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Author Topic: Solid vs liquid sourdough starter?  (Read 417 times)

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Offline amolapizza

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Solid vs liquid sourdough starter?
« on: February 23, 2020, 03:29:23 PM »
I made my own liquid sourdough starter, that I used for about maybe 1.5-2 years, then I killed it somehow :(  I was given an old Sicilian starter in solid form, so I thought I'd keep it in solid form to learn more.  Personally I find that the liquid starter was a lot easier/faster to refresh, but on the other hand I'm really impressed how well the solid one maintains at room tempererature.  Normally I refresh it the night before with 1:2:1 (starter, flour, water), and the in the morning again with 2:2:1.

Anyone have an opinion/experience on the difference between the two systems?
Jack

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Offline TravisNTexas

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Re: Solid vs liquid sourdough starter?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2020, 09:27:42 AM »
Anxious to hear responses to this.  I just created a sourdough starter that is doing very well, but it's 100% hydration.  Does make the math easier.  I have not seen anything about lower hydration starters until now, so very curious indeed.
Cheers,
Travis

Offline amolapizza

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Re: Solid vs liquid sourdough starter?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2020, 02:10:18 PM »
The liquid starter is much easier to mix..  Measure out starter, flour and water, whisk it together and you're done.  Takes just a few minutes.

The solid starter (at 50%) hydration requires you to quickly mix a dough and to create some gluten.  It's a lot more work and takes a lot longer.

Still I have the impression that my liquid starter was a lot more acidic, and of a different kind.  This whether I kept it in the fridge or outside.  Fridge or room temperature changed the type of acidity, one was more acetic, and the other more lactic.

With the solid I keep it at 18-20C and it's acidity is different again.  Think I like where it's right now.  It also seems to work very well to leave it 6 days at room temp.  In the evening before the weekly bake, cut away the outside and refresh it with double the normal amount of flour and water.  Next morning do a normal refresh and bake when it's peaking.

Still it's a bit of an extra hassle to prepare the solid starter.  Also who knows maybe it's the starter itself that's different...  I'm curios about other's thoughts on the subject.

Jack

Effeuno P134H (1700W upper element), EGO 500C Thermostat (upper), Biscotto Fornace Saputo, Sunmix Sun6, Caputo Pizzeria, Caputo Sacorosso, Mutti Pelati Bio.

Offline Pizza314

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Re: Solid vs liquid sourdough starter?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2020, 04:16:21 PM »
I've found maintaining a small liquid starter (100% hydration) with whole wheat flour is the easiest for me. I keep mine in a small Ball canning jar which weights right about 175-180g without the lid. It's really simple for me to discard down to 200g, then add back 20-30 grams of water and flour.

I found that "texture" of using whole wheat flour instead of white bread or AP flour at 100% hydration was much easier to work with. It's still easy to stir and not quite as much of a sticky/gooey/soupy mess to deal with as it's bran-less cousins.

Offline amolapizza

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Re: Solid vs liquid sourdough starter?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2020, 04:22:06 PM »
Yes, the liquid starter is most certainly the easier to maintain!
Jack

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Offline Yael

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Re: Solid vs liquid sourdough starter?
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2020, 09:30:51 PM »
Jack,

Last time in France when I discussed SD with my friend and he taught me many things, he was taking care of one dry and one liquid. He told me a lot and I'm sorry I already forgot a lot, but what I remember is that dry SD was mainly used for panettone. There were also a difference in acidity: one was more acidic on taste than the other although the pH-meter showed a lower number (with the very same storage procedure, fridge). He did refresh the dry SD using the mixer.

Last time I had too much sourdough I decided to try a dry one. Fed it only once or twice and made pizza, and didn't notice any difference.

I'm not sure my message will help XD
“Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist” - Pablo Picasso

Offline amolapizza

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Re: Solid vs liquid sourdough starter?
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2020, 08:50:03 AM »
Well at least it's a message..  ;D

I get the feeling that most people here use a liquid starter which I can completely understand as it's way less work to maintain it.  Personally I'm just a beginner with sourdough, as I've mainly used it for baking bread for a couple of years, so I'm really not sure at all about what I'm talking about.. :D

Still I do find that the solid starter has has a different acidity (which I like), and it does seem to keep better than the liquid one.  I'm going to keep using it in solid form for the moment, maybe when I have time and interest I'll maintain 2 of them in parallel to see if I can figure out the differences.  Still it could also be the original cultures as I killed of my liquid one and was gifted this solid variety.

I'm not sure if a solid starter is only for panettone..  I think Italians in general favor solid sourdough starters while others might be more prone to use liquid ones.  Same as Italians seem to favor biga over poolish preferments.  In any case the solid one seems to work well for bread, just the somewhat of hassle of refreshing it and it's a bit different to mix in compared to the liquid one.
Jack

Effeuno P134H (1700W upper element), EGO 500C Thermostat (upper), Biscotto Fornace Saputo, Sunmix Sun6, Caputo Pizzeria, Caputo Sacorosso, Mutti Pelati Bio.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Solid vs liquid sourdough starter?
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2020, 09:10:37 AM »
The stiffer the starter, the longer you can go between feedings because the activity slows down as hydration decreases. Acidity will be different. Things that make life harder for the starter (low hydration, cold) generally favor the production of acetic acid over lactic.

Maybe the biggest single factor is how much you use. If it's just to seed the dough - basically a direct dough using starter, maybe it doesn't matter much which you use. If you're making an indirect dough with lots of starter, I would guess it matters a lot more.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
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Offline amolapizza

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Re: Solid vs liquid sourdough starter?
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2020, 12:50:43 PM »
Interesting thoughts.  I'll keep that in mind as I study how it behaves.

Thanks!
Jack

Effeuno P134H (1700W upper element), EGO 500C Thermostat (upper), Biscotto Fornace Saputo, Sunmix Sun6, Caputo Pizzeria, Caputo Sacorosso, Mutti Pelati Bio.

Offline jsobolew

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Re: Solid vs liquid sourdough starter?
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2020, 01:22:48 AM »
I found that my 50% hydration starter tasted more sour than my 100%. Both were fine but the 100% was easier to manage feedings with.

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Offline amolapizza

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Re: Solid vs liquid sourdough starter?
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2020, 08:12:33 AM »
One interesting observation is that my new starter has changed characteristics in the couple of months that I have it.  It used to be very acid smelling, in fact I didn't like very much how it smelled.  Now it has a fruity smell (maybe like fermenting apple) and smells less acid.  Still it seems active and raises the bread well.
Jack

Effeuno P134H (1700W upper element), EGO 500C Thermostat (upper), Biscotto Fornace Saputo, Sunmix Sun6, Caputo Pizzeria, Caputo Sacorosso, Mutti Pelati Bio.

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