The Fresh Loaf

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Questions regarding Debra Wink's starter formula and procedure

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sybram's picture
sybram

Questions regarding Debra Wink's starter formula and procedure

I'm doing Debra Wink's pineapple starter formula.  I'm on day 10 and still feeding just once per day.  The starter is bubbly and is expanding, but doesn't smell as nicely tart as it did earlier--much blander now.  Is that OK?  She says to start feeding two or three times daily after it gets yeast, but not before.  What tells me if it's yeasty?  How long do I continue the 2-3 daily feedings?  What do I do with it then?  Put in fridge between bakings?  Leave out and feed often?  Obviously, I'm new to sourdough.  Also, how can I determine the ph?  Is there a tool?  meter?  Go ahead and add anything else you think I need to know. <snicker, snort>  I'm sure I'll understand this more as I go along, but it's sure Greek to me now, although I've read so much already on TFL.  You're great to share such a wealth of knowledge.


Syb

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

I'm on day 13 of my first starter. 


A starter is "yeasty' when you start to see real bubbles going and it's doubling in size between feedings.  You should be feeding your starter at least twice a day at this point (my work schedule doesn't give me a chance to feed more often).  Mine has a lovely flavor and aroma, even though it was very sssssssssslllllllloooooooooowwwwwwwww to get going at first.  And it's definitely doubling between feedings. 


I am told once your starter is going as above, you should leave it out and continue to feed it 2 - 3 times a day for a week or two to strengthen it before it goes in the fridge. 


I'm bulking my starter up to try to use it in sourdough english muffins this weekend (Susan of Wild Yeast has a recipe that sounds great).  It may not be ready to leaven yet, but I've got a short attention span and I want to try!

sybram's picture
sybram

Thanks Janknitz.  You know, I never even thought about tasting it.  I'll do it when I feed tonight.  I have two going, thinking, hoping at least one would survive.  Two things I'm worried about.  I left town for three days last week, so put them in the fridge.  They didn't seem to be as bubbly when I first started feeding again (Sunday night).  Now, they look better.  The other thing is that I had put them in my oven to keep out of the draft yesterday.  Actually, I had baked earlier, and the oven was just a little warmer than room temp.  I left the door open with the starter sitting away from the oven walls thinking the oven air would be down in just a few minutes.  Well, my DH came through, cleaning up after me (he says), and shut the oven door for me.  I know the temp wouldn't have been over 90º, but I don't know if that's OK.  Anyway, we'll see. 


I've fed the second starter twice each day, per instructions, from the beginning.  I'll ramp up my DWink one tonight.

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

The stint in the warm oven was probably a good thing. My stareter finally thrived when I figured out to boil a cup of water in the microwave and then store the starter in there for warmth.