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Sourdough starter never bubbled after 3 days

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friar120's picture
friar120

Sourdough starter never bubbled after 3 days

My sourdough never bubbled after 3 days.  I used pineapple juice (canned) and wheat flour.  2 TBSP each, and re-fed for 3 days.  Finally I threw it out.  Was the canned juice the problem? 

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Three days is too soon to give up.  My most successful starter took about 5 days before it showed signs of life and 2-3 weeks before it was really going.


I know that many here advise using very small quantities of flour and water, but I would personally find it very hard to work with a tablespoon of a sticky substance.  Try starting with 50 grams water + 50 grams flour, adding 50+50 at day 2 or 3 depending on the procedure you are using, then removing/adding 100+100 for a while.


sPh

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Canned juice is best because it's pasteurized or sterilized. As sPh said, 3 days is too soon to give up. Actually, no activity on the first 2-3 days is the best scenario, because that means the juice was doing it's job keeping undesireable bacteria from growing. These things usually don't start expanding from yeast growth until day 4---day 5 this time of year. You were so close :-( 


dw

SulaBlue's picture
SulaBlue

Was it sweetened juice?

friar120's picture
friar120

It was made from consentrated juice and did not mention sugar being an added ingredient.  I live at 10,200 feet and it is cool up here.  Is it alright if the sun shines on it, or should I keep it in a corner of the counter top?  


     I started another one.  Hopefully I will do it correctly this time.


Thanks for your replies.  I'll keep you posted.  My new 1000 watt Cuisinart stand mixer should arrive on Monday.  I am looking forward to making some bread.

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

I think you'll do fine, but if you have any questions along the way, please don't be afraid to ask :-)

SulaBlue's picture
SulaBlue

Debra,


Do you have any tips on feeding a refrigerated starter?


How often should it be fed?


Should I let it warm up for a bit before feeding?


Should I let it sit out for an hour or so after feeding before tossing it back in the fridge?


I have two starters going - one a spelt/rye mix (whichever I happen to be cooking with next is what it gets fed with) and the other is a pure 100% white flour starter. The white flour starter is the one I purchased from a commercial bakery. The spelt/rye is the one I made using spelt flour and fresh-squeezed OJ. Both are several weeks old at this point and have both been used, with varying degrees of success, to bake with.


How far in advance should I pull my starter before using? And would it be best with 1 or 2 feedings before using? I generally feed it twice and then start using it once it's doubled up after the last feeding.

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Sulablue, others may have a different experience, but I find weekly feedings keep my starter in fairly good shape. It's ready to use after a feeding or two at room temp. But, if it sits in the fridge much longer than a week, it usually needs a few extra feedings before it is back up to speed. How far in advance, depends on how long it's been in storage.


If when you pull it out of the refrigerator, it appears to still be rising, then let it go ahead and finish rising at room temp, and then feed. If it looks spent when you pull it out, go ahead and feed it right away---you don't even have to let it warm up first.


If it is sluggish, overly sour, or overly sticky and proteolytic, just keep feeding it until it perks up. If you don't, you may end up with heavy bread. It may take a few days. It's hard to prescribe any one routine, because everybody's starter is just a little different, as is their lifestyle. I like to get my starter nice and lively before baking bread or putting it back into storage.


dw