Author Topic: hi, have questions with activating culture  (Read 6497 times)

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Offline msilvestro

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Re: hi, have questions with activating culture
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2009, 09:04:03 PM »
I too was confused when i started my cultures 8 or 9 days ago.  I made the mistake of thinking the culture was fully active after 2days.  I took mine out of the fridge and keep dividing and feed for a total of 5 days. by the last day my culture you grow 2-3 time its normal size with in 1-2 hours of feeding.  I made my first loaf of bread from the culture and it turned out terrible. i did not proof the dough properly and i made a very dense bread. The second loaf came out much better as i proofed the dough at 85 degrees for 24 hours . the bread was sour tasting and full of air holes.  My next attempt will be to made pizza dough with this culture. I'm used the ischia culture from ed.

I am still confused over the whole hydration % , and bakers percents.  I new to cultures and dough making in general. I'm glad i found this site. Thanks to everyone for all the great info.


Offline koloa101

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Re: hi, have questions with activating culture
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2009, 10:17:03 PM »

i just got an email from Ed....

"It is activated at 85 degrees for the first 24 hours then reduced to 70-72 for subsequent feedings. "

i just checked the culture and it seems that little bubbles are forming all throughout! thank you all and Matthew for the help!

I am confused about your confusion. The Italian instruction booklet I have (maybe it is an old version) clearly discusses the importance of temperature when activating (top of page 6 in my copy) and calls for 85F-90F throughout the activation for a higher acidity to suppress contamination. Why are people in this thread talking about much lower temps? Have there been new instructions published?

Bill/SFNM

Offline Matthew

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Re: hi, have questions with activating culture
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2009, 07:43:32 AM »
I am confused about your confusion. The Italian instruction booklet I have (maybe it is an old version) clearly discusses the importance of temperature when activating (top of page 6 in my copy) and calls for 85F-90F throughout the activation for a higher acidity to suppress contamination. Why are people in this thread talking about much lower temps? Have there been new instructions published?

Bill/SFNM

Hi Bill,
I was confused on this issue as well, after the initial 24 hours of activating my culture, I continued my feedings & proofing at 85 degrees & experienced the same results as K.  I emailed Ed & his response was that a temperature of 85-90 degrees is only required within the initial 24 hours of activation, after that, feedings should be continued at room temperature (70-72 deg).  I followed his advice & continued feeding for a couple of days without any success.  I emailed Ed again & he concluded that my culture had become too acidic & recommended that I do a single wash & then continue to feed & proof & room temperature in 12 hour intervals.  After about 36 hour I had a fully activated culture.
Matt

 
« Last Edit: February 26, 2009, 07:51:31 AM by Matthew »

Offline koloa101

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Re: hi, have questions with activating culture
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2009, 10:04:44 AM »

Once it was fully activated after 12 hrs from last feeding, did you do one more feeding, let sit for an hour, and then put in fridge? I would assume so since the directions say to do that when you want to use your culture.

Thanks


Hi Bill,
I was confused on this issue as well, after the initial 24 hours of activating my culture, I continued my feedings & proofing at 85 degrees & experienced the same results as K.  I emailed Ed & his response was that a temperature of 85-90 degrees is only required within the initial 24 hours of activation, after that, feedings should be continued at room temperature (70-72 deg).  I followed his advice & continued feeding for a couple of days without any success.  I emailed Ed again & he concluded that my culture had become too acidic & recommended that I do a single wash & then continue to feed & proof & room temperature in 12 hour intervals.  After about 36 hour I had a fully activated culture.
Matt

 

Offline Matthew

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Re: hi, have questions with activating culture
« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2009, 11:21:55 AM »
Once it was fully activated after 12 hrs from last feeding, did you do one more feeding, let sit for an hour, and then put in fridge? I would assume so since the directions say to do that when you want to use your culture.

Thanks



In my case, I knew my starter was fully activated when it increased in volume by over 2 inches within 2 hours of the final feeding.   At that point I didn't use the culture, rather, I placed it in the fridge right away to slow down the metabolism of the organisms.   In my opinion, 12 hours is much to long. By then, there is a good chance that your culture is partially dormant & very probable that all the nutrients found in the flour have been used up by the organisms of your culture.

Matt

Offline koloa101

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Re: hi, have questions with activating culture
« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2009, 12:57:12 PM »
hmmm, ok....i notice that after a feeding, the culture increases in 2 inches of volume and those 2 inches are of bubbles/holes. however the rest of the culture appears to not have much bubbles at all. by the end of 12 hrs, the volume decreases and the bubbles remain.

the picture of your fully activated culture, was that taken right before you placed it into the fridge?

also, you said that..."I followed his advice & continued feeding for a couple of days without any success.... "

what did your culture look like at that point? like mine?


thanks!
In my case, I knew my starter was fully activated when it increased in volume by over 2 inches within 2 hours of the final feeding.   At that point I didn't use the culture, rather, I placed it in the fridge right away to slow down the metabolism of the organisms.   In my opinion, 12 hours is much to long. By then, there is a good chance that your culture is partially dormant & very probable that all the nutrients found in the flour have been used up by the organisms of your culture.

Matt

Offline Matthew

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Re: hi, have questions with activating culture
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2009, 01:17:43 PM »
hmmm, ok....i notice that after a feeding, the culture increases in 2 inches of volume and those 2 inches are of bubbles/holes. however the rest of the culture appears to not have much bubbles at all. by the end of 12 hrs, the volume decreases and the bubbles remain.

the picture of your fully activated culture, was that taken right before you placed it into the fridge?Yes

also, you said that..."I followed his advice & continued feeding for a couple of days without any success.... "

what did your culture look like at that point? like mine?Exactly, Have you done a wash yet?  If not, I think that you should do one now & then continue feeding at 12 hour intervals @ 70-72 degrees.


thanks!

Offline koloa101

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Re: hi, have questions with activating culture
« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2009, 08:06:33 AM »

Hi,
I performed a wash yesterday and did a feeding this morning. question...wont the culture contain more water percentage compared to the original?



Offline koloa101

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Re: hi, have questions with activating culture
« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2009, 08:08:12 AM »
also, maybe saturday morning when i do a feeding again, i should check to see if it rises 2 inches in the first 2 hours? if so, and if the culture has bubbles, than it should be ready to be refridgerated. thanks matthew!

Offline Matthew

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Re: hi, have questions with activating culture
« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2009, 03:29:27 PM »
Hi,
I performed a wash yesterday and did a feeding this morning. question...wont the culture contain more water percentage compared to the original?


Initially yes.  Don't worry about the ratio for now, just keep feeding 1 cup flour & 3/4 water flour until its fully activated.  You can very easily adjust the consistency once it's fully activated.  You can get a pretty good indication of the ratio by weighing 1 cup of flour & 3/4 cup of water.


Offline Matthew

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Re: hi, have questions with activating culture
« Reply #30 on: February 27, 2009, 03:34:17 PM »
also, maybe saturday morning when i do a feeding again, i should check to see if it rises 2 inches in the first 2 hours? if so, and if the culture has bubbles, than it should be ready to be refridgerated. thanks matthew!

Yes, at least 2 inches within 2-4 hours of feeding is a very good indication.  I couldn't let mine go beyond 2 hours or it would of overflowed.  Once you have a good active starter you won't need to use any commercial yeast at all.

Offline koloa101

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Re: hi, have questions with activating culture
« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2009, 09:48:48 AM »
looks about ready for a nap?

Offline Matthew

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Re: hi, have questions with activating culture
« Reply #32 on: February 28, 2009, 11:19:33 AM »
looks about ready for a nap?

Up to you.  Judging from your photo, I would wait until it hits the top of the jar.  Now may also be a good time to split it & continue to feed so that you have a fully active back up.

Offline koloa101

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Re: hi, have questions with activating culture
« Reply #33 on: February 28, 2009, 11:40:19 AM »

hey Matthew,
Thanks for all the help man! i waited till the 3-4 hr mark and it did get close to the top and in the fridge it went. phew...now the next sourdoughs should go easy since thanks to you, i know what to look for!

thanks all!

can't wait to try to make sourdough baguettes and pizza  :chef:



Up to you.  Judging from your photo, I would wait until it hits the top of the jar.  Now may also be a good time to split it & continue to feed so that you have a fully active back up.

Offline Matthew

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Re: hi, have questions with activating culture
« Reply #34 on: February 28, 2009, 11:57:05 AM »
hey Matthew,
Thanks for all the help man! i waited till the 3-4 hr mark and it did get close to the top and in the fridge it went. phew...now the next sourdoughs should go easy since thanks to you, i know what to look for!

thanks all!

can't wait to try to make sourdough baguettes and pizza  :chef:

Anytime! , have fun. ;D

Matt

Offline koloa101

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Re: hi, have questions with activating culture
« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2009, 10:36:07 PM »

btw, do the bubbles go away when the culture is refrigerated? i just checked my culture and it is back to normal size and look(-inches gained from the last feeding and less bubbles).

thanks!

Anytime! , have fun. ;D

Matt

Offline Matthew

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Re: hi, have questions with activating culture
« Reply #36 on: March 01, 2009, 07:03:41 AM »
btw, do the bubbles go away when the culture is refrigerated? i just checked my culture and it is back to normal size and look(-inches gained from the last feeding and less bubbles).

thanks!


K,

A drop in volume that quickly would lead me to think that it wasn't ready yet, but it's hard to say as every culture behaves differently.  From what I remember, my culture maintained it's volume until the 1st time I used it which was about 4 days after activation.  The volume will eventually drop, but not that fast.
To give you an idea, my current culture maintenance regimen is that I retain 1.5 cups of my fully active culture, feed it 105 grams of water & 105 grams of flour & put it in a clean cambro 1 qt container & cover with a lid.  I let it sit for an hour & then place in the fridge.  Within that hour my culture expands about an inch & maintains that volume until I am ready use it again which is about 1 week.  At that point I feed & proof @85 deg & within 2.5 hours I have a fully active culture ready to go.  If I let it go longer than 2 weeks that volume will decrease & replaced by a top layer of hooch.

Hope this helps.

Matt






Offline koloa101

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Re: hi, have questions with activating culture
« Reply #37 on: March 01, 2009, 08:05:25 AM »
ok, thats good to know. i think i will remove mine from the fridge, and keep feeding at room temperature for a few more days. thanks again!



K,

A drop in volume that quickly would lead me to think that it wasn't ready yet, but it's hard to say as every culture behaves differently.  From what I remember, my culture maintained it's volume until the 1st time I used it which was about 4 days after activation.  The volume will eventually drop, but not that fast.
To give you an idea, my current culture maintenance regimen is that I retain 1.5 cups of my fully active culture, feed it 105 grams of water & 105 grams of flour & put it in a clean cambro 1 qt container & cover with a lid.  I let it sit for an hour & then place in the fridge.  Within that hour my culture expands about an inch & maintains that volume until I am ready use it again which is about 1 week.  At that point I feed & proof @85 deg & within 2.5 hours I have a fully active culture ready to go.  If I let it go longer than 2 weeks that volume will decrease & replaced by a top layer of hooch.

Hope this helps.

Matt







Offline Matthew

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Re: hi, have questions with activating culture
« Reply #38 on: March 01, 2009, 08:19:12 AM »
ok, thats good to know. i think i will remove mine from the fridge, and keep feeding at room temperature for a few more days. thanks again!




K,
The photos below should help you out.  The culture to the left has been in the fridge since Thursday.  Prior to proofing for 1 hour before placing in fridge, the volume of the culture was at the 1/2 L mark.  So you can see the increase in volume has not diminished since then.

The culture to the right has been in the fridge for over 2 weeks.  You can see from the trail marks how the volume has decreased to its original volume of 1/2 L & how there is a clear layer of hooch over top. 

Matt

Offline koloa101

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Re: hi, have questions with activating culture
« Reply #39 on: March 01, 2009, 05:17:21 PM »
thanks for the photos Matthew. working with these cultures, as long as they are kept feed every 6-12 hrs at room temperature and with washings, they can pretty much live as long as can be?  for ex, get contaminated to healthy and back and fourth? at first, i felt as though i was working with something very delicate but it seems that if basic procedures are followed, cultures can be brought back to a healthy state?