is not what I am saying. The 48 hours I refer to is after the activated starter is mixed in with the dough. For the Italian starters, I don't do multiple feedings.

Bill,

I don't do multiple feedings either, but not sure why I don't and why would I do so with other starters besides Ischia or Camaldoli?

I just started using Ischia and found it to be rising my dough much faster than Camaldoli. Do you find that to be the case or is it possible that it is just in the minute differences of the way I have activated it over Camaldoli. The Ischia has started off with a much more sour profile than the Camaldoli has ever shown.



PNW

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: starter sourness
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2008, 10:04:21 AM »
Bill,

I don't do multiple feedings either, but not sure why I don't and why would I do so with other starters besides Ischia or Camaldoli?

I just started using Ischia and found it to be rising my dough much faster than Camaldoli. Do you find that to be the case or is it possible that it is just in the minute differences of the way I have activated it over Camaldoli. The Ischia has started off with a much more sour profile than the Camaldoli has ever shown.



PNW

PNW: I do multiple feedings, for example, when making rye bread. I first activate the starter with regular flour. Then I take an amount of that and feed it twice with pumpernickel flour.

I used to think that one starter had a steeper expansion curve than another, but since using the MR-138 to moderate the temperature a little better, I don't see as much difference, and, frankly, I haven't been paying much attention to how much the dough expands during fermentation.



Offline briterian

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Re: starter sourness
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2008, 09:37:12 PM »
Bill,
I also have been using the Camaldoli for a couple months now. I feed it until it's fully activated - which means it's a bubbling and rising to top of my bowl - that' when I know it's ready.  Do you get this same effect with just one feeding? Doesn't it depend upon how long it's been dormant in the fridge.

Also, I'd be very interested in how much starter you use in proportion to your other ingredients.   I am currently using quite abit (maybe 1 cup) and then 2-3 cups of flour and no addition of any IDY.  (using Jerry Mac's recipe)

I'd love to see your recipe. 

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: starter sourness
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2008, 01:11:16 AM »
Bill,
I also have been using the Camaldoli for a couple months now. I feed it until it's fully activated - which means it's a bubbling and rising to top of my bowl - that' when I know it's ready.  Do you get this same effect with just one feeding? Doesn't it depend upon how long it's been dormant in the fridge.

Also, I'd be very interested in how much starter you use in proportion to your other ingredients.   I am currently using quite abit (maybe 1 cup) and then 2-3 cups of flour and no addition of any IDY.  (using Jerry Mac's recipe)

I'd love to see your recipe. 

None of my starters go dormant since each is used pretty frequently. One feeding is all it takes - especially if I keep the culture at around 80F while activating. I use 5%-6% starter as a percentage of the total dough mass. My current "recipe" is:

100% Caputo 00 Pizzeria flour (including flour in starter)
62% water (including water in starter)
3% salt
starter as described above. (starter is 54% flour)

use these numbers in this site's dough calculator to get actual ingredient weights.

Ferment proof 1-2 days.
Bake 45-60 seconds.




Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: starter sourness
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2008, 11:22:41 AM »
Bill,  just curious,  what temp are you fermenting at these days.  I just had 2% island starter dough almost go too far in 24 hours at 72 degrees.  thanks -marc


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: starter sourness
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2008, 11:29:16 AM »
Bill,  just curious,  what temp are you fermenting at these days.  I just had 2% island starter dough almost go too far in 24 hours at 72 degrees.  thanks -marc

Last batch was 70F (+/- 5F).

What do you mean my "too far". How do you determine "just right"?

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: starter sourness
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2008, 01:49:46 PM »
Bill,  in this case it was volume alone,  they almost doubled in size from when I divided them from bulk about 10 hours earlier.  I am still looking for a way to determine when they have reached maximum oven spring potential,  without handling poorly.  In this particular batch,  the dough (caputo) was very much like a half gas half dough balloon.  -marc

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: starter sourness
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2008, 05:27:44 PM »
Volume increase is a convenient measurement, but I haven't found a correlation between it and the final crust texture. Still trying to figure this one out, but many of my best pies run the full range of volume increases during fermentation and proofing.   ???

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: starter sourness
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2008, 06:02:05 PM »
Volume increase is a convenient measurement, but I haven't found a correlation between it and the final crust texture. Still trying to figure this one out, but many of my best pies run the full range of volume increases during fermentation and proofing.   ???


Bill,

I think you need to get a Chopin Rheofermentometer to get the right peaks of gas production and gas retention, as discussed at http://www.theartisan.net/fermentation_control.htm :-D.

Peter

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: starter sourness
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2008, 06:16:27 PM »
Bill,

I think you need to get a Chopin Rheofermentometer to get the right peaks of gas production and gas retention, as discussed at http://www.theartisan.net/fermentation_control.htm :-D.

Peter


That sounds like a pretty cool deal... and guys like stuff with pistons!

I'll bet November has one... you could maybe ask to borrow it!   ;)  8)   :-D

~sd
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Offline Pizza Rustica

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Re: starter sourness
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2008, 12:57:12 AM »
Bill,

I'm new to the forum and greatly appreciate your insight and all your contributions.

I am having trouble with my Ischia in that it seems to be on the acidic/sour side. I noted from reading your posts that time and temp are keys to controlling acidity. Could you possibly expand on this? The pizzas I've made lately seem to have some sourness to the crust. I believe some sourness is normal, but in reading the posts it seems Ischia is the preferred starter, if so, I would suspect that I am experiencing more sourness than what the norm seems to be. I also read in Marco's posts about ph levels being in the 4.1-4.4 range. is this something you actually measure? if so how and what effect does this have on the sourness?
Russ

Offline scott r

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Re: starter sourness
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2008, 02:10:33 AM »
This sometimes happens to my starters as well.  Try feeding them more, and baking with them sooner into the rise after feeding.  You might also want to do a wash or two to set you straight.  Try a 1/3 1/3 1/3 feeding of culture/water/flour, then let the culture rise to double, than repeat one more time.  I need to do this every now and then to get the ph down.  I have tried measuring the ph to know when to feed and use, but I have found that it is easier to just follow the above steps.  Good luck!

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: starter sourness
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2008, 08:55:28 AM »
Bill,

I'm new to the forum and greatly appreciate your insight and all your contributions.

I am having trouble with my Ischia in that it seems to be on the acidic/sour side. I noted from reading your posts that time and temp are keys to controlling acidity. Could you possibly expand on this? The pizzas I've made lately seem to have some sourness to the crust. I believe some sourness is normal, but in reading the posts it seems Ischia is the preferred starter, if so, I would suspect that I am experiencing more sourness than what the norm seems to be. I also read in Marco's posts about ph levels being in the 4.1-4.4 range. is this something you actually measure? if so how and what effect does this have on the sourness?

I like a little sourness in my pizza crust, but not too much. The slight charring of the crust that comes with baking at high temps can also add some tanginess, although it is a completely different flavor profile than the acids from starter metabolism. My goal is to try to balance those flavors for maximum effect.

The theory is that the higher fermentation temps are optimal for the critters that produce acids. I try for a fermentation/proofing temperature that is high enough for the yeast to produce the gasses that create the bubbles in the dough that will give it the desired texture but that isn't high enough for the production of too much acid. For my particular conditions, 65F-70F seems to work best. At this temp, my dough needs 1-2 days to ferment/proof depending on the amount of starter I use. In some of my breads when I want a stronger hit of sourness, I use 75F-80F.

I do have a pH meter that I use for making cheese, but have not recently used it to measure starter pH. Perhaps something I'll do if I get a chance.

Bill/SFNM

Offline briterian

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Re: starter sourness
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2008, 09:46:41 AM »
Hi Bill,
When you say your dough needs 1-2 days - do you mean on the counter or in the fridge? I'm assuming the fridge but I just wanted to be sure.   It sounds like you use 5-6% starter without adding any yeast to your recipe. I've only been using a starter for a few weeks now and I've been trying to use it with JerryMac's same day recipe - and it's turning out OK but nothing spectacular. I'm wondering if with starters, if it's advisable to not go 'same-day'.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2008, 11:02:58 AM by briterian »

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: starter sourness
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2008, 10:46:50 AM »
Hi Bill,
When you say your doug needs 1-2 days - do you mean on the counter or in the fridge. I'm assuming the fridge but I just wanted to be sure.   It sounds like you use 5-6% with adding any yeast to your recipe. I've only been using a starter for a few weeks now and I've been trying to use it with JerryMac's same day recipe - and it's turning out OK but nothing spectacular. I'm wondering if starters, if it's advisable to not go 'same-day'.
Neither. I want my dough to ferment a 65F-70F. In order to keep it at that temp I use a ThermoKool MR-138 (there are threads here on that - I'd put a link but I'm just running out the door). No yeast, only starter. I don't think I've ever done a "same day" with only starter.

Bill/SFNM