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Use weak starter?

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tgrayson's picture
tgrayson

Use weak starter?

I created a seed culture using the grape method, but I think it's still rather weak.  I created a firm starter from the culture and it's taken about 12 hours to double.  Should I bother using this to make bread, or should I wait until my seed culture is stronger?


 


Thanks

LindyD's picture
LindyD

How old is the seed culture?


Twelve hours to double the firm levain is fine, depending on the temperature where it was kept.  


If it's doubled, you could feed it again, timing the feeding so that it will be domed and ready to use when you wish to start mixing.


Best way to find out is to use it!  The worst that can happen is that you'll have a source for bread crumbs. ;-)

tgrayson's picture
tgrayson


How old is the seed culture?



About two weeks.



Twelve hours to double the firm levain is fine, depending on the temperature where it was kept.



About 70 degrees F.



Best way to find out is to use it!  The worst that can happen is that you'll have a source for bread crumbs. ;-)



Ok, just want to make sure the answer wasn't "complete waste of time". 


 


Thanks!

drdobg's picture
drdobg

You can salvage this batch by spiking the dough recipe using the weak starter and 1/4 or 1/2 tsp IDY.  In the meantime, continue to feed your weak starter to strengthen for future uses.  I've done this with great success as my starter weakened after prolonged storage (aka neglect) in the frig.  Let us know your results, whatever you decide to do. Good luck.

tgrayson's picture
tgrayson


You can salvage this batch by spiking the dough recipe using the weak starter and 1/4 or 1/2 tsp IDY. 



Ah, good idea.  I did read that you can do this without impacting flavor.



continue to feed your weak starter to strengthen for future uses. 



Yes, looks like I was too impatient to begin using it.  I spent several weeks trying to use Reinhart's method without success.  Once I starting getting some bubbles with the grapes, I think I jumped the gun a bit.


Thanks!


 

tgrayson's picture
tgrayson

drdobg wrote:



Let us know your results, whatever you decide to do. Good luck.


 



I used the 1/2 tsp instant yeast as you suggested and it gave the dough just the right amount of kick.  Doubled in about 4-5 hours.  I found the flavor of the bread...interesting.  It was *very* sour, but not unpleasantly so.  I'm guessing this is bacause I only doubled the culture the day before, rather than tripling.


But anyway, the sourness indicates I'm on the right track; at least the bacteria are functioning, even though the yeast weak.


 


Thanks for your help.