The Fresh Loaf

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Why and how to lower the hydration of my starter?

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alpinegroove's picture
alpinegroove

Why and how to lower the hydration of my starter?

What are the advantages of having a 50-60% hydration starter rather than 80-100%?
How do I turn a 100% starter into 50-60% starter?

Thanks

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/13069/am-i-creating-low-hydration-starter-or-underfeeding

Also search under:   changing to a firm starter    or    liquid vs firm starter

alpinegroove's picture
alpinegroove

Thanks you.

Maverick's picture
Maverick

The how is simply using mathematical conversions that are easy to find (and written in terms easier to understand than what I might put here). The why's require reading several articles and deciding what you want to do. Besides all the complex reasons involving the balance of critters in the starter (which affect vigor and taste), one simple reason to keep or change a starter to a lower hydration is to match a certain formula/recipe (or if you use a specific formula all the time). You can always make the conversion when you are bulking up the amount needed for the formula. Frankly, I think that the major reason most people keep 100% hydration is that the math is simpler both for maintenance and for conversion. It also happens to yield a good balance of critters in my opinion.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

that you slow down the starter.  (be sure to take notes) That first feed might be better with a higher portion of starter to maintain a lower pH.  

For example: if you normally feed your starter (s:w:f) (1:2:2)  make the starter and water equal for the first feed (1:1:2)  With the next feed, the dough will be dryer when mixing.  

Keep the starter amount equal to or less than the flour amount.  It is also possible just to add more flour to the ripe starter and skip the water.   Just my two cents.  

Maverick's picture
Maverick

Quote:
It is also possible just to add more flour to the ripe starter and skip the water.   Just my two cents.

This is sometimes the easiest way to do the conversion. Compared to Mini Oven, I would say... just my 1/2 cent :)