The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starter rising too much?

erickwesz's picture
erickwesz

Starter rising too much?

Hi, please introduce my self, My name is Erick, I'm from Indonesia, The weather in my place now is around 82-89f. Humidity around 50-60% last time i checked. Anyway please forgive my English, hope you guys understand :) 

So last month I tried to make my self a sourdough starter using local AP flour which always ended with bad smell, sometime it rises, sometime it didn't. I guess the problem was the AP flour

Then I changed my flour on the 5th attempt which was 3 days ago to BRM unbleached AP flour mixed with BRM organic dark rye flour. The first day, my starter was bubbling a bit, but no rise. on the 2nd day, it started to rise around 2 times and already smell alcohol. Today my starter rising so fast and high, around 3-4 times around 7 hours after I feed them. Is it normal? It still have a bit alcohol smell. It collapse at around 8 hours after feeding..

For this starter, I used 50% AP + 50% Rye + 100% distilled water. I feed them twice a day with 1:2:2 ratio of starter, new flour (50:50 of AP and RYE) and distilled water. 

Is it normal? Thanks

Regards

Erick

Lechem's picture
Lechem

Keep it up and you'll be baking in no time.

Welcome to The Fresh Loaf.

 

P.s. if on day 4-5 you experience a slowing down or even no rise at all then don't panic. It's perfectly fine. Just slow down your feeds till it picks up again and then carry on. Even if it means missing a feed or two. But from what you say and what I see it seems like you'll go from strength to strength. Perfect temperature for making a starter and good flour. If you have anymore questions then don't do anything before asking first.

erickwesz's picture
erickwesz

Hi thanks for the reply, I guess now I just feed them regularly and see what will happen in the next few days.. anyway just wondering, since there are toons of different informations on the net, should I feed my starter if it's already 12 hours and it still rising? or should I wait until it collapsed?

 

Lechem's picture
Lechem

if you can. And then feed again. That doesn't mean you have to get up at 3am to feed it again. Peaking and collapsing means it can't hold the gas anymore but doesn't necessarily mean its run out of food. You live in a hot country which is good for making starters but means they will bubble up quickly. For me, when I first started out, once a day at the beginning was fine and then twice a day after it speeded up. Try and catch it when it peaks and if not as soon as you can. Once your starter is stronger then you can make the feeds work for you like giving it more fresh food to starter so it takes longer to peak. And because it's really hot and you find it's extra fast then you can use chilled water. But for now just carry on!

Don't worry too much about the overload of info. You're doing just fine.

erickwesz's picture
erickwesz

Thanks for your suggestion

hope it works for this time.. :D

Lechem's picture
Lechem

keep up what you're doing and whatever happens if you have a question then post it here before doing anything rash.

phaz's picture
phaz

A suggestion to add to the good advice already given - stir it. Once it peaks and falls, stir well. If it keeps rising, don't feed (there is enough food already there) If it doesn't rise, feed it (food is running low). Feeding to much can dilute the starter, slowing progress at this stage (and makes for a weak starter later on). Enjoy the ride!

erickwesz's picture
erickwesz

thanks for the advice.. --

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I think a big rise in early stages is more as a result of bacterial activity rather than yeast activity, and quite normal. As Abe says, keep working on it until you get a healthy population of yeast (as this is what will rise bread).

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

in a bread recipe to see what happens.  Sounds like it's a go.

erickwesz's picture
erickwesz

Day #4, So It's been 12 hours now from the last 'overnight' feeds, the temperature drop to around 78 f. The starter double up and already collapse half of it. I've stir it just now and see what happen in the next hour. The smell is yeasty and a bit alcohol, still strange for my nose anyway. I hope it's a good sign.. can't wait to make my first sourdough bread :D

Anyway thanks for the reply and helps 

phaz's picture
phaz

Looking very good. The smell is about right, might take a bit to get used to, but you will. Interested to see if it rises after the stir.

erickwesz's picture
erickwesz

It stop rising after the stir this morning and I feed them already, well I have to discard half since I don't have big jars here.. Right now (around 5 hours after feeding).. they just rise a little, around half of their initial size, it slowed down.. that's a good sign right?

Lechem's picture
Lechem

What was the feed you gave it?

Sounds like you're hitting a quieter stage. Don't worry! See how the next few days go. For now wait until it's peaked before feeding again and from here on in allow the starter to dictate when it needs feeding next. So slow down your feedings if your starter is slowing down.

It's a sign it's going through a normal stage in the process of making a starter.

erickwesz's picture
erickwesz

still using 50:50 unbleach AP and dark rye, both from BRM and the ratio 1:2:2 (starter, new flour and distilled water), should I change it?

Lechem's picture
Lechem

but you say it's slowed down a bit. If you have to wait longer for it to peak then wait longer to feed it. If with subsequent feeds it further slows down then further slow down your feeds. Should it all go quiet then skip a feed or two. If at any stage it begins to pick up again then pick your feeds up again. So you're timing your feeds to the rhythm of your starter and see how it goes over the next few days.

Feed sounds fine for now. If you do experience more slowing down then don't discard as much and feed 1:1:1. Go back to 1:2:2 when it picks back up again.

erickwesz's picture
erickwesz

Yesterday was fast, 5 hours after feeding it already risen more than double. So I guess it slowed down a bit today. I'm still waiting for it to peak, since i think It still rises, I put a rubber band just now and gotta check in 1-2 hours. Anyway the bubbles are bigger than yesterday

Lechem's picture
Lechem

You're doing well. It really is just a game of patience and giving it food when it needs it. It might not be going through a quiet stage as such but rather it's just being a bit unpredictable because it's young. We'll know for sure in the next day or two.

erickwesz's picture
erickwesz

Still using 50:50 unbleached AP and Dark Rye, both from BRM. And the ratio 1:2:2 (starter, new flour and distilled water), Should I changed it?

Lechem's picture
Lechem

It behaves and smells good? Sounds like it's going from strength to strength and you've skipped the quiet stage we all too often see. You probably got the temperature, good flour and timed the feeds in perfect balance. If this carries on then how about a weekend bake?

erickwesz's picture
erickwesz

Behaves good today, slowing down a bit, it rises around half of initial size, the temperature is around 87-88 f right now, smells better than yesterday, what I can describe is a bit sour, soft vinegary smell, still got soft alcohol smell and yeast... hope it's a good sign... Already planed for weekend bake if everything goes all right :D

Lechem's picture
Lechem

Sounds like how a starter should smell but monitor this slowing down and see how it goes over the next two days. Don't worry as everything you describe sounds like the behaviour of a young starter. They're a bit unpredictable when young. Keep on and report back with further updates.  

erickwesz's picture
erickwesz

I'm starting not to worry too much :D

I'll post some updates later , thanks for the help

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

handy?   You will want to use the starter when it is peaking, stir down to measure by cups, or just pour into a bowl on a scale.  

Let the rest of the starter rest an hour or so and then feed.  Feed enough flour so that it first peaks in about 8 hours.  See if you can do that.  The ratios may be 1 to 8 flour.  You may want to drop back the water and make a thicker starter so it isn't screaming for food.  Thicker and more flour will give your yeast lots of food.  They sound like they can handle it.  When they have started to double, tuck into the fridge to slow them down more and give yourself a break while you play with your first recipe and enjoy the loaf.   

In the tropics it's too easy to go thru flour fast with a hungry starter.  You will see it keeps rising in the fridge.  You can pull the starter out of the fridge and let it ferment more before using or wait a few days and use directly into a dough.  

Use your starter now and don't wait.   

erickwesz's picture
erickwesz

Yeah I got some recipes to try, but I'm not in hurry since I just ordered some flours and waiting for them to arrive in the next few days... perhaps this weekend :D

erickwesz's picture
erickwesz

it seems the starter has stop rising, double it's initial size, around 9 hours after last feeds but it doesn't collapse yet. Should i stir it or just leave it until collapse? Not so much bubble on the top, but on the side there are a lot of small bubble and also big bubbles. It smell sour, not much alcoholic smell. Anyway I'm still unsure what is the sign that they are hungry.. 

Lechem's picture
Lechem

then feed again. You can feed now if you wish but no hurry. An alcoholic smell is a sign they're hungry. It must be early evening where you are. I'm just wondering if giving it a good feed and thickening it up would be a good idea so it can last till morning.

Lechem's picture
Lechem

doubled!

Lechem's picture
Lechem

a teaspoon of starter and drop it into a glass of water does it float?

Lechem's picture
Lechem

That's what you'd expect from a fully functioning starter. You can bake with it!

erickwesz's picture
erickwesz

Really can't wait for the flour to arrive :D

so how do I maintain the starter, should I keep feeding them with 1:2:2 ratio or perhaps 1:1:1 is enough? I'm not planning to put them on my fridge soon I guess

anyway thanks again for the advice, if I haven't found this forum, I guess I had already throw away this starter :D

Lechem's picture
Lechem

That bigger feeds would be good to further increase strength and get the yeast population up.

From now on don't discard the starter but rather store what you take off in the fridge. This can act as back up and you can use it in other recipes too which call for flour and water. It'll add nice flavour.

Change your feed to 1:3:3 for now and see how the starter fares with this bigger feed. Highly likely Mini would say give it an even bigger feed but I'm proceeding more slowly and erring on the side of caution. Bigger feeds and allowing each feed to peak before feeding again makes for a healthy starter. You cans start off with a smaller amount of starter, if you wish, in order not to be building too much. e.g. 20g starter + 60g water + 60g flour.

Eventually you can work out a starter maintenance where there will be no discard.

erickwesz's picture
erickwesz

seems like they're more predictable today, been overnight. I actually split them to 3 jars and I fed one of them with local rye flour which turn out bad, and got no sign of rising and no bubble, looks like my local flour contains chemicals. The other one goes to the fridge and the last one I fed them with BRM organic AP and Rye, and 1:3:3 ratio. The last one doubled up and stay there until now. 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/chmpepwbyyvceb5/Photo%209-15-17%2C%207%2049%2031%20AM.jpg?dl=0

erickwesz's picture
erickwesz

Anyway they smell sour and almost no alcohol smell

erickwesz's picture
erickwesz

Just want to share my sourdough bread, after many experiments and adjustments, and the starter is getting more stronger now, more predictable and easy to work with..

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ilta6hjwiwvirjr/Photo%2030-10-17%2000.35.05.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/b8nm1yqp97odgtg/Photo%2030-10-17%2007.58.57.jpg?dl=0

50% pre-ferment for 2 days, 50% ap flour, 72% hydration and another 12 hours retard on the fridge.. baked with toaster oven. Not bad but still need more experiments :D 

Thanks for the help and the suggestions

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

and crumb is great.  well done 

Leslie