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Simple experiment

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nowhereman's picture
nowhereman

Simple experiment

Hello everyone,


 


Sunday evening before bed I decided to conduct a little experiment, briefly what I did was...


 


250 g whole rye flour


enough warm water to make thick 'batter' (round about 65 - 70% hydration)


mix together until smooth and just leave covered with cling film and see what happens...


 


observations


 


monday morning - 3 bubbles.


monday night - a few more.


tuesday morning (now) -  very slight puff up, bit more bulk, just noticable, more bubbles but no froth yet. Very strange smell indeed, earthy and sour, definately not a beer smell.  Most of the starters I've made have the smell of beer after a week or two. Stirred briefly, covered and returned to cupboard.


 


What I'm wondering is will this eventually become a wild yeast starter? My intentions were to just leave it in the same location (food cupboard) and observe for 7 - 14 days and from these observations get a predictable picture of what happens in the process if allowed to run as naturally as possible, so I can make some sort of comparison to how my other starters have proceeded (or mostly not proceeded;-) )...


 


cheers


 


Dan


 

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi Dan,


You'll certainly get a rye starter this way. In my experience it needs some refreshing (e.g. once a day), especially at the beginning, to get the microbes balanced.


I have a liquid rye starter going (200% water). After refreshment I keep it at room temperature for 1 day, and then put it into the fridge if I don't bake.


Keeps extremly well (weeks) with low maintenance, and makes wonderful bread.


Juergen

nowhereman's picture
nowhereman

Hi Juergen,


So - if I decide to use this as a starter, have I left it too late to start feeding process?


 


v

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi nowhereman,


Is your starter still active (growing / making bubbles)?


And does it smell alright (fruity / acidy) and would you still taste it (without fear of getting sick)?


If the smell and taste are OK it's never too late.


I had my rye starter out in the kitchen for 1 day after refreshment, and since then I had it in the fridge in a clip-top tub ( 4 weeks now, I did mainly wheat based breads since). Smells and tastes great, and if I want to use it I'll do 2 refreshments.


For this starter (200% hydration) I use 1 part starter, 1 part flour and 2 parts water.


The starter is ready after about 12 -24 hours, depending on temperature.


I experimented with stiff starters as well, but for rye I like the liquid one best (maybe because this was my first sourdough experience).


Juergen

nowhereman's picture
nowhereman

Hi Juergen,


 


My starter has stopped growing, no bubbles, minimum froth, no not sure i would be happy to taste - smell has dropped back a lot and now just very lightly sour. Also I think mould may have formed (grey tinge to some parts of the mix??)


 


Will be  leaving this one to sit for the next 7-8 days just to simply observe


 


Thanks for answering


 


Regards


 


Dan

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

and your brand new rye starter will ripen much quicker.

nowhereman's picture
nowhereman

Yep thanks for that - i've now included this 3 times daily, seems to keep morale high - makes for a mousse-like froth... when you say ripen, are you describing by smell only, or looking at the whole condition of the starter?


 


v

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

:)   You have too much time on your hands.

nowhereman's picture
nowhereman

And so I hack bake!:-)   I remember doing this as a child and leaving it in an old camera film pot for months then opening it to check out the smell, pretty much indescribable really - but proved semi-prophetically in my laclustre attempts at starters...:)


 


v

nowhereman's picture
nowhereman

 


Hello,...


 


Tuesday night     a froth,pinhead sized bubbles, and a definate change of aroma, sweeter rather than sour, earthy, nutty, no alcohol smell


 


Wednesday night     more froth, larger bubbles up to 6mm, bubbly almost mousse like batter - seems to be holding moisture very well under cling film wrap...


 


Thursday night (now)   same froth, slightly larger bubbles, still mousse like, small greying patches (mold?) beggining to form, smell has backed off a lot, slightly sour overtone returning. wonder if I should take out half, feed it and make a new starter and bake with the rest?...Havent weighed or fed just stirred a few times a day, wanted to use no man made ingredients, utilties or such like (i'm interested in 'primitive' cooking methods as an influence to this experiment ;) ) .


There seems to be a smell pattern developing - all the starters I've tried to start have after a while become very 'alcoholic/beer' like in smell, and then after a while, a day or so, the smell drops off, always returning dull/sour, which I've come to perceive as the starter being 'hungry'...anyone have any thoughts so far?


 


to be continued


 


 

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi again,


Rye starter has quite its own smell and taste, and in my experience even 5% rye flour are enough to  "take over" a wheat culture.


The smell stabilises after a few feeds.


I should aso mentin that in my experience rye starters can have a lot of liquid on top.


If this happens to a wheat starter it's probably off, but with my rye experiments I always found the liquid quite aromatic ( a bit like tea kefir ), and I stir it in before I refresh.


I got the formula and directions initially from Andrew Whitley's "Bread Matters", and i find the Russian Rye bread in there the simplest bread to make, and one of my favourites. Just rye, water, salt.


Juergen

nowhereman's picture
nowhereman

continuing observations of a pot of flour and water


 


 


Friday morning/night    no apparant change, this appears to suggest a drop off in activity, yeast not making it? Or still in there and just hungry..? I as yet have not introduced a feeing of any kind...


 


Saturday evening    flatter, more like pancake batter now, no froth or bubbles, weak slightly sour earthy smell returning...slight layer of liquid on top (2mm?) stirred in with wooden spoon.


 


sunday/monday will be one week, 14 days is my observation period..Not sure if I will use...


 


v

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

in the starter.  Just as in nature.  The yeast reverts to sporing to protect & store itself waiting for when more abundant food warrants waking up.


As you no longer will be feeding it, the only activity I predict is eventual evaporation of darkening alcohol to the point where the mixture can be invaded by acid loving molds.  


Stirring in the hooch or protective liquid on top into the lower portion will slow activity more throughout the mixture increasing the chance of outside invasion. 


What temperature is the experiment?  Does it vary?  Is sunlight a factor?  

nowhereman's picture
nowhereman

Hello,


Wonder what could lower the pH? too much 'waste' from the yeast? (due to no feeding routine?)


 


that leads to my observations over the last 12 hours...


 


Sunday morning    After yesterday was flat also I expected the same today but found another mild froth spreading from the middle and a mild alcohol smell present, dark liquid, 2-3 mm layer. Smooth batter texture still, bit more evaporation, levels are leaving tidemarks as a scale...Slightly sour after stirring.


 


Sunday night    Still a few bubbles left, smell weakening sour, slightly earthy smell returning. Stirred again and no change...


 


Last night I took half a cup of this batter, put it in a small tub, fed it half a cup of whole rye flour, and half a cup of warm water from the tap. Stirred with a wooden spoon and put in a warmish cupboard. This morning it had doubled and bowed the lid of the tub, very very active starter, but I dont know exactly how to use it from that point. Have since set up a wheat and also a spelt starter this way, using smaller vessels (small plastic tubs, sealable but not airtight.


Current environmental storage conditions are at this time a perch on top of a box of biscuits in a wall cupboard, the room temp can be cool (50F) to warm (i'd say around 65F though my temperature guessing is a bit off) generall not overly warm. Sunlight is not a factor, variation might be..thanks for some very interesting ideas!


 


regards


 


v


 


 


 

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Hi,


Andrew Whitley's russian rye is very simple:


I'll give the percentages:


Straight formula:


Rye flour: 100% of which fermented: 30%


Water: 100%


Salt: 1%


 


So, if you have a 50% hydration starter, and you want bread from a total of 1kg of flour:


Starter: 330g Flour + 165g water = 495g Total


Flour: 670g


Water: 835g


Salt: 10g


This makes 2010g of bread.


The dough is very sloppy, and you need to scoop it into bread tins, rather than shape it.


Let prove for about 4 to 10 hours (depending on temperature and starter activity)


It is mature when the surface gets quite fragile.


Bake as hot as you can for 10 min, then turn down heat to 220C (500g tin ca. 35 min total baking time). Top needs to look quite dark (chocolate color).


CUT / EAT WHEN AT LEAST 24 HOURS OLD!!!


The result looks like Mini Oven's Favourite Rye (I saw photos, but don't know her recipe).


Enjoy,


Juergen


 

nowhereman's picture
nowhereman

Hello again, managed to get 2 nice loaves out of the small batch I took from the original bowl. Nice and tangy;-)  Thought they may not rise as I used 500g rye/250g buckwheat/250 strong white,  the loaves bloomed quite well, exceeding the slashes. Tough crust though, overbake.


 


so as for the final few days of the starter...


 


Monday - sunday     very little change at all, smell same as at first few days but about say 5 % of the strength. No bubbles or froth of any kind, some surface liquid, light tea shade barely noticable. Very little evaporation, or happening at a very low rate. Ambient temp is around 62-64'f.


 


So after 14 days it looks as though the whole volume of matter is non-active, not sure if yeast has died off, or just slowed down, ready to be reactivated by a feed? I would say so far throughout that the ambient temperature has been between 55 and 65'f. After 2-4 days the mixture seemed to peak, hold for around another 24 hours, then gradually die off again with no peak returning. After succesfully baking with this 'peak' mixture, I would use this method again with rye but in smaller pots - this way making quite a saving in 'feed - flour'? I've also found out that with smaller pots things tend to happen a little quicker than usual?


 


Is it time for the bin, or time for a feed? I'm not sure I'd like to taste it (or any yeast starter as the odour seems to settle it!) but it seemed okay in the loaves...


 


regards


 


v

jcking's picture
jcking

I wonder if this rye ferment might turn into LSD?


Jim