Starter micro flora and the fridge...Gerard Rubaud's drying method
I was doing some reading on Gerard Rubaud (very interesting baker) and caught this:
"Gérard feeds his levain every five hours, which means that he never sleeps more than five hours at a stretch or leaves the bakery for longer than that. When he needs to go away for a few days, he dries it up. Exceptionally he may put it in the fridge for 12 hours at a time (but then he makes sure the temperature never goes below 46 degrees F/8 Celsius) to avoid losing some tasty acids."
Has anyone experimented with just leaving their starter out to dry verses refrigeration? Professor Calvel is another voice that says refrigeration destroys the micro flora which is responsible for the flavor in levains. Obviously liquid levains probably wouldn't work so well with this method. Sure today we all have access to refrigerators, but are they necessary to keep a levain alive? I mean if these starters weren't stable, strong and resillient, how have some survived generation after generation?
Anyways if anyone has information on Gerard's process for drying out the starter I'd be interested. Right now I'm thinking just mixing a firm starter and covering it with flour. I will keep a backup in the fridge but I'm interested to see how this would effect flavor.