The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Is this active enough?

  • Pin It
susies1955's picture
susies1955

Is this active enough?

I'm fairly new to sourdough baking. I had a starter going pretty good and made a few loaves and then put it in the fridge and now years later am trying to get 'her' going again.


I've been feeding it for four days. It smells a little vinegary and it looks like the photos that I just added to my photo site. The photos are in the album called Sourdough. :o) 


http://susies1955.myphotoalbum.com/ Is this good? Thanks, 


Susie


 

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

Is this the same starter that you had a few  years ago and are now feeding to reactivate, or is it a new starter that you are growing and are on day 4 of its life? If it is the original starter, I'd say it is looking good and I would give it a couple of more feedings before baking with it. If it is a brand new starter, then no, it is probably just bacteria growing which will settle down soon and then it will be a few more days before the yeast starts to grow. Does it smell yeasty at all? It should if it is an active starter. Since you said it smells vinegary, then I'd guess it is not ready to use yet. Wait a few more days and keep feeding.

rockfish42's picture
rockfish42

In general, the starter needs to be able to double in 4-8 hours to be considered ready for bread baking, and some argue that it takes a couple weeks of feeding to develop full flavor.

susies1955's picture
susies1955

This is the same starter that I've had in the fridge for years. I can't say that it smells yeasty. 


I'll watch to see if it is doubling in 4 to 8 hours and I'll wait and feed another week and see how it goes.


How to I care for it if I want to use it once a month or so? Do I just leave it out and feed once a day or once a week? Do I put it back in the fridge and take out before use and feed once????


Thanks Sourdolady and rockfish42 for your help.


Susie

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

Susie, if you are only going to use it once a month or so, keep it in the fridge.  There's no sense keeping it out and feeding it daily if you aren't using it that often.  I would feed it at least once every 10 days to 2 weeks.  You don't have to keep a lot:  100 grams or so would be plenty.  Take it out of the fridge to feed it, let it sit out for about 4-6 hours after feeding, then put it back.  When it comes time to bake, you might want to take it out and give it a couple of feedings at 12-hour intervals.


Phyl

susies1955's picture
susies1955

Phyl,


Thanks for all of the tips. I saved what you said to refer to it. I feed the starter 8 hours again and it is only 1/2" bigger than what it was so I'm taking that as a sign it isn't active eh????


Susie

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

I see you have already received some suggestions.  All I have to say is that you are a very talented person.  Love your knitting and sewing projects.  Even more impressed with the heat press shirt.  Nicely done!


susies1955's picture
susies1955

Thank you so very much. :)


I've decided to DUMP the starter. It just isn't growing at all. Just a few bubbles. I think my quilting buddy in the next town may have some active starter. :)


Thanks for everything,


Susie

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

Susie,


Sorry your starter seems to have fizzled.  It's pretty easy to start one from scratch.  Check out my Sourdough Tutorial for easy, step-by-step instructions.


Good luck!


Phyl

susies1955's picture
susies1955

Phyl,

Thanks for the link. I'll print it out. :)

Susie