Author Topic: Preserving a starter once its activated....  (Read 2526 times)

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Preserving a starter once its activated....
« on: May 19, 2005, 06:55:59 AM »
I just wanted to share with the site my little tip for perserving your precious starter once it is alive and kicking, perhaps some of you also can share your expereience.

Once I have activated a starter and its really bubbling and foaming with multiple feedings and hydration...I lay out a piece of plastic wrap ( I guess you could use wax paper as well)...then I scoop off the top layer and spread it out thinly onto the plastic wrap...I let it dry on the counter for a day or two until it dries completely and breaks away into thin  flakes from the plastic wrap or wax paper...then just crumble it into smaller pieces and put into a container or sealable baggy of your choice and put in the frig. I keep mine in a drawer in the frig where we keep dry goods.

If your original batch or mother starter ever becomes contaminated with other bad yeast or dies because of mishandling, you now have a back up. Just take the flakes out of the frig. and start the feeding process in a new container and within a couple days..POOF...your're back in business.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Preserving a starter once its activated....
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2005, 07:23:06 AM »

I did the same thing with a Nancy Silverton starter but with a much larger amount--enough to fill up an entire baking tray. After breaking up the dried "sheet" into smaller pieces and putting them into a plastic storage bag, I stored the bag in my pantry where I proceeded to forget about it. More than a year later, I stumbled across the bag again and decided, purely out of curiosity, to see if I could rejuvenate the starter. To my surprise, it worked. I don't know whether in the process of drying the starter originally or in the process of rejuvenating the starter later I picked up natural yeast all over again, but I ended up with a viable starter. I also sent a piece of the dried starter to a brother in Massachusetts and he was also able to rejuvenate the piece I sent him.

I believe fellow member davtrent also reported on a similar experience in rejuvenating a starter from a dry format.


Offline pyegal

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Re: Preserving a starter once its activated....
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2005, 07:47:54 AM »
As for my experience, I have two small jars of dried starter in a drawer in the kitchen and a small air tight plastic container of starter in the freezer. I have successfully made new starter from these sources and passed along some of the dried to a friend on another forum who was able to rejuvenate the starter from the dried state.

My technique is to use a shallow plastic plate, lay down a piece of plastic wrap, then spread the starter all over the wrap as thinly as possible. After about 3 days, when it is completely dried, I whirl it in a mini chopper to pulverize it.