Author Topic: Camaldoli and Ischia Sourdough Cultures  (Read 7268 times)

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Offline rawcalls

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Camaldoli and Ischia Sourdough Cultures
« on: November 01, 2009, 09:40:02 AM »
I just received both of these cultures from Sourdo.com and have a few questions about the instructions on activating them.  In the instructions it says to use a quart jar.  It states to mix the culture with 3/4 cup of flour and 1 cup of warm water and let proof for 24 hours.  Then it says to feed the culture 1 cup of water and 3/4 cup water every 6-12 hours.  It says to not let the jar become more than 2/3 full and to transfer some to a second jar when the first jar becomes too full.  It states that this will probably take 3-5 days.  My question is - going by the stated measurements, it seems like I am going to have to use a second jar fairly soon in the process.  If I feed the cultures every 12 hours for 4 days by my calculations (not too good at math so I might be way off) that comes to 10.5 cups of flour/water.  A quart jar would be 2/3 full with 2 2/3 cups flour/water mixture so it seems like I am going to need a lot more than 2 quart jars.  To me it looks like I will only be able to feed once before the quart jar is 2/3 full.  My other question is once you divide the culture into the second jar, do you also divide the feeding of 1 cup flour and 3/4 cup water between the 2 jars equally or do you feed each jar a full feeding?  Sorry if these seem like dumb questions but I just don't want to screw these things up.  Thanks.


Offline Matthew

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Re: Camaldoli and Ischia Sourdough Cultures
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2009, 09:54:06 AM »
I just received both of these cultures from Sourdo.com and have a few questions about the instructions on activating them.  In the instructions it says to use a quart jar.  It states to mix the culture with 3/4 cup of flour and 1 cup of warm water and let proof for 24 hours.  Then it says to feed the culture 1 cup of water and 3/4 cup water every 6-12 hours.  It says to not let the jar become more than 2/3 full and to transfer some to a second jar when the first jar becomes too full.  It states that this will probably take 3-5 days.  My question is - going by the stated measurements, it seems like I am going to have to use a second jar fairly soon in the process.  If I feed the cultures every 12 hours for 4 days by my calculations (not too good at math so I might be way off) that comes to 10.5 cups of flour/water.  A quart jar would be 2/3 full with 2 2/3 cups flour/water mixture so it seems like I am going to need a lot more than 2 quart jars.  To me it looks like I will only be able to feed once before the quart jar is 2/3 full.  My other question is once you divide the culture into the second jar, do you also divide the feeding of 1 cup flour and 3/4 cup water between the 2 jars equally or do you feed each jar a full feeding?  Sorry if these seem like dumb questions but I just don't want to screw these things up.  Thanks.

My question is - going by the stated measurements, it seems like I am going to have to use a second jar fairly soon in the process.

Yes it's best not to discard any starter until you are certain that contamination has not occurred.  After that, while continuing with both jars you can begin to discard before you feed.  Do all your feedings & proof at room temperature.  I know that the instructions say to proof @ 80-85 degrees but at that temperature you have a very good chance of the starter becoming over acidic & if that happens your going to have to wash it which can be a bit of a pain.


My other question is once you divide the culture into the second jar, do you also divide the feeding of 1 cup flour and 3/4 cup water between the 2 jars equally or do you feed each jar a full feeding?

Yes continue feeding 1 cup flour & 3/4 water per jar.

Good Luck,
Matt



Offline rawcalls

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Re: Camaldoli and Ischia Sourdough Cultures
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2009, 10:08:50 AM »
thanks for the quick response.  My problem is that by my calculations I will need about 4 quart jars (not 2)  by the end of the 4th day.  Does that sound right?

Offline Matthew

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Re: Camaldoli and Ischia Sourdough Cultures
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2009, 10:20:03 AM »
thanks for the quick response.  My problem is that by my calculations I will need about 4 quart jars (not 2)  by the end of the 4th day.  Does that sound right?

Just keep 2 going.  You can discard all but 2 cups once the jars are 3/4 full.

Matt

Offline rawcalls

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Re: Camaldoli and Ischia Sourdough Cultures
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2009, 06:03:53 PM »
Thanks for your help with all of this.  Do you discard before you feed or after you feed?

Offline Matthew

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Re: Camaldoli and Ischia Sourdough Cultures
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2009, 07:16:52 PM »
Thanks for your help with all of this.  Do you discard before you feed or after you feed?

Before.

Matt

Offline rawcalls

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Re: Camaldoli and Ischia Sourdough Cultures
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2009, 12:18:37 PM »
Once a culture is active and put in the refrigerator, how often do you need to feed it if you are not using it?

Offline Matthew

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Re: Camaldoli and Ischia Sourdough Cultures
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2009, 04:58:18 PM »
Once a culture is active and put in the refrigerator, how often do you need to feed it if you are not using it?

The more frequently you feed it, the more active it becomes.  If you would like to keep it very active, you should feed it once a week at the very least.

Matt

Offline rawcalls

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Re: Camaldoli and Ischia Sourdough Cultures
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2009, 05:06:12 PM »
So do you just take it out of the fridge, feed it and put it directly back in the fridge? Also, do you feed it the full amount (1 cup flour. 3/4 cup water).  Sorry about all of the questions but the instructions that came with the starters don't answer these questions.  Thanks.

Offline Matthew

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Re: Camaldoli and Ischia Sourdough Cultures
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2009, 07:27:27 PM »
So do you just take it out of the fridge, feed it and put it directly back in the fridge? Also, do you feed it the full amount (1 cup flour. 3/4 cup water).  Sorry about all of the questions but the instructions that came with the starters don't answer these questions.  Thanks.

No, I remove from the fridge & let sit for about half an hour, mix, feed, mix, proof, use what I need, reserve 1 1/2 cups, toss the rest, place reserve in clean container, feed,mix, sit for an hour, refrigerate.

How much you feed it is up to you as long as you don't feed more that your initial starter amount.   I go by weight & not volume to ensure that my starter is always the exact consistency.

Matt


Offline artigiano

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Re: Camaldoli and Ischia Sourdough Cultures
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2009, 01:39:39 PM »
My camoldoli sits in the fridge and i only take it out maybe once a month to use it.  After one or two feedings it is so active that a mason jar filled halfway will overflow into my proofer.  I am glad its so active but it requires a little more work in cleaning the proofer to deal with the volcanic eruption from this starter.

Alessandro

Offline rawcalls

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Re: Camaldoli and Ischia Sourdough Cultures
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2009, 05:25:10 PM »
Do you pour the "hooch" off or mix it back in?

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Camaldoli and Ischia Sourdough Cultures
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2009, 05:32:48 PM »
Do you pour the "hooch" off or mix it back in?

I always mix it back in. Usually there is none unless I left it dormant for a while.

Offline Marko

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Re: Camaldoli and Ischia Sourdough Cultures
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2013, 10:42:00 AM »
Hi Italian culture fans, ;)
I have activated an Ischia following the instructions supplied by Sourdo.com. I made a little incubator and set it at 90F. The next morning there was so much activity that I fed it right away and placed in a spot that's about 70F. Within 24 hours it was growing happily so I divided it and put it in  my fridge. My questions  are, is it possible to activate a culture that quickly and what should this culture smell like? I have been using dries and fresh yeast and this definitely smells different.

Thanks!

Offline PetersPizza

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Re: Camaldoli and Ischia Sourdough Cultures
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2013, 08:42:19 PM »
Marko,

What did the culture look like, was there any separation/layer of clear hooch? I think 24 hours is a bit too quick for it to be fully active.
If it is contaminated it will smell slightly sweet vomit like, if it's ok it should smell fresh and yeasty.
Photos always help ;)

-Peter

Offline Marko

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Re: Camaldoli and Ischia Sourdough Cultures
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2013, 02:43:42 PM »
Hi Peter,

As of now, the mixture is not looking active because it's been in the fridge, I guess. There's some hooch on top and the texture, when stirred, is like a gooey mass of mucous. The smell is sweet and more like cheese maybe and little bit like vomit but not overpowering at all. It doesn't seem right though. I mixed some with a small batch of flour and it smelled sweet as it proofed for 12 hours or so. The bread rose and smelled lightly sourdough but there is something not quite right about it. If it's contaminated (and I suspect that it is) can it be salvaged or is it doomed?

I'd take a picture but there's nothing to really see except a container with a bit of liquid on top. No bubbles at all right now. I've taken it out of the fridge to see what it does when it warms up a bit.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 03:52:11 PM by Marko »

Offline Marko

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Re: Camaldoli and Ischia Sourdough Cultures
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2013, 04:51:33 PM »
I'm going to give this a wash and see what I get then. I found some basic instructions. :)

Offline Marko

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Re: Camaldoli and Ischia Sourdough Cultures
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2013, 09:16:52 AM »
Ok. Washing didn't work and 2 more attempts with Camaldoli produced the same vomit smell. Somehow the contamination seems to be in the original mix. I've used new four, sprig water, sterilized jars and 90F and in 12 hours, the mixture is so active it's ridiculous. Whatever is activating is destroying my chances. Whatever it is isn't edible. Is it possible that the Ishia & Camoldoli from sourdo.com is just contaminated from the start?

Offline PetersPizza

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Re: Camaldoli and Ischia Sourdough Cultures
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2013, 03:31:05 PM »
I doubt it is the dried cultures, I have activated 4 of theirs over the years and was always able to produce a healthy starter.

After washing, try transferring it to a new clean jar and start feeding around every 6-8 hours.

-Peter

Offline shff1984

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Re: Camaldoli and Ischia Sourdough Cultures
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2013, 08:11:22 PM »
Hi Marko,  I am have been doing the same process this past week.  I ordered the Ischia and Camaldoli starters from sourdo.com.  Last friday (April 05)  I began to activate my Ischia culture.  I haven't started the Camaldoli yet, but I did make my own proofing box with Ed Wood's directions in his Sourdough book.  These are the first cultures I've ever activated.

I activated the Ischia culture in the proofer at 90 F for the first 24 hours and just like yours, it was very bubbly and active.  I used the 1 qt wide mouth jars recommended and I remember the amount of volume increase was more than I expected.  When I smelled mine after 24 hours I had what I believe to be a similar smell to yours.  To me it smelled pleasant and fruity.  Because I'm inexperienced in cultures I guess the smell is just my opinion and I could be wrong...

After the first step of mixing the dried packet of culture with flour and water, in Ed Wood's book, "Classic Sourdoughs" Ed writes, "Place the jar in a warm place (about 90 F) and proof for about 24 hours. . . This high starting temperature promotes the growth of lactobacilli and thus increases acid production.  High acidity helps prevent contamination of the active culture by nonsourdough organisms present in most flour, most of which do not thrive in an acid environment. . . At the end of 24 hours, a few bubbles may appear in the culture as the first sign of growth and activity.  Now reduce the proofing temperature to about 70 F.  This lower temperature slows the bacterial growth and acid production - Important at this stage as too much acidity inhibits the growth of yeast.  Continue feeding the culture every 12 to 24 hours for 3 to 5 days: feed 1 cup (140 grams) of flour and enough water (up to 3/4 cup/180ml) to maintain the thick pancake-batter consistency.  It will be necessary to discard about half of the mixture before each feeding or the jar will over flow.  Discarding dilutes the culture and helps reduce acid buildup.  This is a good time to divide the culture into two jars - one for a backup in case of an accident with the other. . .Sometimes the culture becomes quite active in the first 24 hours.  This could be a sign of contamination, but if the culture has a pleasant odor and continues to respond when fed, it is a good culture and can be retained.  If the odor is unpleasant, follow the directions for washing a culture. . .(Classic Sourdoughs page 28-29).

Therefore the fruity smell did not concern me.  After the first 24 hours,  I dumped half of my culture out and fed it (I did not split it into two jars, a leap of faith I suppose).  Then I fed it again about every 18 hours.  After about 4 days I started to grow concerned that my culture was not activating because in Ed Wood's book he states, "When foam and bubbles increase the culture's volume by about 3 inches within 2 to 3 hours of its last feeding, the culture is fully active and can be used or refrigerated until needed (Classic Sourdoughs page 29). 

After 4 days my culture was not increasing by that volume within 2 to 3 hours.  So I switched to feeding it every 12 hours and on the 5th day It was fully active.  The fruity smell was still there but not as strong and it doesn't smell foul to me.  I then split the culture into two jars and put one in the fridge and the other one is still on my counter.  I plan on making some pizza or at least hamburger buns with it this weekend.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

I got Ed's book from the local library and it has more details than the instructions that came with the culture.  I hope this helps  :)


Jon S


 

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