The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

1st Time Starter problems...

scratchedup's picture
scratchedup

1st Time Starter problems...

Just joined.

I watched a lot of videos.  Today is about day 5 and my batch has yet to take off. At 12 hour intervals I check.  The smell and look are fine but very few bubbles and little if any rise.

House temp ~ 68 to 71 degrees.

 Fresh water and organic artisan unbleached bread flour.  I started with 2 T Pineapple juice.

 

Just build a Four Grande Mere outdoor oven.

Lechem's picture
Lechem

It's going to take a while and really test your patience. You really have to find a way to get it up to 78F for things to go quicker. In the oven with just the light switched on or a on top of the fridge or somewhere that is warmer. 

What have you done so far when it comes to feeding? And have you seen any bubbles yet at all? 

scratchedup's picture
scratchedup

Guess shows the value or not of Youtube ...the videos I watched never really discussed the temp.  "just set aside on your kitchen counter..."

I fed it about every 24 hours and last night I discarded 1/2 and added 3 T flour + water.  Seems no need to feed until it established itself and starts to grow.  

Every 12 hours I vigorously stir and transfer to a clean container.

I will try to figure out a way to add a few degrees.

Lechem's picture
Lechem

Just stop feeding for now, keep warm and stir. Transferring everytime you stir just ups the risk of contamination. As long as the jar it's in was clean and the utensils you're using are clean then fine. 

Only feed again when you see some significant activity. When you do then discard half and top back up but include some wholegrain in the feed. This will help! From here on in you feed when there is activity. 

68-72F is not too bad but it will be quite a bit slower then 78F. It will turn into a starter but it'll take more time at lower temperatures. So try and find a way to get it warmer. In a cupboard which is close to hot water pipes?

Don't worry about it. Just takes time. 

Welcome. Nice to have you here. 

scratchedup's picture
scratchedup

Thanks for the no transfer tip...just trying to keep thing clean.

I started with Red Mill Whole wheat organic flour + a little Rye flour with pineapple juice.

 

Last 2 feeding switched to Red Mill unbleached artisan flour.

Should I feed with 50/50?

Lechem's picture
Lechem

If you stick to feeding when you see signs of activity and until then keep warm and stir it'll go quicker. That's the plan for now. Once you see its stronger and rising on cue then it's done and you can switch to discarding 2/3rds and topping back up. It'll now cope with a bigger feed and it'll increase its strength. Right now your starter is trying to mature, the PH level is lowering to support the yeasts and good bacteria. Feeding too often and too much at this stage just slows things down. Once it's ready then a little will inoculate a lot and encourage more yeast growth but all in good time.

scratchedup's picture
scratchedup

THX...

Do you know how to post an image?

I converted a .jpg to url and it did not work.

Lechem's picture
Lechem

And follow instructions. It's not so straight forward so report back if you can't figure it out and I'll walk you through it. 

Also, email Floyd (you can find his email address at the bottom of the page) and ask him to enable your editing and private messages. 

Lechem's picture
Lechem

I would go for whole rye flour in a starter. Rye really brings out the best flavour IMO. 

scratchedup's picture
scratchedup

Yes, I clicked on tree link and inserted a url image..not work.

My goal initially is pizza dough for a new outdoor wood oven.

Lechem's picture
Lechem

And post the photo in "add image" at the top of the page. You'll see it and it's very straight forward. Only allows you to add one image though. It's late here and I'll try and help you sort out how to post an image in the comment box tomorrow unless someone else chimes in first. 

An outdoor Wood Fired Oven is a bread bakers dream. Glad you have realised it and a sourdough pizza base baked in this traditional way sounds wonderful. But don't stop there. We're expecting loaves n all. 

AndyPanda's picture
AndyPanda

It's a whole series of steps.  I'll post pictures to illustrate:

syros's picture
syros

For the explanation of how to download more than one photo!

scratchedup's picture
scratchedup

I followed the steps.  It sorta worked but I think my picture file was too big...I just got a spinning ball on my iMac.

syros's picture
syros

dont give up. What finally worked was the three tablespoons of rye flour with the two tablespoons of pineapple juice. I followed Kings Roost video on YouTube. But Abe is right the temperature is important. Took me ten pounds of flour before I got a starter going! 

Brazer's picture
Brazer

Thank you