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Author Topic: Blew up my Ischia starter -- help?  (Read 369 times)

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Offline pmk

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Blew up my Ischia starter -- help?
« on: June 01, 2020, 12:25:51 PM »
Hey all:

I've been having great results with the Ischia starter I got from Sourdo.com.  Unfortunately, a combination of inattention and bad planning killed mine off and all attempts at resurrection have failed.  I normally dry and freeze my starters as backup, but forgot to do so in this case.

Having dropped $25 at sourdo.com once, I'd prefer to avoid a repeat.  Anyone willing to share theirs and help a fellow pizza nerd out?

Offline scott r

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Re: Blew up my Ischia starter -- help?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2020, 12:37:23 PM »
its probably not dead and is just too acidic... I can help you if you still have some of the (non dry) starter left?

Offline pmk

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Re: Blew up my Ischia starter -- help?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2020, 02:41:40 PM »
I do.  The lactobacillus are definitely still working away, but very little rise despite multiple feedings.

Offline HansB

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Re: Blew up my Ischia starter -- help?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2020, 08:04:36 PM »
Just do this, you'll have a good starter in a couple of weeks.

Hans

Offline scott r

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Re: Blew up my Ischia starter -- help?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2020, 10:09:45 PM »
Hans is right... home made starters are really great, and starting over will most likely yield a starter that is just as good as what you would be buying or acquiring from other means.

Or you could try this with the one you have.  I think many people think they have killed or changed their starter when it has just become overly acidic from too much time in between feedings and it needs a wash to get back on truck. Doing this at the temperature where yeast growth is favored will help too.

A wash is basically just giving it a LOT of food to dilute its acidity.  Try something like 1:12:12 starter:flour:water ratio by weight (use a scale). Put it in a warm place (somewhere in the high 70's up to mid 80's).  It will probably take more than a day to rise to a double. When it does, repeat this procedure one more time, but the 2nd time allow it to rise until it stops growing but hasn't fallen yet.

If it has grown to more than double it is ready to go back to its usual feeding routine. Keep up your usual routine for two days and then it should be back to itself again and ready to bake.   
« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 10:26:13 PM by scott r »

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Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Blew up my Ischia starter -- help?
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2020, 10:20:26 PM »
I washed my sourdough starter once under the direction of Sourdo Intl. From long ago memory it was indeed a wash with water to dilute the starter and then using some of the retained liquid to begin again. I'm a bit fuzzy on the details but that was done to rid it of some bad bacteria. It worked well and I used it for several years after that.

Offline scott r

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Re: Blew up my Ischia starter -- help?
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2020, 10:23:31 PM »
I remember that PNW!

Offline pmk

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Re: Blew up my Ischia starter -- help?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2020, 11:16:18 AM »
It ultimately came back, but suspect I just picked up some local wild yeast.  I know there's debate about whether it's even possible to keep different strains of starters going once they've left their natural habitats.  We'll see how it performs compared to before.

Offline scott r

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Re: Blew up my Ischia starter -- help?
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2020, 11:20:27 AM »
Thats great news.  I think these are harder to kill off and change than many might think.   Keep feeding it same amounts same times every day.   They really like consistency, and I think if you give it that for a few days before you judge it you will find it to be just like before.   I have been here myself many times myself and I am always surprised at how I can resurrect a neglected starter.

Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Blew up my Ischia starter -- help?
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2020, 11:47:25 AM »
It ultimately came back, but suspect I just picked up some local wild yeast.  I know there's debate about whether it's even possible to keep different strains of starters going once they've left their natural habitats.  We'll see how it performs compared to before.
I don't even think that strains in natural habitats remain the same. It's a living thing and you constantly are adding flour that brings it's own organisms to the mix of whatever is flying around in the air. I'm no biologist, but when I had the same starter you have, it changed over the years to something completely different.

My current starter I've had going for a few years and it is also changing from when it first got going.

I'd like to hear the debate on this.

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Offline amolapizza

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Re: Blew up my Ischia starter -- help?
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2020, 01:32:46 PM »
AFAIK, it's a symbiotic ecological system.  The lactobacillus produces a sour environment that protects it from other bacteria that don't support the environment well.  Both the wild yeast and the bacteria take advantage of the work of the other, for instance the wild yeast produces amino acids that the bacteria needs, while the bacteria can reduce maltose to glucose so that the yeast can feed on it.

The culture will change depending on what flour you feed it, how often you feed it, at what temperature it's kept, at what hydration level, etc, etc.

My liquid starter smelled like banana today, a few years ago I had one that would smell of cinnamon while the bread was baked or toasted, unfortunately that went away after a few months.

Edit: The properties of your starter will also change depending on how you keep it, things like the balance of yeast vs bacteria, and also the ration of acetic vs lactic acid.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2020, 01:34:50 PM by amolapizza »
Jack

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Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Blew up my Ischia starter -- help?
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2020, 03:17:13 PM »
"banana today, a few years ago I had one that would smell of cinnamon"

Never experience those scents. But often wine and flowers.

Offline scott r

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Re: Blew up my Ischia starter -- help?
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2020, 07:39:23 PM »

The culture will change depending on what flour you feed it, how often you feed it, at what temperature it's kept, at what hydration level, etc, etc

Definitely!  This is why its so important to go back to the SAME feeding regimen that the OP was using when he liked his starter.  This makes a bigger difference than "starter drift"
« Last Edit: June 03, 2020, 07:41:10 PM by scott r »

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