The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough from Fruit Yeast Water?

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elodie's picture
elodie

Sourdough from Fruit Yeast Water?

First I have to thank all of the contributors to this forum.  Your collective powers of investigation and lively discussion are directly responsible for my happy liberation from commercial yeast -- forever, if I so choose. :)

I nurtured lots of viable yeast in a fruit water medium, played and baked with them, and then became curious about a sourdough-fruit yeast hybrid.  In principle, I thought it would be possible to jump start one with the fruit yeast -- a fizzy, dry, grape brew in this case.  I couldn't find a specific account of the procedure in the other fruit water threads -- most of you seem to expertly raise sourdough cultures before experimenting with fruit waters, so I improvised from the advice given to others for reviving their troubled sourdough cultures.

I made a small 40g levain at 100% hydration with the grape water, and have fed it 1:1:1 (starter: AP flour: plain, filtered water) on a 12h schedule.

It's been 2 days and getting weaker and weaker, from dilution I assume.  There's much less rise and fewer bubbles than when I started.  It does rise a tiny bit -- maybe 25% in a 12h period, but this is a fraction of the original strength of the levain which doubled in 6h.  Was I naive in thinking that I could get a sourdough culture from my grape yeast water?  I could feed with my grape yeast water, but I wondered if that would merely impede the sourdough yeasts from gaining a foothold.

Bee18's picture
Bee18

Hi Elodie,

Personally I didn't try to do it this way. I have a Rye SD living nicely for the last 18 months. After I had successfully made the water fruit yeast (which was a new subject for me. I think it was the same for a lot of us on TFL) I decided to use this water yeast to feed the SD instead of using plain water.There my surprise was intense when I got a very strong bubbling after few days: before that the SD was bubbling but never with such an intensity. I'm now doing this permanently.

B.

elodie's picture
elodie

Hi B,

Do I understand you correctly that you maintain fruit water yeast separately to feed to your SD every time you feed it?  And your SD is indeed sour?  I would have thought the fruit yeasts would prevent it from developing any sourness.  All of the levains I've built so far from the fruit yeasts haven't grown in sourness with successive builds, retardation of the final doughs didn't have much of an effect either.  Then again, I've only gone to build 5 of a levain before baking with it, so perhaps I didn't take it far enough.  I note that you've grown a rye starter whereas I begain with baby steps on a white one, maybe the choice of flour makes a difference too.   It sounds as though your rye starter was already somewhat established before the diet change, is that right?

This morning I didn't catch your post before hurriedly feeding my delinquent starter.  I decided to take the discard and begin a second experiment, feeding that one with grape water + flour, while letting the original soldier on with just plain.  With your input, I'll keep feeding fruit water to that second starter over a longer time and see what develops.

Thank you B,

elodie

 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

When I start a starter, I generally feed it once a day until it is very active. Then I start discarding more aggressively and feeding twice a day.

I recently made a grape starter by letting the slightly crushed grapes sit in water for 2-3 days. After the grapes started floating, I actually added a little sugar for a few days to feed the yeast. It got nice and bubbly and thats when I strained it and mixed up flour and the grape starter like a regular starter. I fed daily til it got nice and active and then twice a day. It made great bread that had a nice sour tang the first few loaves and then became milder (once I refrigerated it, interestingly enough).

So it can be done-yeast is everywhere!

have delicious fun!

 

 

elodie's picture
elodie

roughly how long it took for your starter to become active?  I assume you fed it 1:1:1 daily?

I can certainly begin a new starter with 24h feedings, I have lots of fruit yeast about, and regular loaves from them to keep me patient while I mess around with sourdough yeast.  My original SD has been steadily getting weaker confirming the suspicion that it's simply too dilute.  It's odd, when I mix the fruit water with flour on the first day, it doubles like gangbusters in 6h.  I would think that waiting 24h before feeding it again would starve the yeasts.  That's why I fed at 12h intervals, but clearly evidence shows it became ever more dilute.  Thank you, I'll start a fresh SD and see if feeding less often will rev it up.

I notice that my grape yeast water produces bread with a nice tang straight from the jar.  I think it may be from the peels, probably also depends on the kind of grapes.  The fruit yeast I grew from apples or raisins make a slightly sweeter bread without that tang.  I want more tang! :)

 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

From starting the grapes in water to baking bread was probably 10 days. It took about 3 days for the grapes to start floating (indicating gas production).I just used about 10 grapes in a pint of water. I was working a lot of hours and was afraid it would die so I added about 1 tsp sugar on 2 successive days. Then I strained the liquid and added it to some AP flour to make a thick batter consistency (I'm not much on measuring for making  a starter). Stirred it several times daily and fed it AP flour and grape water daily-I did NOT discard until it started looking pretty active. I wanted to build up the yeast population. Over several more days it became sour and obviously more active. I believe it was the 9 or 10 day mark when I decided it was active enough for bread. What a delicious loaf that was. Slight tang, slight fruity/wine-y flavor-just a basic french. I then refrigerated the starter to be used the next weekend. Made another good loaf but not tangy but still very full-bodied. Refrigerating a starter does change it! I have used it several more times and it is a good starter but it is no longer has a tang but is maintaining its fruitiness.

elodie's picture
elodie

That hint of wine-y flavour makes it a favourite for me, too!  I like the grape water best for the simple french boules I use to practise new techniques.

I build a starter for baking over 3-4 days from the grape water, just as you did, but I generally use it all and don't store any.  My reserves are in the form of refrigerated fruit water.  It sounds like you're reporting the same as B, that if I keep refreshing with flour + fruit water long enough, it will become sour.  Your first starter must've been on the counter for 6-7 days, it seems.  Did you switch to plain water when you began to discard?

I think I'll try refreshing my second grape water starter with the aim of keeping it happy, rather than forcing it to take plain water.  It will be convenient to bake with, and I can check how the flavour changes over a span of weeks instead of days.

Bee18's picture
Bee18

Sorry for not answering to you before, I encountered some problem with the site and I can berely type my words
yes I keep the water yeast on my counter (as it is the end of winter in Australia and the weather is still pretty cold where I live). I use it to feed my standard Rye starter when I need and also I mix 200 gr. of the water yeast into my bread with the rest of the plain water.Since I began to use the water yeast into my SD rye starter I found that it is much more vivid and more sour and if I let it for 3-4 days it is really sour. Last week I also retarded the bread-dough 24 hours more than the usual and the bread was really sour which is not the usual way I'm baking. I like the idea to use this water as an organic yeast as i use only organic certified dry fruits to make it and feed it. I never discard the fruits I blend them in my blender than pass the liquid through a sieve and put the lot together in my jar with fresh water and fresh fruits to top it.. lately I'm doing rye little loaves for an organic shop and they are very satisfied with it. I never tried to do the kind of bread you do and other members are doing using wheat flour and low hydration but I read that they have very good results with this water yeast. good luck B.