The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Friends of Carl Starter doing nothing

  • Pin It
butterflyblue's picture
butterflyblue

Friends of Carl Starter doing nothing

Yesterday afternoon I got out the Friends of Carl Oregon Trail starter that I recieved back in July.  I followed the instructions for "Reviving the Start" that are listed here.  I accidentally put in 1 tsp of the starter though, instead of 1/2 tsp (it was one of those days.  That wasn't the only measuring mistake I made), so I went ahead and doubled the flour and water amounts, as well.  I set it in its little jar under a desk lamp (because my house is cold) and waiting.  As of this morning, it hasn't done anything.  No bubbles.

Do I give it more time?  Is there anything else I can do?  I had considered taking the contents of the little jar into a larger one and going ahead with the reactivation instructions in the orignal brochure, which call for 3/4 c. warm water, 3/4 c. flour, and 1 tsp. of sugar, then waiting for the bubbles.

Will that help any, or have I already killed it?  Am I just not being patient enough?  The "Reviving the Start" instructions say that the first sign of activing could take from 4 - 12 hrs.  That marker has passed some hours ago.

Laurentius's picture
Laurentius

Be patient, it's an living organism which is not on human time table. Feed it and wait, if your house is too cold you might want to place it in our oven with the oven light on. Don't worry, be happy.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I would put it into a zipper bag and put it into my vest pocket to keep warm.  I don't like oven lights.  And you moving around will also stir your starter for you. Life likes life.  

butterflyblue's picture
butterflyblue

well, I don't have an oven light anyway. So I may give the body heat thing a try.  Had to leave the house all day and still nothing doing with the starter when I came back.

There's a young adult or middle grade  book called the Bread Sister of Sinking Creek that I read as a kid where she carries her starter around in a pouch around her neck.  I just wonder how you'd sleep without squishing it all out and making a mess.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Might just loose it like you predict.  12 hrs on your body does a lot.  Get a good sleep and continue the next day.  Don't forget to open the bag now and then to exchange air and smell it.  Cool title for a book.  When it starts tasting sour, add more flour to thicken it up.  If you put the starter in a cardboard box and park your laptop on top, it will also keep it warm.  :)

Laurentius's picture
Laurentius

Hi Mrs Mini Oven,

I always enjoy reading your responses and this is my oppotunity to make a formal greeting, so hello to you. In some of you previous remarks, you were living in China, are you still there? If so, where?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

looking at snow capped Andes from a green terrestrial plane.  Neat looking oven in your avitar.  Hello to you too!  I have since lived in S.Korea and back in Austria.  The temperatures bounce around here up and down so I'm happy to have my starter tucked away in the fridge.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Don't want to steal this thread but your description of you current setting flooded me with a desire to 'see' what you are seeing....Any photos you might like to post?  (I travel vicariously :-)

Take Care,

Janet

ninofiol's picture
ninofiol

Don't despair butterflyblue! I got mine 3 weeks ago and it didn't do a thing for the first  24 hrs. I am in Miami Fl and my house is at at constant 75 F. It is a very good starter, give it time and I'm pretty sure that  it will respond.

butterflyblue's picture
butterflyblue

I did carry the starter around in a pocket all of today, and it made a few bubbles, and definitely started smelling stronger.  So I poured it in with a larger amount of flour and water, and put it under the desk lamp again, and it's bubbly now. :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I looked up "The Bread Sister of Sinking Creek" by Robin Moore.   "Bring your troubles to the bread, Maggie,"   is a quote from the book.  

Spook yeast starter?  Think I'll read it.  It feels already so familiar.  

Many use bread as a therapy with the added benefit if eating their troubles.  :)

Good sign, reduce (when you see the bubbles getting smaller and not so active) and double the starter amount with water, then add flour up to about the consistency of toothpaste.  Correct with a spoonful of water if needed.  Keep it small, about 1/4 cup total to reduce waste.  You only need to feed it before you carry it around.  If you leave it sit out cool while you're sleeping, don't feed it first.  The growth will be too little and it is better to err on the side of waiting than feeding too soon and diluting.  :)