Author Topic: Drying your starter  (Read 1726 times)

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Offline Matthew

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Drying your starter
« on: September 12, 2009, 06:50:20 AM »
Hi All,
Accidents sometimes happen so I've attached a video on how to dry your starter just in case.  I took it one step further & vacuum sealed mine.
http://www.breadtopia.com/drying-sourdough-starter-for-long-term-storage/

Matt


Offline trosenberg

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Re: Drying your starter
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2009, 12:06:39 PM »
Thanks, it was informative. I have visited you site in the past & viewed the videos. Didn't know you were here as well.
Trosenberg

Offline Matthew

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Re: Drying your starter
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2009, 02:59:16 PM »
Thanks, it was informative. I have visited you site in the past & viewed the videos. Didn't know you were here as well.

It's not me.

Matt

Offline scpizza

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Re: Drying your starter
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2009, 01:53:47 PM »
I have run no experiments, but based on my reading this should not work effectively for mixed yeast/bacteria cultures.  Apparently the two require different environmental treatments to induce them to hibernate so processes to get both in dried powdered form are not as simple as just air drying out at room temp.

Offline Matthew

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Re: Drying your starter
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2009, 02:49:32 PM »
I have run no experiments, but based on my reading this should not work effectively for mixed yeast/bacteria cultures.  Apparently the two require different environmental treatments to induce them to hibernate so processes to get both in dried powdered form are not as simple as just air drying out at room temp.


I've tried it & it works just fine.

Matthew
« Last Edit: October 04, 2009, 02:57:17 PM by Matthew »

Offline pacoast

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Re: Drying your starter
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2009, 03:37:56 PM »
I have run no experiments, but based on my reading this should not work effectively for mixed yeast/bacteria cultures.  Apparently the two require different environmental treatments to induce them to hibernate so processes to get both in dried powdered form are not as simple as just air drying out at room temp.


Matthew, I appreciate you posting this topic & I think that it would probably work most of the time. But scpizza does have a valid point. I'm not claiming to be an expert (with only two courses in microbiology), but the literature does indicate that while yeast survives the drying process fine, something like 99% of the lactobacilli will be killed with simple drying. And you need both the yeast & lactobacilli to have a stable starter culture. Your lacotbacilli may recover over a few weeks, but as almost all of the lactobacilli are killed, it's not guaranteed that another strain of bacteria might not predominate when you reconstitute your starter. Certainly this was a problem in the past commercially and due to sometimes uncertain results, simple drying/freeze-drying is no longer used commercially.

I have no idea what sourdough.com or other vendors use for a process, but assuming they follow current commercial practice, they would do something along the lines of concentrating the lactobacilli in sterilized milk, ph adjust (neutrialize), add stabilizers such as calcium citrate (easy to find in a drugstore), tween 80 (a little more esoteric, so mail order), then freeze dry to preserve a much higher concentration of the lactobacilli. This is not out of reach of the hobbyist, but it is a bit more than most would attempt.

It's difficult to say if this is a real concern; I would guess that the majority of starters would recover. But it would not surprise me if it turned out that a significant fraction of reconstituted cultures had problems. A simple search didn't pull up any quantitative data for this. For short term storage i.e. a few months, it does sound like simple freezing in a decent chest freezer works fairly well. For anyone interested, there is a better discussion of this in Yoghurt:science and technology, starting at page 487.

Offline Matthew

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Re: Drying your starter
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2009, 08:00:14 PM »
PA,
Very interesting.  I am not very good in science as my background is business so thanks for the explanation.  My answer was based on my starter that I dried & sent to a friend in the US.  He had it fully activated in a couple of days & has been extremely happy with the starter's performance.  I freeze & replace my dried starter monthly as a precautionary measure.  If it doesn't work I can always order a new pack from Mr.Wood. ;D

Matthew

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: Drying your starter
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2009, 08:51:27 PM »
Hey, just throwing it out there,  but I this is how carls oregon trail starter is distributed.  Thats how i recieved it years ago and it worked great,  it had a nice sour to it soon after activation.

http://www.nyx.net/~dgreenw/canifreezeordrymystarter.html

marc