The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starter Maintenance and Calculations

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dlstanf2's picture
dlstanf2

Starter Maintenance and Calculations

I've developed a starter that finally produces the desired tanginess for my taste and which also has enough active culture to make a SD Loaf rise. Not wanting to lose this starter has made me take a more active interest in starter maintenance.


My Mother Starter is kept in the refrigerator at a 50% Hydration and fed every two weeks and allowed to activate and double before being returned back to the refrigerator for a slumber. From this starter I made a Daughter, about 100g, and maintained at a 100% Hydration Level, dicarding 50g daily and feeding  with 25g H2O and 25g A-P Flour, which is kept on my counter-top for an easy build to make a quick loaf.


Things were going well untill it got Hot. After almost killing off my Daughter I decided to experiment with different Hydration Levels to adjust for the increased temperatures in my kitchen during this hot weather and also make for a happier environment for my culture.


I've tried both a 75% Hydration Level and a 67% Hydration Level. Either of these work well with increased temperatures. Also, since most of my recipes call for starters at 100% Hydration, I've developed this chart to help adjust Hydration Levels back to the desired 100% Hydration Level.



Hope this helps answers that question of How to adjust Starters. I may have or can build a spreadsheet that can be used for a variety of different hydration level conversions if there are enough requests.


EDIT: If you go away for a few days, put your Daughter Starter in the refrigerator after feeding.

jcamador's picture
jcamador

This explains so much for me...thank you for posting. I would love to see the spreadsheet :)

Rick D's picture
Rick D

Thanks for taking the time to put this together. exactly what I was looking for.


Only question. Am I bug-eyed from a long day's work or do you have the terms "flour" and "water" reversed in your text below the chart?


ie: for 50% hydration


"33 grams water, 16 grams flour"

Rick D's picture
Rick D

I just figured it out. (conversion TO 100% hydration)


poo poo on me!

alldogz's picture
alldogz

I am so new to this sourdough stuff and this is perfect...onto the fridge it goes! Curious about your spreadsheet too! What a handy thing to have!!!!

dlstanf2's picture
dlstanf2

And the reason I only maintain ~100g of starter on the counter-top is that I'm not baking every day and I do not want to have so much waste while maintaining my colony of yeasties.


Daily I remove 1/2 the starter (~50g) and replenish with fresh flour and water to the desired hydration I want.


~28 grams equals 1 oz. of flour


 

bakerjane's picture
bakerjane

Your description is the MOST descriptive, and understandable, of any this new baker has read, about SD maintenance! I'm very grateful for your clear and concise instructions-thank you.