Experienced TFLers: Does Handbook Starter Storage Info Need Refreshment?
Reading comments today from experienced TFLers on the quantity to feed refrigerator stored starters I am left wondering if the sections on storing starter in the fridge in the Handbook need to be refreshed themselves.
Using the information collated in the Handbook I was easily able to establish a 100% hydration starter and have been storing it in the fridge and feeding it, according to the following copied from the section on making a sourdough starter in the Handbook:
After that time, it should be kept in the refrigerator between uses/feedings. Every week or so, take it out of the fridge, feed it by retaining only ¼ cup of starter and then feed it ¼ cup flour and 2 Tbs water.
I do this by weight retaining 60g of the starter I have built up for use and return the starter to the fridge as 60g:30g:30g. To date I have been making sourdoughs about 6 times a month, ie more than once a week, so the starter is getting a series of substantial feeds each time I build-up to bake and then being put on hold in the fridge at 2:1:1. So far this has worked for me. But from the comments today I am concerned about what will happen longer term.
Likewise the Handbook section on storing starter in the refrigerator says:
If you only bake once every week or two, you’ll be happier storing your starter in the fridge in a covered container.
Once a week, take it out, and feed it.
For a wet starter, retain only ¼ cup of starter and then feed it ¼ cup flour and 2 Tbs water.
For a stiff starter, retain a marble-sized piece and add 15 grams (1 Tbs) of water. Mush it up until it's soft and the water has turned somewhat milky in color. Then add 25 grams (2 heaping Tbs or 1 Tbs + 1 tsp) of flour.
Keep it out for an hour or four, and then pop it back into the fridge.
If you’re going to bake with it, make sure to take it out a day before and feed it twice, with at least 8 hours in between each feeding.
I also follow the above guidelines to feed it twice the day before starting a formula. I did struggle at the beginning knowing quite how to do a build up and gleaned information by reading through the archives. Perhaps if the starter storage information was going to be updated it would be a good time to include some buildup examples for a couple of simple loaves such as the build up of a 100% hydration starter for Wildyeast Susan's Norwich and the preparation of the Firm starter for San Diego Susan's Simple Sourdough.
Experienced TFLers are you able to pool your wisdom on this please? I realize many of you store you starter at room temperature and feed it daily but I am sure there are others who only do a few bakes a month who are experienced with refrigeration storage.
Regards to all, Robyn