The Fresh Loaf

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Different type starters

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bobku's picture
bobku

Different type starters

I had no problem making my starter with the pineapple method and it has been going on for a couple of months now. It doubles in about 3 hours and peaks in about 4 hours at about 2 1/2 to 3 times it size. then starts to fall. I wish it were a little slower . There are plenty of varied recipes to make starters  on the web. If I make another  starter using a different recipe am I basically going to always end up with the same starter no matter what, ending up with the same yeast and bacteria from my area. Im not talking about changing the flour from white to rye but making a San Francisco, Alaskan or Aussie style starter . I know I can adjust the temperature and time of fermentation to change the flavor of my current starter but to get a really different starter do I have to get one from someone and try to maintain it.

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

You shouldn't need to change your starter.  One of the easiest ways of changing the rate of your starter is to vary the feeding amounts.  You didn't mention how you are feeding it, but if you are using a 100% hydration starter, it sounds like you are using a ratio of 1:1:1 or 2:1:1 starter:flour:water.  Try using less starter, say in a ratio of 1:3:3 or 1:4:4.  I have found this can extend the peak time up to 10-12 hrs depending on temperature.  Hamelman's ever popular Vermont Sourdough uses a ratio of 1:6:5 for a slightly more liquid starter, and I have had that grow for 16 hours without peaking, but still ready to use.  You'll probably find that different times and ratios enhance different flavors.  Experiment and see what works best for you.  The different styles you mention, like San Francisco, Aussie, etc. acquire their special flavors from the air-borne microbes (yeast and lacto-bacteria) that are present in those areas, so your starter will be unique to your location.

-Brad

bobku's picture
bobku

Didn't realize that that would effect the rate of my starter. I have been feeding 1:1:1 . I think I'll test it tonight and see what happens. So I would have to do several feedings at my new ratio before using it to make dough? If my peak time turns out to be 6 hrs. That would roughly be my bulk fermentation time ? I realize I need to be checking the look and feel of dough itself but this will give me a rough idea

breadforfun's picture
breadforfun

There is really no hard and fast rule.  The BF depends on many factors, including the type of flour used, the temperature conditions, and most of all, how much starter you use.  Just like feeding a starter, you can choose to make the starter 10% of the final dough or 40% or even more.  The more starter you use, the faster the rise will be.  Without getting too technical, the number of yeasts and bacteria in the culture will double over a certain amount of time.  The time is probably different for the yeast and the bacteria, so they will peak at different times.  If your dough uses 10% starter, then it takes roughly two of these cycles to get to the number of microbes you would have with a 40% starter.  The longer you go, the more flavors develop in the bread.  It gets quite complicated.  You might want to start by reading the post by Debra Wink here http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10375/lactic-acid-fermentation-sourdough for more insights.  Experiment and take notes, and don't give up.  You'll get the feel for it.

-Brad

bobku's picture
bobku

Thanks, I tried feeding my starter last night 1:3:3 it took about 6 hours to double which is more like I was looking for.