The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What happened to my starter?

sadears's picture
sadears

What happened to my starter?

When I went to bed last night, my white starter was almost ready.  This morning :-( it was flat, half of what it was last night.  What do you think happened?

 

Steph

Tess's picture
Tess

This is normal.  It is what happens after the yeast has consumed all the available nutrients in the flour during its last feeding.

 
sadears's picture
sadears

So was it good to use?  I dumped mosted of it and fed it again.

Tess's picture
Tess

  Everyone does things a little differently depending on their schedules and their starter. I know that the forum discourages following random advice but I will share what I do and my starter always performs well for me.  I also know that some suggestions I have tried over the years have worked for me others have not.  When I try something new, I split my starter and experiment on the new one.  That way I never ‘mess up mine.’ '

  I keep a starter out on the counter all the time and feed it equal parts (weight) of starter/flour/water appr. every 12 hours.  The other starters are kept in the refrigerator and fed at least 2 times before using.  This ratio makes a thicker starter so it stays active at my home all the time.  It will rise (triple) and fall between feedings; but always has some bubbles.  I never use starter that has gone ‘flat.’ I always feed or refresh first. 

  Here goes my routine:  7am:  weigh out equal amount (atleast 100 grams each for my household) of Starter/Water/Flour.   6pm:  weigh out equal amounts of  Starter/ Water/ Flour (again this depends on how much I want in the end to bake with).

  When this doubles (around 9 p.m., I save 100 gr. Starter for tomorrow, I make a motherdough using 2 cups active starter, 2 cups flour, and ½ cup water, stir well, cover, and let rest until the morning.

  In the morning, I add the additional ingredients remembering to subtract the 2 cups starter, 2 cups flour, and ½ cup water from any recipe I am using. I then knead, shape, rise, and bake all according to recipe instructions. 

  Using the motherdough is a technique from Ed Wood’s book that I use; except since I keep my starter fed often I  skip his first proofing of a refrigerated starter.  Any additional starter I have is given away, used as batter for waffles for breakfast.   Over the years, I have learned how much to begin with in the morning. 

  Another suggestion that I have tried is to feed my starter at night, take out the amount called for in my recipe in the morning, stir in a cup of flour (refresh) to get it going (rising and bubbling again), and then continue with the recipe but subtracting the cup of flour already added.  I use this method when I want to use multiple long risings. 

I this helps and isn't confusing and doesn't conflict with the forum's advice.   By the way, I have been keeping up with you and you are doing fine.  

       
sadears's picture
sadears

Okay.  I thought it had to remain that way to use it.  Geez, I could be eating fresh sourdough now ;-D  Oh well, yet another lessoned learned.  Can never learn too many.

Tess's picture
Tess

There is always tommorrow.  I just took cinnamon rolls out of the oven.  I liked Sourdolady's bread recipe yesterday so much that I used it to make cinnimon rolls today. This has to be the best sourdough recipe I have come across in years.

Tess

sadears's picture
sadears

Does rye starter double like white or wheat or am I just having fits and starts like I did with the others.

 

Steph

Tess's picture
Tess

That is a starter question I don't have an answer for since I have an Australian starter that I use for my rye or whole wheat breads.  JMonkey responded to a Pumpernickle bread question I had earlier this month.  If I recall correctly he has a rye starter that he uses.  JMonkey?

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I can only speak to my rye starter, which does double in size. I keep it at even weights of flour to water (100% hydration). But it didn't double initially when I was making it. If you've got bubbles and it's sour, you should be ok.

crumb bum's picture
crumb bum

I agree tess, you have a active starter that simply ate through all the "food" you fed it.  There are two things that might help you out.  Keep your starter at a cooler temp after feeding or I like to fridge it 1 or 2 hours after feeding.  It will be good to use the next day.  The other thing is throw out all but a small portion of your starter and feed it more flour.  I pour out all my starter and what remains on the sides of the container, which is not much, is what I feed.  Now since I am a lazy sod I give it equal parts flour and water 1 cup of each by "volume" so I don't have to weigh out anything. Hope this helps.

Da Crumb Bum  

jm_chng's picture
jm_chng


Jim

jm_chng's picture
jm_chng

Hi Steph, isn't this the starter that you made by adding commercial yeast?

Jim

sadears's picture
sadears

Yes, but I've fed it several times since then, many several times.  Shouldn't it have been gone by how?

 

Steph

jm_chng's picture
jm_chng

Hi Steph. For over 10 years I used the same starter. It was made using easyblend yeast. Contrary to much advice, I think I'll have that on my headstone, lol, Contrary to much advice it *never* became anything other than a yeasted starter. It was always fast and furious and as bland as yeasted bread. It had to be fed and used quickly It would form a hooch and quick in the fridge. Every week.  Honestly Steph. Ditch it. You can use any starter as long as it doesn't have commercial yeast in it. Feed it white flour, you have a white flour starter. It doesn't matter what flour you started with. 

Forgive me Steph but I do keep telling you the same thing. I've been with you on this since you started the starter. Others haven't followed your progress the same. Follow my recipe step by step, read it through before you start and plan in your head what you're going to do and when. If you don't understand then ask me. Don't forget I live in London so I'm in bed early. : -) But I'm up early too so I'll have your answer probably before you wake up.  
Jim

sadears's picture
sadears

OK.,  I'll start another starter.  I can take a little of the wheat and just add white to it, right?

jm_chng's picture
jm_chng

Don't know what happend there it was published twice. 
Jim