The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starters: differences and longevity

winterberryfarmer's picture

Starters: differences and longevity

Having jumped in to the sourdough way of life in my typical 'all the way' fashion, I now have three very happy sourdough starters bubbling away in my dungeon: the first is from a friend in SanFrancisco,nickname, "Jerry," (what else?)  the second I purchased from KAF in Vt., nickname "skibum" and the third is from my outlaws' family in the environs of Paris nickname "Etienne " . All three have been resurrected from their trips here to NJ and each has proven itself capable of rising on command. Tried the same recipe with each and they definitely produce subtle differences. So far, Jerry is the nastiest of them, but he's been here the longest. 

First, I was wondering whether, from anyone's experience, these differences intensify over time or whether the ongoing feeding/use cycles tend to blur the distinctions as a result of the infusion of both local strains of yeast and/or the introduction of new strains from the flour being used to feed them. With that, I also wonder whether there is a way to intensify the differences and/or prevent the "NewJerseyation" of these very different starters. 



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

individually, they will remain individuals.  That includes individual feeding schedules type of flour and temperatures.   If they all eat the same type of grain, that makes things easier.  If they all eat at the same time, great!  If you want to keep them in the fridge, make sure they can take the cold temps otherwise stick them in a slightly warmer place or get a wine cooler/small refrigerator to run a little warmer than the refrigerator. That would give you more free time and long weekends away from the starter.  Also a better place to retard your sourdoughs not to mention a few bottles of wine.

Even after that, I can't guarantee anything.  But keeping them all healthy, growing, and balanced will help keep them separate.



montanagrandma's picture

that I carry with me on the road ...I travel most of the year... have stayed original as when I got them. Each bread is tasty and it is nice to change them up depending on what I am using them for. My Oklahoma starter is the stronger flavored compared to my Montana one. It is nice to have two choices at my finger tips.