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Starter doubling on the 3rd day - Help !!

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Nepakshi's picture
Nepakshi

Starter doubling on the 3rd day - Help !!

Hiee,


I am quite new with raising a starter. About a fornight ago, i tried to make a starter with water and ryeflour as explained here -


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10251/starting-starter-sourdough-101-tutorial


I followed things to the letter T but on 4th day i saw alot of mold development and trashed the whole thing.


Now this is my 2nd attempt and this time i am following the pineapple juice method as explained on "www.northweststarter.com"


Bread flour is not available where i reside so i am using allpurpose flour.


I am making a starter with 1/4th cup rye flour + 1/4th cup all purpose flour + 1/2 cup pineapple juice.


That was what i mixed on the 1st day. 2nd day i added nothing, but just stirred.


3rd day today -


i removed half of the existing starter and did more addition of 1/4th cup rye flour + 1/4th cup all purpose flour + 1/2 cup pineapple juice.


Within 3 hours of the mixing - the starter more than doubled and was very bubbly. I had to stir it down but again after an hour it started rising again.


Is this normal ?? I mean does it start growing on the 3rd day itself ? The bubbles are too lively and growing at quite a rate.


It isnt warm. The temperature inside is arnd 18c, I reside in Hyderabad - India.


Should i loosely close the lid or should it be airtight ?


Should i feel happy about this, coz i do want it to grow but am not sure if it is okay.


Some comments, some assurance needed......


 


 

Nepakshi's picture
Nepakshi

Sorry it is not northwest starter - It is http://www.northwestsourdough.com/


Mistyped the link...

Ford's picture
Ford

First, all purpose flour is all right for the starter -- gluten is not needed.  I recommend that the flour be unbleached and contain no brominates, or chlorates.

Second, just keep feeding with equal weights of flour and water.  Though you may have started with equal volumes, it is ok to change to equal weights.  A cup of flour will weigh 4.3 to 4.6 oz. and a cup of water will weigh 8 oz.  If you do not have scales, get one -- it is a worthwhile investment for bread bakers.  It is more accurate and, when you gain experience, you will find it faster.

Finally, do not expect your starter to be mature until about a month or more.  You can use it earlier, but the organisms will not have gained their full potential.


Good Luck.  I think you will find sourdough baking rewarding.


Ford

Ford's picture
Ford

Sorry, I forgot the question about the lid.  When you close the container, make sure the gas can escape.  A tightly closed lid may cause a small explosion.  The starter will ferment in an air atmosphere.  The reactions under aerobic conditions are different from the ones under anaerobic conditions.  Either works, besides the oxygen is quickly exhausted.


Ford

Nepakshi's picture
Nepakshi

:-) Thankyou Ford, i think tht could be the reason. I had it airtight. I loosened the lid abit and it seems to be okay now.


About the scale - yes i do have one.....just that according to the manual that i am following - the weighing part starts from day 5, till thn the instructions are for volume, hence was following that.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

IMO, if you're using the pineapple starter you've got a winner.  Almost everyone has success with that.  It was my first and I still use it for instructional purposes (my own has a life of three years).


Do you have retrigeration?  If so, once it's doubled you can stir it down and keep it cool to slow it down a bit.  Otherwise, I have nothing to add to Ford's comments.  NEVER seal it tightly.  If it's sealed tightly it will either die of its own atmospheric increase or blow the top off whatever you're storing it in.  Believe it or not, the latter situation would be more desireable. 


When you've got more than you want to store  -  make bread for the neighbors.  I never throw away starter.

Nepakshi's picture
Nepakshi

Thanks Flournwater for the reply.....i had th lid airtight - but have loosened it now. Yes i do have refrigeration and use it when its needed, i feel just now it would be too early to put it inside the fridge coz the kitchen temp never rises above 18 to 19C. Is that temp okay for the bread n the starter ?


One more question i had was - though i have never baked a single bread with sourdough myself - i wanted to know if there is any difference in the taste of bread if it is made with the pineapple starter or the normal plain water starter ?


I myself feel it might not be a significant difference as after the 4th 5th day - the water regimen starts and gradually the pineapple would diminish. but yet had this question if there is any difference between an original water flour starter and pineapple juice n flour starter ?

flournwater's picture
flournwater

I think Ford's response (below  -  Pineapple Tast & Temperature) covers these questions very well.  I don't have anything to add to what he has offers there.


If you want to play with the flavor, the next time you divide it try feeding one batch using rye flour and nourish using rye until it develops to the point where you want to use it in a formula.

longhorn's picture
longhorn

The activity you are experiencing is almost certainly bacteria. Just hang in there and keep feeding. You shouldn't have to keep using pineapple juice. The activity will almost certainly cease today or tomorrow and then it will appear dead for a few days before the wild yeast takes over. Just hang in there!


Jay

Nepakshi's picture
Nepakshi

Today was the fourth feedin day....


Again after an hour of feeding, i see it doubling....


Hope to develop a proper healthy starter......Waitin.

longhorn's picture
longhorn

If it is doubling in an hour (or anywhere near that) it has to be bacteria. You can't possibly have a yeast populaiton that healthy this quickly. The pineapple juice is supposed to slow the bad bacteria and by lowering the pH to the point where the good bacteria you want are favored and the wild yeast (versus commercial and other yeasts that can't take the acid. The behaviour of your starter is a bit weird but..hang in there. Keep throwoing away half and feeding. Assuming it IS bacteria it will stop soon! And the good stuff will get going!


Tick, tock, tick, tock...watching the clock....is boring!


Good Luck!


Jay

Ford's picture
Ford


i wanted to know if there is any difference in the taste of bread if it is made with the pineapple starter or the normal plain water starter ?



As you surmised the flavor of the pineapple will be nondetectable as the starter matures.  The organizms in the starter arise from the flour you used in making the starter and this will contribute its own flavor.



the kitchen temp never rises above 18 to 19C. Is that temp okay for the bread n the starter ?



That is a rather low temperature for bread proofing.  The activity of the lactobacteria and the yeast will be about a third of what it will be at 25°C.  Therefore, the time it takes for your bread to rise will be much longer than most bakers experience.  I suggest you make a proofing box for your bread.  A small light bulb (15 W) in a wooden box will work.  Check the temperature; you would not want the temperature to rise above 28°C, because then the yeast activity will deminish.


Ford

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

A few weeks ago I made the pineapple based starter (since I killed my original starter due to abuse) and my experience was the same as yours. On the 3 and 4th day it tripled - but I'd read Debra Winks paper on the pineapple starter and realized this is just bacteria - NOT yeastie beasties. After the early tripling it slowed right down, so much so that I thought it wasn't going to do anything, then on the 8th day it began to behave like a starter should. I have been baking with it for a few days and am getting excellent results - the familiar sourdough flavor isn't there yet - but I know it will come in time. The fact that I started with the pineapple hasn't altered the flavor from the more traditional method that I made a few years ago...

Nepakshi's picture
Nepakshi

i believe, the reason why my starter was growing so fast cud be that i had it airtight. After reading the above comments and what ford explained, i had the lid loose and since then the growth stopped and it also fell to its original level.


So it could be the air pressure and the bacteria resulting in the false sense of growth.


Today was the 5th day and now on the wghts start. So instead of throwing away half the starter i got a batch of wheat and another of rye.


But weighing all of it was so messy and time consuming. I also got a bit nervous since today the pineapple juice stops and water starts. By the time i finished mixing both the starters, i realised i wasnt even breathing.


Is there a method to follow ? I mean everyday, you remove and weigh half the starter and weigh the flour and water and then put everything back. Towards the end, i realised i cud follow the tare feature, and after the starter was weighd, tare and then add water and again tare and add the flour.


But the starter does need to be weighd seperatly each time, right ? So do u change containers each time ? coz then there would be some left overs and tht might be adding to the wght of the starter.


I knw i will get it by trial n error but today it took me about over 45 mins for the feedin of two starters....wondering if it is gng to take tht long everyday....?


Just as i write this, i have my eye on the starter and it must be about close to an hour since i left them and again i see a growth.....now this is worrying me coz i dont want the bacterias. Why are they so much active and when do they give up ?


Earlier i thot airtight lid would be the reason, but i have it all loose today....Now what ?


 


 

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Remember you don't need much starter... Many newbies make way more starter than they need. Carrying over 100 grams or so is plenty and it can be much less. Weighing is not critical at this point but will become more so when you get actually start making bread. No you don't have to change containers. The "extra" carried over is not critical. This isn't rocket science. Yeast and bacteria do this on their own without precision weighing and measuring!


Relax! It WILL happen! Young batches will sometimes go astray but they will almost always come around eventually. And once you have a strong starter it will be difficult for the bad guys to invade!


Hang in there!


Jay

Nepakshi's picture
Nepakshi

:-) yeah you are right......i do have alot of starter....should reduce it to half today. So if i take 20gms of starter and 20 gms of water and 20gms of flour - should this be okay for regular feedings till the starter becomes stable and till i am actually able to bake ?


Guess i am gettin a lil too worked up.


Thanks jay..


 

longhorn's picture
longhorn

Just make sure it is enough you can see it and find it! :o)


20 to 50 seems fine. And don't sweat exact measurement at this stage. Close is good enough. 


 


 

Nepakshi's picture
Nepakshi

:-) yeah okay......wl relax a bit......