The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How long till starter bubbles?

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hmacdona's picture
hmacdona

How long till starter bubbles?

Hi all, 

This is my first time attempting a sourdough starter, and I am using the directions from Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day.

 I am still on what the book calls "Seed Culture Phase 2".  I started the mix of flour (KAF White Whole Wheat) and pineapple juice at 10:30 last Saturday night. On Monday Night I added 3.5 tbsp more flour and 2 tbsp more juice, and since then I've just been aerating 2-3 times a day and waiting for things to happen.  I'm closing in on day 4 here and there doesn't appear to be anything going on, and from the sounds of the book, there should be.  The only thing I can think of that might have an effect is winter in Canada, but it's really not that cold in the house. 

It doesn't look or smell bad or anything, and I'm in no hurry, but I'm just looking to get an approximate timeline :) 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Just be patient and look for a warm spot.  26°C to 30°C is a nice warm temp to grow starters.  You can also put it into your pocket to keep warm if it is not too large.  Take it out at night.  :)

We have a waxing moon so "the force" is with us.  I've got a starter also 4 days old, you should be able to smell a difference now and teeny tiny pinpoint bubbles around the edges crossing over the surface of the starter.  Water should stop separating after stands a few hours.  I have the advantage of 23 -25°C + room temperature.  If you have a microwave, boil a cup of water and with the oven off, place the starter inside with the cup of hot water pushed to the back.  Put a saucer or lid on the cup to cut down on steam.  This should give you a nice warm incubator for a while.  The cupboard over the refrigerator or a box on top of it will also provide a warm spot.  

placebo's picture
placebo

A few degrees can make quite a difference. I'd shoot for 22°C as a minimum. A bit warmer would be even better.

hmacdona's picture
hmacdona

Hmm...It's hard to say. I'm sure it's about 22 in the house but nowhere near 26 to 30! I do tend to underestimate heat because I'm always warm. Maybe I'll place it by a heater or something :)  I do see a few teeny tiny bubbles but I feel that's just a coincidence. 

Another thing I thought of.  I have it pretty tightly covered. Do you think letting a bit of air in might make a difference?

placebo's picture
placebo

I kept mine covered with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out, and it came to life just fine.

hmacdona's picture
hmacdona

Put it by the heater and she bounced into action! Thanks guys!