The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sunlight vs Darkness for Starters

Mylissa20's picture
Mylissa20

Sunlight vs Darkness for Starters

Ok so I've been getting into the nitty-gritty of starter microbiology and came across an interesting question.  Will the type of yeasts contained in your starter be different depending on the type of container it is housed in?  I use a glass jar, my friend uses an antique ceramic pot with lid used by pioneers for starters.  My intuition says that the absence or presence of sunlight would make a significant difference, but in what way, or is the difference significant?  What do you think?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

jars in direct sunlight.  The sunlight itself can be a deterrent to growth.  One that doesn't let light in would naturally be unaffected unless we count how the temperature is influenced.  Avoid direct sun if you can.  

If you need a warm location and want to put the starter in the sun, stick it in a dark paper bag or box first and carefully watch the temperature.  I have used  a brown cardboard box as a proofer sometimes for my yogurt.  Depending on the size of the box, I could control the temperature as it stood in the sunlight.  I would often add mass inside the box (jars of warm water) to keep an even temperature for  4 to 6 hours undisturbed bacterial growth.   

suave's picture
suave

No, there isn't going to be any difference.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

:)

suave's picture
suave

But I thought science beats gut every single time?

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

in both of them if you put them in the sun.  It's like locking your kids and pets in a closed, window up car in the summer - if your yeast babies are as important to you as you real kids and pets -sometimes one wonders :-)

.  In AZ the jars would be about 170  F inside the container with sun on them thios time a year - if the container was in an air conditoned room.  Outside it would hit 225 F no problem.  So ne careful with the experiment.

Mylissa20's picture
Mylissa20

Let's assume temperature is static, the only difference is sunlight...