The Fresh Loaf

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Survival of the Fittest Pt. 2 - Raisin YW Wins!

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breadbythecreek's picture
breadbythecreek

Survival of the Fittest Pt. 2 - Raisin YW Wins!

If you've been following this blog, when we last left this subject, I was trying to determine which of my many jars of YW I should keep. I have decided that having multiple jars of different fruits is pointless, since it is near impossible to tell which fruit was used by either taste or smell.  Some color will be added from darker fruits, but that's about it.  So, the first trial to see which fruit water was the most effective (the most rise in the least amount of time) revealed that my water made from cherries (initially with dried, then switched to fresh) jump started with strawberry water, was the winner. 

The second heat was to test the cherry water against apricot and raisin.  I ended up having two raisins as my first raisin water was discouragingly slow to activate.  I purchased new raisins from a different source and started a second jar.  One variable that I hadn't accounted for was the relative amount of sugar in each of the solutions that I tested.  To better calibrate this for the second heat, I obtained a brix meter (for wine making) and was able to test each solution straight from the jar and add an appropriate amount of fresh water to bring the solutions to the same level of sweetness across the board.

It was interesting to compare the brix readings from the various jars.  At just 3.4, the winner of the first round, cherry, had the lowest brix.  The older raisin had a brix of 3.6, followed by the new raisin at 3.9, and finally, the apricot had the highest at 5.0.  Since I was after a final test amount liquid of 10g, I calculated the amount of fresh water to be added to each tester to bring all of the testers' brix to 3.4.

Initially, I tried to use a 100% hydration for the test runs (10g solution added 10g bread flour).  However, the paste was too thick to go down my new test tubes, so I had to increase the hydration to 143% (10g solution to 7g bread flour). This created a liquid enough paste to go down the tube and still have enough viscosity to rise back up.  

The following photos show the progress 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 hours into the race. Testers are from left to right:

raisin2 (new raisin), apricot, raisin1 (old raisin), cherry


 As you can see, from the start, apricot and old raisin were much more active than the other two, just an hour into the race they were pretty much neck and neck.  Cherry and new raisin barely moved.  

 

After two hours, cherry had picked up some speed, but raisin2 was still thinking. Apricot was in the lead after two hours, followed close behind by raisin1.
    Three hours in, apricot still leads, raisin1 a close second, cherry is picking up, and raisin2 still stuck at the gates.

 Four hours in, apricot and raisin1 neck and neck, Cherry is stalled, but raisin2 is coming alive!

 

 

At the finish line, 5 hours after the start, we have a winner. Raisin1 peaked at the top of the tube, Apricot never made it that far.  Had I let Cherry and Raisin2 go, they may have gone farther, but I called it: Raisin1 will live to rise another day!

 

Comments

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Pamela, not only was your posting very interest and informative, but written in a most entertaining fashion. I quite enjoy it (^_^)  The brix measure was an excellent idea, as well !

Ron

breadbythecreek's picture
breadbythecreek

High praise indeed. What is interesting is that there really must be a different sort of beastie on each of these fruits, not sugar content, food, or temperature. Raisin is just better at the job-despite the relatively low brix starting out.  

BTW, if you don't have a digital brix meter it's very cool - you just take a drop of any solution, drop it on the prism opening, press a button, a light shines up, and on the screen up comes a number that represents the percentage of sugar in the solution. So easy.  Using some algebra, I was able to equalize the brix between the samples by adding just the right amount of fresh water + sample to equal 10g. Now that the race is done, I have to dream up new ways to use this new toy. We're thinking of taking it with us to restaurants to check the brix of our favorite lemon drop martinis before we drink them! (*-*)

-Pamela

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Pamela, if the brix is a new purchase, would you mind telling me where you got it?

It sounds like a good way to judge when a sugar/honey refresh is necessary with a YW culture.

Ron

breadbythecreek's picture
breadbythecreek

Happy to: this is what I bought Amazon Prime. Delivered next day.

Do we yet know what the percentage should be?  I know we don't want to go over 20%, and obviously around 3-4% will work (from this race), but what is the optimal %?

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Pamela,  my estimate of sugar content is enough vs. not enough ;-) and that is totally based upon the CO2 creation that I see occurring in the cultures. Getting the brix, will give me another project, namely of determining at what values my WBBs seem happiest.

There is an old saying to the effect that "the difference between men and boys is the price of their toys." You have just demonstrated it can equally apply to "woman and girls" ... ROFL

Ron

 

breadbythecreek's picture
breadbythecreek

I don't spend it on clothes, shoes, cosmetics - just art and baking/chemistry supplies!

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Thanks, Pamela, my meter has been ordered. So I will soon have another plaything.  :D

Ron

breadbythecreek's picture
breadbythecreek

We'll nail this thing yet!

-Pamela

teketeke's picture
teketeke

  Thank you for showing us your another precious experiment, Pamela.  Raisin yeast water is pretty stable from my experiments.   I remember one thing that I can't judge how powerful the yeast water is by the levain.  They might change from the levain to the final baking step.  Especially  the strength of some fruit yeast water will be vary  the final proof and the loaf in the oven. 

Best wishes,

Akiko

breadbythecreek's picture
breadbythecreek

I feel like we have to expect some variation and surprises as this is a wild yeast and hasn't had the spirit genetically modified out of it like commercial yeast.  I just had to come up with an objective way to cull my population, and this seemed to make sense and the results turned out to be the one that has the best reputation, and the easiest to find refreshment supplies.  I have a good feeling that I made the right choice.

-Pamela

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Pamela, 

Yeah ¡go RWY go! 

Very interesting post and experiment - thanks! All the fruit yeast levains look so beautiful and colourful in their different test tubes as well. 

Funnily enough I had been thinking if this were a horse race and I were a betting woman (which I'm not....), I would have bet on RWY with a side bet on Apricot. 

The thing about starting with RWY, though, is it fulfils my purposes so well I have not moved on to try any others as you have! Yet at first I thought I would try new fruits in season. Let's see if I can persuade myself to try another fruit....Judging from your information Apricot seems good. I know Ron likes this as well.

Thanks again for sharing this 

Best wishes, Daisy_A

breadbythecreek's picture
breadbythecreek

Except with yeast as the runners, it's all about burping and farting. (thank you for the sock puppet imagery, Alton Brown).

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

Thanks Pamela for sharing your findings. I'll stick with my old faithful now that I've seen  your tests.   I have actually  started on an apricot yeast water culture as my RYW is beginning to taste a bit funny (or maybe that's how it should really taste - like bad beer, but it still smells good)  I don't believe it has turn bad, in fact  it continues to  give me good results when I do my levain tests/builds, the last one being 100% rye.   I followed Mebake's recipe for a rye pain au levain it took  5 hrs to double but I was amazed with the size of the dough after the second proof.  I would not have witnessed this had I not dozed off while waiting for the oven to heat up. I ended up with an unusually hot oven and a very well risen dough, the result was simply awesome.   - Judy

breadbythecreek's picture
breadbythecreek

Good that you are getting a handle on this baking stuff.  Now, when are you going to try a flour/water sourdough again?

-Pamela

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

With all the fun I'm having with my yeast water, I'm quite happy to stick with this method :D, nothing to throw out except the water. I just can't bring myself to feed and then chuck out half the flour once every few days. It seems such a huge waste to me.

Syd's picture
Syd

Nice work there, Pamela.  I am following it keenly.

Best,

Syd

kim's picture
kim

Hello Pamela,

Thank you for taking time doing all experiments and your posts on yeast water are very valuable for newbies like me. I will keep my raisin yeast water in a healthy condition for later use. Thank you again for all the works.

Kimmy

breadbythecreek's picture
breadbythecreek

I'm busy preparing the protocol for the next RYW experiment. Stay tuned!