The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Maintaining a liquid levain

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Michel's picture
Michel

Maintaining a liquid levain

Hello,


I have made a liquid levain following the recipe of Jeffrey Hamelman in his book: "BREAD A Baker's Book of recipes ..."


I have made a sourdough bread with it and it worked very well.


Now, my question is : how can I do to maintain this liquid levain days after days, weeks after weeks, months after months.


I did not find a fully explanatory answer to this question in the book.


I would be happy if somebody could help me.


Thank you very much.


Michel

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

repeat days 3, 4 & 5 to maintain


You can also type maintaining liquid levain into the search box for discussions.

Michel's picture
Michel

Thank you,


As I understood from page 359 is that after day 5, you can repeat day 3, 4 and five for 2 or 3 more days to develop strength and complexity (at this stage the liquid levain should be mature, and can be called "Mature culture", as I read somewhere). Nothing is said about what to do after these 8 days.


Do you suggest that after 8 days, I continue to feed twice a day each day and keep the levain at 75 to 80 F?


In other words to maintain this "Mature culture", you suggest to feed it, twice a day, day after day ... with 100% flower + 125% water, keeping the mixture between feedings at 75 to 80 F


Is it the only procedure?


I do not want to put the levain in the fridge as Jeffrey says it could damage the culture or decrease its quality


Thank you very much.


Michel


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

or part time in the temperature it has now, and then after about 4-6 hours in a cooler pantry.  There is the possibility that it could stay there and be fed only once a day.  Keep a sharp eye on it, if it seems to be loosing its quality, return to 12 hour feedings at warmer temps.  If you keep your house cool, now is the time to slowly get your starter adapted.  But normal is twice a day (morning and nite) from 70° to 75°F.  You will soon get to know your starter more and know how it responds to changes in temperature.  Lowering the temperature will slow down fermentation, warmth with speed it up.  


Another option is to reduce the amount of liguid starter used to grow more starter.  This may change with your needs.  Discard starter can be stored in the fridge with no problems.  I would encourage you to make only as much starter as you need plus some to feed but it is very simple to maintain a starter.  Not complicated at all. 


Mini

Michel's picture
Michel

Dear Mini,


Thank you very much for your clear answer.


Michel

Casey_Powers's picture
Casey_Powers

I know this feed is done.  However, I was hesitant to begin a Levain based on my inexperience and the unknown.  Learning from scratch is a challenge for me when it comes to baking bread.  I have found this website so helpful.  I am going to begin my culture now that I have read this thread.  After day 5 I have an idea of what to do.  Mini you are a powerhouse of baking knowledge, thank you!

Warm Regards,

Casey