The Fresh Loaf

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Wild Yeast Sourdough Starter Flop

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Flop's picture
Flop

Wild Yeast Sourdough Starter Flop

Wild Yeast Sourdough Starter Day 1 - Day 7 followed directions, everying went OK  but it did not expand or smell,  on day 15 tried using starter on live drill as prescribed in the recipe for making bread.  It did not rise bout baked it anyway and have a goog hard ball.

Have continued to add flower, water and apple cider vinegar but it does not rise.

 

Comments

the bread baker's picture
the bread baker

Hi, WHat kind of container do you store it in, what temperature is it sitting at? Is it refridgerated?

How is it covered,

I find  apiece of plastic is best, which I figure might allow wild bacteria to get in.

 

If its stored air tight and in the refridgerator, then your basically eliminating the possiblity of a wild bacteria getting into it, which is what a sourdough/wild yeast culture is.

I could be wrong, but from what I understand a sourdough, or wild yeast culture is exactly opposite of what anything classified as sanitary would be.

ars pistorica's picture
ars pistorica

There are plenty of studies available online about the spontaneous fermentation of a starter.  You'll find that such fermentation relies on both endogenous (grain-based) bacterial and yeast-sources but exogenous as well.  As long as you're not maintaining semi-sterile (i.e., laboratory-grade) conditions, then exogenous sources also play a factor.  Water, temperature, and substrate type matter more for spontaneous fermentation than exposure to oxygen.  I have often cryovacked, in much more sterile conditions than most bakers work in here, and then sous-vided a simple mash of freshly-ground rye and unfiltered tap water, and achieved the same conclusions found in every laboratory study on the spontaneous fermentation of wheat and/or rye:  I arrive at an active, enterobacteria-free starter in forty-eight hours, using the right feeding ratio and times, of course.  The same can be done in less sterile conditions, too.  Eric Kayser sells his Fermento-levain machine with similar instructions for arriving at the same-style starter in the same amount of time.

Flop's picture
Flop

My starter is stored on top of the refrigerator, the temperature high 70 low 80.  It is in a glass container with a lid partially open.  I used white flower for days 1- 3.  Day 4 to current using sprouted wheat flower.  On day 4 the starter looked somewhat like the pictured day 4, it was not as bubbly.

Thank you for your help.  Flop

Flop's picture
Flop

My starter is stored on top of the refrigerator, the temperature high 70 low 80.  It is in a glass container with a lid partially open.  I used white flower for days 1- 3.  Day 4 to current using sprouted wheat flower.  On day 4 the starter looked somewhat like the pictured day 4, it was not as bubbly.

Thank you for your help.  Flop

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Active starter should be able to double in volume within 6-12 hours. If it doesn't, it's not ready and something went wrong.

Were you following these instructions: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/233

Did your Day 7 starter look like the Day 7 starter photo in that thread?

What kind of flour are you feeding it? It's best to start out with some kind of whole grain, such whole wheat or rye. Once established, you can start weaning it off to white flour if desired. 

What is the room temp that you are storing it? Storing it in a warm place (like an oven with the oven light turned on, around 80-85F) will help kickstart things. 

Continue to feed per the Day 4 instructions for another 5 days to see if you get more activity. Alternately, consider firming up the starter: for 1 heaping tbsp of starter, feed it 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup water. I honestly don't think the vinegar is necessary.

In any case, you'll need at least 5 more days to get it going. Don't give up, stick with it and the starter will grow! Just be patient.

 

cranbo's picture
cranbo

My starter is stored on top of the refrigerator, the temperature high 70 low 80.  It is in a glass container with a lid partially open.  I used white flower for days 1- 3.  Day 4 to current using sprouted wheat flower.  On day 4 the starter looked somewhat like the pictured day 4, it was not as bubbly.

Thank you for your help.  Flop

I suspect part of the problem was that you used white flour on days 1-3, and then switched to sprouted wheat flour of day 4.  The instructions listed the opposite, start with whole grain and then switch to something else. This is because whole grain flours are generally more conducive to developing a starter than white flours. 

If you continue to feed with your sprouted wheat flour, continue to do so for 5-7 days, and your starter should activate as expected. Then you can switch back to a different flour if desired, or use some of the existing starter to create a new white flour starter. 

Generally it helps to keep a starter fed the same kind of food (feed a whole wheat starter with whole wheat flour, feed a white starter with white flour, etc); switching to different food creates a period of instability (and possibly poor starter performance) while the yeast and bacterial culture readjusts. 

Flop's picture
Flop

Thanks Cranbo.  I like your suggestion and will give it a shot.

Flop's picture
Flop

 

After a couple more tries with my uncooperative Wild Yeast Sourdough Starter, I trashed it,  purchased Ed Wood and Jean Wood’s “Classic Sourdough” book, built a “Proofing Box” and was able to develop a Wild Yeast.  I like it but my wife is not to keen on the sourness. But it worked! Thank you for your help.