The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pineapple juice starter

Renee B's picture
Renee B

Pineapple juice starter

I started my first sourdough starter about a year ago.  I didn't want to order a starter from King Arthur I wanted to capture the wild yeast.  So, I searched this sight and found the easiest starter possible using ground wheat berries and pineapple juice.  It worked great and I now have a beautiful, mature starter, but it just doesn't seem to do well if I don't feed it with pineapple juice.  I would really like to feed it with stuff like flour,sugar and water, but it refuses to double when I do.  Any suggestions?

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Hi Renee,


Here's the link to Debra Wink's thread on using pineapple juice when creating a sourdough culture.


Sourdough cultures are refreshed with flour and water.  No sugar.  


Hope that reading through that thread helps.

Renee B's picture
Renee B

I didn't mean to add sugar in there.  I did read that article and I have a very active culture, but as soon as I start trying to switch from pineapple juice to flour and water, it doesn't seem to grow nearly as well, and I'm assuming its an issue with pH.  Could it be that its just getting a boost from the extra sugars in the juice.  Should I just take it off of pineapple juice cold turkey and feed it three times a day with flour and water at 100% hydration to get it more to be more active?  Right now, I'm feeding it twice a day, once with flour and water and once with flour and pineapple juice and keep in mind, its over a year old.  But, it makes beautiful bread with a very pleasant sourdough flavor, its definitely very yeasty and has the right smell; a little of alcohol, a little of bread.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

over several feedings cutting it in half every second time until the sugar is no longer.  Then feed regularly and watchthe yeasts build up.  The trick would be to stay on a schedule and not waver.  The yeast will come around to your demands.  Soon those that can live without the sugar reproduce and survive to the next feeding. 


More detail about your feedings would be welcome. 


Mini

Renee B's picture
Renee B

I have it in a 2 quart container and there is usually about 1.5 qt of it at any given time.  I feed it about 15-20g of flour and pineapple juice 2-3 a day.  I have it out all of the time; its easier to obsess over it that way.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and the calories missing in the flour is in the sugar or juice.  You will need to increase the flour amout when cutting out the sugars.


Mini

drdobg's picture
drdobg

How often do you bake?  If you are baking less than daily, I think your starter is not getting enough use.  I have a 5 year old starter that lives in my refrigerator and if I bake once weekly, it is perfectly happy being revived with two refreshments before baking.  Baking more often might allow even less refreshments. If you are using for baking less than daily, you might try storing in the frig.

Renee B's picture
Renee B

I do only use it about twice a week.

Trialer70's picture
Trialer70

I have the same starter since last summer and bake about once a week with it, but I make sure to feed it every five to seven days.  I use about one heaping tablespoon of whole rye flour, plus about a cup and a half of unbleached white KA flour with enough bottled water (Sparkletts or Arrowhead) to make a very thick slurry out of it.  I find the bit of rye flour keeps the action better.  Occasionally I will also dose it when feeding with a couple teaspoons of cider (not white) vinegar, but I do this more in the winter than the summer, when the kitchen is warmer.  It seems happy on the tile countertop in my kitchen and I don't refrigerate it.  It's the best starter I've ever made.

Renee B's picture
Renee B

 Now that you mention it, I may try a little rye.  I have some berries I can mill.  As I recall, It used to do quite well on rye.  Maybe that will help me wean it off the juice.

Jeff Whatley's picture
Jeff Whatley

Hello,


You don't need the pineapple juice any longer if your starter is vigorous and strong.  Unless I am missing something, it sounds to me as if you are way under feeding your starter, especially if you have 1 1/2 quarts (6 cups). Try this:


1) Discard all but 2 cups (474g) of your starter


2) Add 2 cups (474g) AP or bread flour


3) Add 2 cups (474g) non-chlorinated, non-distilled water


Mix well and cover.  This will bring you back to the 1 1/2 quarts you started out with but with a much better ratio of replenishment to starter. Because this feed system using so much flour, you may want to cut back to 3 cups or even less of the starter you keep on hand.  You can always do a build in a couple of days from your discard for any large quanity usage you have planned.  Good luck.


Jeff

Renee B's picture
Renee B

Okay, I think I will use the 2 cups in a batch of bread though instead of discarding it and then start over per your instructions with the leftover.  I will let you know how it goes. Thanks

Renee B's picture
Renee B

I did what you said and it worked like magic.  I used some of the old starter to make pancakes this morning then I fed it the two cups and two cups of flour and water and it proceeded to quadruple in size, bust out of its container and crawl across the counter.  I'm taking it as a positive sign of increased growth.  Thanks for all of your help.