The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Lowering Starter Acidity

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townesman's picture
townesman

Lowering Starter Acidity

I have a 100% hydration starter that I typically keep in my fridge and feed once a week. I normally use about 20% of the active starter to inoculate the new one.

The last few times I have refreshed it, I've noticed it has a very strong alcohol smell from the high acidity. To lower the acid should I use a lower percentage of the active starter when feeding? Feed at a different stage of ripeness? Advice appreciated.

phaz's picture
phaz

 the alcohol is usually a sign of a starving starter.  you can try less starter, or more flour in your feed -  if using 1:1:1, try 1:2:2.  lower hydration can also slow activity, may be worth a shot.

tgrayson's picture
tgrayson

I also keep a 100% starter in the fridge, but I don't feed it once a week; I only feed it when I'm about to use it, and then I'll do three refreshes (1:2:2) before I do, at room temperature. Starters don't have to be high maintenance.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

else in life, should be no maintenance and no waste.  That is why I keep 80-100g of a 60% hydration starter in the fridge.  No maintenance is required and never any waste. 

twomamas's picture
twomamas

I find that 100% hydration starters can go sour so I keep a 50% hydration starter in my fridge which can then be hydarted as the recipe requires... but it never goes sour and can be refreshed every 2 to 3 weeks

townesman's picture
townesman

Thanks guys!