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dlee's picture
dlee

no rising

Hi I need help I started  my starter in Late Nov.I was feeding it twice a day no luck. I was told that was to much .So now I do 1/4 cup a day .Still it will not rise it bubbles very very  little .  yesterday I put it in the fridge.Today I feed it .I need it to rise for me to make the bread wright.

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

Hi,

Getting your first starter going can be quite frustrating.  If you can post some additional information, we may be able to point you in the right direction. 

What is your procedure when you feed the starter?

What temperature do you keep it at? For how long?

Since it is relatively young, what method did you use to start it?  Did it ever have any activity?

How does it smell? A good starter will smell a little fruity and perhaps slightly vinegary.  A bad one, well, you'll know if it smells bad.  If it smells ok, have you tasted it?  Does it taste a little sour?

-Brad

 

dlee's picture
dlee

I feed it once a day 1/4 cup in 1/4 cup out flour and water

temperature is 70is on the stove with the light on all the time its warm

I put it in the fridge yesterday took it out and fed it today

there is very little smell I think it had more smell before but not now

after I feed it there is small bubbles very little but that is how it has been scence I started it

should I just  start over I could have made 2 or3 loafs with all the flour   LOL

Thanks Deb

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

of very sour smelling starter and add 2 Tablespoons of water and 1/4c flour.  Stir well and press dough level in a narrow tall glass.  Mark the height and record the temperature.  you want 75°F to 80°F    

Wait until the newly fed, thicker starter rises the most it can (it may take anywhere from 6 to 24 hrs.) (mark it) and wait until it starts falling back down.  Report back with all the details.

Put the rest of the warmed up starter back into the refrigerator but first add just flour to thicken it up.  Thin starters will not rise much.   Save it for a back up.  Also if you have any older starters at the back of the fridge, leave them there for a little while.

dlee's picture
dlee

Hi

Well nothing happend it did not rise . No bubbles nothing. I'm at the end I'm going to get  rye or wheat flour and try that.

With pineapple  juice . Would it be 2 tablespoons of  juice  and 1/4 cup flour. This I s my last try at this

Thanks foryour help

Deb

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

around if it doesn't stink or have strange colors.  What are your room temperatures?

Don't use the refrigerator as it is too cold to grow starters.  A starter should have a temperature of 75°F - 80°F  over 23°C  if you want success quickly.  Using the refrigerator now will only slow down the process.  Remove some of your starter jars from the fridge and let them warm up and get active.  Pay attention to the aromas coming off the starters as you stir them.  Don't feed or refresh any of them yet just observe them.  It can be you have something growing but just haven't let the little beasties feed and multiply enough before chilling their wee little buns off.  :)

dlee's picture
dlee

Hi

I have one on the stove with the light on it s about 74F its been there since Nov I took out the starter from that .

The new one and old one  has no smell it did nothing and thats the way the other one is  to. I think there dead not moving out.

I had the second one in the oven with the light on it was warm  but no luck dead not moving .......

Deb

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

No smell.  How about taste?  (you can spit it out after tasting)  If nothing is growing, time to check on the water (chlorinated is not good) and see about standing some water out overnight to use for starters.  

dlee's picture
dlee

Hi I tasted it and it was foul. So I through it all out I am going to make it out of rye and wheat flour.I will use 2 tablespoons of pinapple juice and 1/4 cup flourand see how all that works out I may have it all done by next xmas lol

dlee's picture
dlee

Im back

I started my new starter on Dec 12.

days  1,2,3   I used two tablespoons of mixed rye and wheat flour with two tablespoons of pineapple juice. Day four discard all but 1/4 cup and added 1/4 white flour and 1/4 cup bottled water  its not doing very well again the same as the last time I tasted it and its a little sharp no bubbles just when I stir it.  I have it in the oven with the light on its warm.I just went a bought a oven thermometer it is reading now. What am I  doing wrong I do the feeding at the same time every day. 

Deb

dlee's picture
dlee

Im back

I started my new starter on Dec 12.

days  1,2,3   I used two tablespoons of mixed rye and wheat flour with two tablespoons of pineapple juice. Day four discard all but 1/4 cup and added 1/4 white flour and 1/4 cup bottled water  its not doing very well again the same as the last time I tasted it and its a little sharp no bubbles just when I stir it.  I have it in the oven with the light on its warm.I just went a bought a oven thermometer it is reading now. What am I  doing wrong I do the feeding at the same time every day. 

Deb

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

Deb,

It sounds like things are going well.  Just give your starter some time, continue to feed it, and it should be fine.  You described the original starter as tasting "foul" while this one is "sharp", which sounds like it is acidic.  You mentioned you bought a thermometer, but didn't say what temperature the starter was.  As Mini said, a good temperature is around 75-80˚F. 

At this point it will just take some time for the yeasts to establish themselves. Starters can take up to two weeks before they are ready for use, and continue to mature beyond that.  If you haven't read her posts yet, Debra Wink gives some very good descriptions of what is going on when establishing a starter here and here.  You may also want to consider increasing the volume ratio of flour to water from 1:1 to 2:1 flour:water, which is what Reinhart recommends in The Bread Baker's Apprentice (which was based on Debra Wink's work).  This would give you closer to a 100% hydration starter, which is equal amounts by weight and is used by many TFL folk.  It is possible that with your current ratio, after 24 hours the yeast and bacteria are running out of food.

You may want to invest in a digital scale, which will be more accurate both when you are feeding your starter and also when you start to make breads from it.  They have come down in price and can often be purchased for as little as $20 in the U.S.

-Brad

 

dlee's picture
dlee

I checked the tempture and it was reading 117for 45c  in the oven with the light on  I think thats to warm .Should I keep it in the oven or take it out or leave it in with no light the thermometer I bought only starts at 100f or 50c I looked on line and they all look like thast were they start at I dont know what to do

Deb

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

Yes, you should take it out of the oven for now.  Take about a tablespoon of the starter and mix it with 1/4 cup cool water, then mix in 1/2 cup flour.  Stir it vigorously in order to incorporate oxygen into the mix.  Then leave it out overnight.  If the room temperature is likely to drop below 65˚F, then you can turn on the light in the oven for an hour or so, put the starter in the warm oven and then turn the light off.  At least it will see some warmth overnight.  If it is too warm, the yeast and bacteria will get out of balance.

This type of thermometer will give you the range of temperatures you need.

dlee's picture
dlee

Ok now Idid what you said it was very thick and hard to stir.it is a lot thinner now but  it has not risen.do I take away 1/4 cup and add 1/4coup.I don't know we're to go with this .I made  a second one from the same first one that you told me to I put 1 tablespoon with 1/4 water 1/4 flour the same no risening they are a booth the same .today will be day 8 what should I do 

Thanks Deb

ars pistorica's picture
ars pistorica

Hello, dlee, may I second the above suggestion to buy a digital scale, as well add-on another handy essential, an instant-read thermometer.  Accuracy is very, very important when working with such small quantities, because the statistical margin-of-error becomes so high, especially when seeking a particular, desired outcome, that you might as well not start to begin with.  This is one of the reasons every mainstream bread book tends to recommend an extended, Calvel-style starter build:  home bakers need very large margins of error, and a gradual, week-long build with the Calvel-style proportions allow for such.  I do not say this to discourage you from attempting a starter build without the recommended equipment, as it can be done.  Many experienced professional- and home-bakers could probably reach their desired starter outcome with just a bowl, a bag of flour and their five senses, but their margin-of-error is lowered through experiential, sensorial memory.  This is not something shown to be in-born, but, thankfully, it can easily be learned.

Once the above two are purchased, I can outline the fastest, easiest way to create, maintain and, ultimately, custom-tailor the culture to the type of bread you want to make.  Remember that it is much easier to create a new starter than trying to change an existing one, for too many reasons to elaborate here, and the process only takes 48 hours.  Of course, the exception would be establishing a culture containing Lb sanfranciscensis, a desirable but not necessary lactic-acid bacteria (e.g., starters kept at 100% hydration tend not to establish Lb sanfranciscensis as one of the dominant bacterial cultures, but that does not mean it produces undesirable bread).

I hope this helps.

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

Are either of the samples showing any bubbles or any other activity?  Can you taste any acidity?  The first thing is to determine is if there are any viable yeast or bacteria in the starters. 

 

dlee's picture
dlee

Hi

yes the one I did with 1/4 c water and 1/4 c flour with 1 tablespoonof starter it  has some small bubbles it has a sharp taste if thats helps should I keep trying to feed it yes  no and how much. the other one is still thick not as thick as it was when I started the taste is a little softer.

Deb

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

This is a good sign.  Take about a tablespoon of the most active one, add an equal amount of water and stir to dissolve the starter.  Add about double the amount of flour.  You don't want it so thick that you can't stir it, but it should not be thin either.  Cover it and leave in your warm (no more than 85˚F) for 4-6 hours.  You should see a considerable increase in activity as you continue to do this several days.  You should almost be able to predict the next feeding time by the bubble formation.  You can test if it is ready for use in bread by performing a float test - place a tablespoon of starter in a bowl of water and if it floats, it is ready to use.

A couple of things to consider: cleanliness is very important.  Try to use a glass bowl that is washed without soap, or, if using soap, rinse the bowl with a dilute solution of baking soda which will remove the soap residue.  Try to keep the temperature as constant as possible.  Many people use a bowl of steaming water in a microwave, which is used as a small enclosed space that can be kept warm.

Good luck - you are on your way!

 

dlee's picture
dlee

I feed both last night with 1 tablespoon starter 1/4 cup  flour  and water the second one that was not so thick has bubble on top I did the floating test they went to the bottom.so should I feed today and hope one works  but what do I feed the same as I  have been doing 1/4wf

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

You can keep feeding it the same amounts.  How often are you checking it for activity? If checking only once every 24 hours, then it is possible you are missing the peak activity.  Check every few hours if you can and feed it when you see the most activity.

 

dlee's picture
dlee

I am looking at it all the time thats all im doing the one that was a little thiner  has a little more bubbles now am I to feed that one or take a tablespoon from them and start adding to that.because thats what I did I took 1 tablespoon from  each and  added 1 tsblespoon of water 2 tablespoons of flour .I still have not add to the first two today shoud I add 1/4 w and f

Deb

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

If the bubbles are increasing, then you are getting more activity.  You probably could wait a bit before you feed it.

The thing to remember is that the colonies of yeast and bacteria will grow as long as the conditions promote growth.  Three large factors in this are: 1) the size of the colonies when you start, which is why ratios of starter:water:flour impact how long it takes; 2) temperature; and 3) food, which is the flour you add.

If you want to do an experiment, take a tablespoon of starter from the one with bubbles.  Try not to disturb it too much so that you can continue to see its activity.  Mix a second starter with this tablespoon, and leave them side by side to compare how they grow.  You can learn a lot from this.

-Brad

dlee's picture
dlee

so are you saying not to stir it because thats what I have been doing I read that is what you were to do so do yo think I should feed it tonight

Deb

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

Usually, you should stir it down.  Just for this experiment, in order to compare the activity (density of bubbles) of the two starters over time, leaving it alone gives a better indication.  If you stir it down, you won't see how the activity grows over time in order to catch it at its peak.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven
dlee's picture
dlee

ok the starters that I made from the first set are still the same a little croust on top  the other stopped bubbling .So I think I should feed them or at least the onces that were bubbing a little yestarday. I have never had them rise nothing so do I just keep on working with them.do I feed them today and how much do I leave and how much do take out. and I dont have a backup there all on the stove.My husband said I going nuts with this

Deb

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Lol!   Hopefully you can soon discern which one to keep and junk the others.  Less mess and less stress.  

Runny starters don't rise much but ferment faster.   Yes do feed the ones that bubbled yesterday.   Even if all you do is thicken them up with flour.  

I'll let you all get back to work.  

I like to keep my starter in my pocket on cold days.  Oven lights are notorious for killing starters.  You certainly are hanging in there and will soon be rewarded.   

dlee's picture
dlee

Well all my starters have some bubbles on the bottom  dry on the top.I wish I could send ypictures of them and see if things look wright with them. One has risen a little more  then the rest.should I discard some  to build them up  and when will they rise up  for me to make bbrreeaadd I though I wood have this for Xmas  seeing that I  started in Nov now all I want is to have a starter.they all have a yeasty taste . Am I going in the right  direction now were do I go from here

Thank Deb

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

Keep doing what you have been doing, feed it regularly, and it will be there in a short time.  If the starter is dry on top, make sure you are covering it tightly with plastic wrap when you let it ferment and rise.

-Brad

 

dlee's picture
dlee

Should I be keeping it at the same amount that is  about 1/4 cup should I take awAy a tablespoon and put in a tablespoon? How much do I need to make bread not that I will ever get there.

Deb

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

Now that it seems to be going, you can reduce the amount in order to minimize waste, or you can keep it the same if that is working.  Once you are ready to bake, you can adjust your feeding so that you make the amount required for the recipe (sometimes called the final build), plus enough to hold some back to keep the starter going.  As the starter matures over the next few weeks, it will develop more and more flavor.

 

dlee's picture
dlee

Hi

I just keep doing this every day until. When will I know when it is ok to use it.the risening is very small when I stir it to add more f &w that's when I can tell that it's a little fluffer.should I keep trying the floating test. Do I keep  it on the counter still.

Deb

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven
dlee's picture
dlee

Hi well I make it through Xmas with my starter NOW I'm ready to make a loaf I'm looking for one that's just a plan sourdough loaf.All the ones I see add dry yeast .with all the work that's goes into making starter why would one want to add dry yeast so is there one that's out there .just sourdough and I will be making it in my niche aching. But I don't think that will make a difference so if you can help please

Deb

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

Flo Makanai posted this some years ago, and there are other versions of the same thing.  It is a simple formula to follow, and comes out well.  I think it would be a great recipe to start on: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/9346/123-easy-formula-sourdough-bread

Here's another version with some additional detail: http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2009/07/natural_starter_bread.php

Good Luck.

-Brad

dlee's picture
dlee

Hi

Well I made a loaf of bread at last.It did not rise  very well about 2 1/2 in   and it was very sour My Husband liked it but I will keep on trying

Thanks for all your help

Deb