The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Correcct container for starter in the fridge?

Ctwith3's picture
Ctwith3

Correcct container for starter in the fridge?

 In what container should I use to store my mother in the fridge considering how the humidity level in the  fridge is different then help on the counter? I know to a non airtight container on the counter but what about in the fridge? i feed it every 3-4 days. I have 4 and 6 quart Cambro containers.

I’m working on my mistakes in shaping and proofing, this loaf is my best looking, tastes great, but barely sour. Still, delicious!

HansB's picture
HansB

I use the Weck jars. I keep less than 100g of starter. You must plan keep more if you are thinking about 4-6 qt cambros?

 

Here they are: https://websecure.cnchost.com/weckjars.com/productsDetail.php?category=3

Ford's picture
Ford

Use a small (6 oz.) plastic or glass container with a loose fitting lid.  You nee keep only about 4 oz of starter between feedings. Also, refrigerated starter needs to be fed only every four weeks.

Ford

hreik's picture
hreik

Is a wide mouthed jar w screw lid which I can tighten or loosen.  As Ford said, once your starter is ripened and stable, you can keep it w/o feeding it in the fridge for a long time. 

hester

Ctwith3's picture
Ctwith3

just so I am clear, when I say starter I’m talking about what PR calls Barm/Mother Starter. Ihave one that has a higher percentage of rye than the other. My wife would love for me to get them out of the fridge. Also my srarters have been producing a lot of alcohol if I don’t stir it up every day. 

phaz's picture
phaz

It's the same thing. Alcohol - what's probably happening is the food readily available to the critters (food nearby) is getting used up (alcohol is a sign of lack of food), and mixing moves food closer to our friends and they're happy for a little while, until out of food again and it needs mixing again. Ah, tis a vicious cycle - but one to get used to I guess. I'm sure someone will have some ideas, so keep checking back.

HansB's picture
HansB

Mine stay in the refrigerator for weeks sometimes without being touched. No alcohol ever...

phaz's picture
phaz

Same here, well, I do use it about once a week. It's also a small amount (rarely more than 100ml) and very stiff. Doesn't sound like that's the case here. It'll get figured out. The gurus here always figure it out!

Ctwith3's picture
Ctwith3

Pour the alcohol off the top or stir it back in?

phaz's picture
phaz

I don't think it matters too much once way or the other. I have mixed it back in without any ill effect. If it's a hassle to pour it off, just mix it back in. 

the hadster's picture
the hadster

Use a glass jar and keep it in the fridge.  The size of the jar will depend on how much starter you keep.  A rule of thumb that works for me is a jar that will let my starter rise to 3 times it's volume.  So, if you keep about 50 grams, a 1 pint jar should be fine.

Use a screw on top.  A large jelly jar, a jar left over from tomato sauce, all these are fine.

If you keep your starters on the counter, you will need to refresh daily.  This is fine, but you will use a lot of flour and the cost will start to add up.

 

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

my starter that also lives in the fridge is about 60-65% hydration although my new rye one is of course higher hydration. never see any alcohol though. I too only have 100 gm max stored and make up the levain from this when I bake. Have you read dabrownman's No Muss No Fuss post on starter maintenance? well worth. it.

Leslie

Sondelys's picture
Sondelys

starter  65%  hydration.  = 65g  starter. 65 g. Water  100g flour ?

new rye hydration is 100%. .  You said   "of course " ...does it mean that a rye starter must have higher hydration ?

and do you make your leaven from all the amount of starter or just part of it ?

And how do you ajust a  65 % to a 100%  (when the recipe requires the 1:1:1 )?

Merci!

 

 

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

10 gm starter, 30 g water 50 g flour as per an old post by zolablue. Wait until risen a bit then refrigerate. Build levain as required using small amounts from this "mother".  dabrownman also gives a starter build in his No muss no fuss post which ends up about 60-65% hydration I think. 

When I want to make a 100% hydration I follow dabrownman's method in the No muss no fuss post. eg

4 g starter: 8 g water: 8 g flour wait 3-4 hours or until activity obvious 

add 17 g water: 17 g flour wait 3-4 hours - it should be getting quite active now, if not stir and wait a bit

add 33 g water:33 g flour. It should be active and doubled.

Rye doesn't have to be higher hydration but it absorbs more water and it is more common for the starter to be at least 100% hydration.  I normally keep a white flour starter and have a new rye starter. At 65% hydration it just wasn't right and needed more liquid. I just added more until it felt right. Not sure exactly what the hydration is to be honest. 

hope this helps, there are plenty of others on TFL more experienced than I am who will hopefully chip in if needed.  

good luck, keep asking

Leslie

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

well done

Leslie

IceDemeter's picture
IceDemeter

Honestly, we each use what is "correct" for us, so they are likely all different!

I use the 1/2 cup version of these http://www.rubbermaid.com/en-US/premier-rp091260--1 for the 60-100g I keep of NMNF rye (65% hydration), durum (65% hydration), and oat (80% hydration) mother starters.  I'll build levains from 4g-10g of the mother starter, and most often will just use a larger version of the same container.

I keep the lid sealed when I have it in the fridge --- but we have an issue with massive changes in barometric pressure here, which can cause my starters (or retarded levains) to start being more active than would normally happen in a 37 deg F fridge.  When that happens, the wee yeasties start cranking out gas, which pops the top off the container --- giving me an audible notice that I need to make sure that there is sufficient food for the increased activity.  Occasionally it'll happen overnight, so my husband just lets me know that the alien lifeforms are making a break for it when he sees the lid not sitting right in the morning...

Nice loaf, by the way!  Hopefully you will figure out the "correct" container and starter maintenance routine for you!

HansB's picture
HansB

"but we have an issue with massive changes in barometric pressure here"

IceDemeter's picture
IceDemeter

here are mostly due to geography.

Hi Hans!

I'm in Calgary, AB, which is on the leeward side of the Rocky Mountains, and sits in the Bow River Valley, which acts essentially as a wind-tunnel funneling the prevailing Westerly winds in through the city.  We get a foehn wind (locally called the chinook wind) on a frequent basis, which gives us frequent drops in pressure.  Since we're already at a fair elevation (my house is just over 3500 feet above sea level), with the resulting lower air pressure, additional drops in pressure are very noticeable. 

In years like this one, where the edge of the Jet Stream is also dancing back and forth over the city (with the attendant changes in pressure on the edges of the wind current) - well, it just makes the phenomena more frequent.

Essentially, the drops in barometric pressure create a baking environment the same as being at a much higher elevation, so you just need to follow the high elevation baking tweaks to deal with it.  I would suspect that everyone sees some level of this with the barometric pressure drops that precede big storms, but that most folks just never attributed a random day with a quicker proof or more active starter to be the result of a drop in pressure.

Hope this explains better what I was referring to!

HansB's picture
HansB

As a pilot I fly all around the world and had not seen that phenomenon. It's like your own micro-climate! Perceptive of you to figure it out.

plevee's picture
plevee

I keep mine in a one quart yogurt pot with a knife slash in the lid to prevent the lid blowing off. I keep a tiny amount of starter, let it warm on the counter, then feed it twice in the pot without discard before using it in a three stage sourdough. Only the tiny amount of starter left on the walls of the container is saved and it is fed again before returning it to the fridge. Thus it is fed at least three times before being stored in the fridge for a week - I dislike sour bread and this gives me a very active starter and sweet tasting bread and I have no discards. Patsy

Ctwith3's picture
Ctwith3

Ok. I'm going to use up a lot of my starter over the next week, and discard some along the way, and I will get myself down to about a cup of starter and bake and refresh from that. I expect to try and get into a routine of 2-3 times er week.

My kitchen will average 70 degrees during the day very soon, so I will start seeing an even slower rise then I am seeing now. At what average temperature can it just sit out, or is that not ever possible? My basement averages 60-65 throughout autumn, and down to 50-55 in the winter.

phaz's picture
phaz

It can sit out at any temp, higher, you feed more and/or more often - lower and you fed less and/or less often. If planning on baking 2-3 times a week, I wouldn't even put it in the fridge. Just start with a smaller amount of starter and build it up with something like an every day feed until you have enough for the bake. That'll keep things nice and healthy and ready for use. Toss it in the fridge if not planning on using it for say a week or longer. Easy peasy!