The Fresh Loaf

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Sourdough Culture went dormant on it's own.

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Niashi's picture
Niashi

Sourdough Culture went dormant on it's own.

I'm sorry, I've been looking through these forums and I cannot find a specific answers to my issue. Mine was never in the fridge, never in the freezer. Infact, I just started this culture about a week ago. It was extremely active at the beginning then went dormant. There are tiny tiny bubbles, but that's it.


 


It's kept at 82F pretty much constantly. I read Peter Reinfields page about people seeing this issue from his book recipe for starter and read about how certain bateria is alot more present in flours then it used to and hinders it's ability, but I cannot use the Pineapple solution because my culture isn't at it's beginning stages anymore.


 


His page suggests agitating it by stirring several times a day, which I did do yesterday, but no results. Still very very small bubbles. The smell is extremely sour.


Any suggestions? =.(

Martyn's picture
Martyn

This is perfectly normal. Stick to the recipe and in a few days the dominant natural yeast will overcome the other bacteria that are curently active. The fact that the starter is now slowing down is a good sign that other microbes are at the end of their lives and the environment is perfect for the natural yeast that you are trying to nurture to propogate.

Niashi's picture
Niashi

Okay, I'll keep feeding it and keep it going. I just want it ready bu Thursday, my Bosch mixer shows up and I can really get started on bread making. :)


Thank you for taking the time to reply!

Niashi's picture
Niashi

Ah nope. I did some additional research. Bad bateria. I have to start all over again *SIGH* Nail polish smell now. =.( I'm guessing the man at home who said he was feeding my starter, was infact not.  I'll setup the schedule so only I touch it, so I know what's been done with it.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

fed properly, so I wouldn't pick on the starter sitter.  Try a little unsweetened pineapple juice to get over that bump when starting the new starter.   Getting a little acid and not too much into the starter in the beginning helps.

Mebake's picture
Mebake

I echo minioven's suggestion. Add little acid, maybe vinigar. it'll spring to life in no time.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

The nail polish smell is a normal indication that it needs to be fed. Just feed it at a ratio of 1 part old starter to 4 parts water and3 parts flour. After 2 or 3 feedings it will be fine. The acetone smell is an indication you have an active and hungry culture. If I forget to feed my starter for a day it will start smelling the same way. Be patient. remember the first rule for starters. "When in doubt, feed it"


Eric

Niashi's picture
Niashi

I scrapped it. By the time I made it home that night, it was foaming at the top with a dry crust on the foam which worried me heavily. I also had the feed proportions way out of alignment. I used a package starter, but I started a new one since via wildyeast. It's already looking way better than my last attempt and it will have a very tangy flavor from the rye flour I am using (100% hydration). 


 


All in all, I think I just totally screwed up the last one. I had 2 jars ready for when I oopsie. I figured it might mess something up (I'm quite accident prone, but I really did want it to work the first time).


 


With the last batch, I had a hooch every day from day 2. No hooch on this wildyeast starter so far and the consistency is right.  Not saying hooch is bad, but all the pictures and such never mentioned a hooch so early. Alll said and done, this culture should be mature by my weekend. It's on a 12 hour feeding cycle and doing well.


 


I think the first one was just newbie mistakes and the directions kind of sucked. I'm guessing that the packet was aimed at those already well versed at sourdough raising.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

that you held back...  "I used a package starter" 


Well, glad you're on track now.  Forget the juice.

Niashi's picture
Niashi

You're correct, I see I did forget to mention that. I thought I did, very sorry about that.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

a slight difference in handling the starter. 

Niashi's picture
Niashi

I started a new one, it wasn't growing, so I followed the suggestion of 1:4:3 and added a little pineapple juice and now it's growing quite well. At this point, I continue 1:4:3 correct? Previously, it was 1:1:1


 


1 - Starter (75g)


4 - water plus a little juice (300g, with just a little juice in the mixture. Bottled, not distilled, or tap water that has sat out for at least 2 days to dissipate chlorine. I had the backup of tap water that had sat out in case I ran out of bottled water, which I did. I don't get home from work until after Midnight PST so getting bottled water at that time of night can be difficult.)


3 flour (150g unbleached flour, 75g rye)


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

You may want to decrease the water and stay with the 3 parts food.  You can go equal amounts of water and food for 100% hydration. 


You can also alternate feedings according to your work schedule: feed it more flour (4 -6 parts) when it stands a long time, thickening it up; and 3 parts when it only has 8 hours betweeen feedings.  As the starter strengthens, you might want to consider reducing the starter to a smaller amount, from 75g to maybe 20g to feed.  Save yourself a little flour.  You really only need to build it up for a recipe.  20g is more than enough to maintain between baking.


Tip:  Take 25g of the excess ripe starter and mix with enough flour to make a very crumbly ball that just barely holds together.  Put it into a container with a few spoons of flour, label it, and store this ball of starter somewhere in your refrigerator for the next 3-6 months as back up.  It should be about the size of a golf ball and after it cools down several days, you may use a tighter fitting lid on it.  Just don't forget to loosen the lid when you remove the starter from the fridge or clean the refrigerator. 


Mini

Niashi's picture
Niashi

Wonderful, thank you very much. I will do that. =.)