How long is too Long for bulk fermentation?
So I believe I have a good starter. It rises regularly when fed and seems to rise any loaf I make in a reasonable amount of time. Oh and it tastes good in the finished product, at least to me. I am kind of puzzled at the bulk fermentation time. I've seen everything from 1 to 12 hours at room temp. At what point does the starter run out of food and cease to rise? I certainly get tired when I don't eat. Recently I have limited my bulk fermentation time to under 2 hours depending on how well it seems to be going that day. My kitchen is around 65 degrees in the winter (yes I'm cheap and don't like to turn on the heat) and probably closer to 75 under my cabinet lights and on top of a pitcher of hot water. I guess, also too cheap/broke to buy a thermometer.
So how long is too long? Has anyone had an experience where after bulk fermentation and shaping the loaf didn't rise? I don't know why I'm even trying to figure the wonder of sourdough. It still seems a little like magic to me. The stars will have to align for me to make a "perfect" loaf of bread. As a side note I consider any loaf of bread my kids eat a success. Fortunately they arn't that picky when it comes to bread or anything that resembles bread. I am still trying to make 100% whole wheat sandwich bread tasty enough for us to stop buying the stuff from the store that is loaded with high fructose corn syrup. oh and it would be cheaper. Can you sense a theme here?
Thanks in advance!