The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Feeding Starter 1:1:1 or 1:2:2

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Jezella's picture
Jezella

Feeding Starter 1:1:1 or 1:2:2

I'm starting to learn more about my newish sourdough starter, which by all accounts is healthy and behaving well. The question here is more to do with ratios where I'm wondering if the following would amount to the same degree of feeding.

Let it be presumed that I feed my starter at 1:1:1 once a day. Would this be the same as feeding 1:2:2 every other day. Would the starter on day three, four or five be in the same state or condition in either situation. Or would one or other make the starter more or less soure

Basically, I am trying to determine what the different feeding methods may result in and in continuation of the following last question here. 

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/11948/122-vs-134#comments  

"That was just about all the information one could hope for! Thank you! I was able to sit down finally tonight and read through it all and comprehend it haha. I wanted to reply as soon as I could though so you didn't think I ran off! The hydration thing makes perfect sense.

Now out of beginners curiousity once again, why do people choose to feed it once to twice daily instead of doubling or tripling it and feeding it say, once a day or every other day, or just sticking it in the fridge with a big feeding? I'd assume that it keeps them more vibrant I guess? But it'd sure be nice to maintain something a little less often, unless it does cut down on the quality... I read somewhere that a mild bread is made from old starter and a quick rise, and a sour bread from an actively fed starter and long rise, so I suppose thats what it is... ?"

Ford's picture
Ford

Starters are not really so delicate as you might think.  I would say feed the way it best suits your schedule.

I keep mine in the refrigerator along with some dried starter, just in ase of a disaster.  When I want to make bread I bring out the starter, feed it in the ratio of 1:1:1 by weight and let it stand at room temperature (68°F - 73°F)  for about 12 hours.  I then feed again at the rate of 1:1:1 and let it stand for 8 to 12 additional hours at room temp.  By this time the starter is ready for making dough.  I save out some of this starter to be my mother starter.  Sometimes, the starter is in the refrigerator for as much as a month without refreshing.

Ford

Jezella's picture
Jezella

You hit the nail on the head here with "Sometimes, the starter is in the refrigerator for as much as a month without refreshing." I'm new to sourdough and like so many my starter (William) is like a baby to me. Funny us humans and I'm afraid I'll hurt the poor think or even worse kill it. I'm just trying to get a better understand on how to care for the kid.

Ford's picture
Ford

"Different strokes for different folks!"  I gave you the way that is convenient for me.  Others will tell you to use the ratio of 1:2:2 (by weight)  That is alright also.  The starter will adjust to it.  Relax, you are the master, until you overstep the natural boundaries,  that is the reason I keep some dried starter in a sealed plastic bag.  I also use chlorine free water;  Mike Avery says he does not bother with that; he uses plain tap water.

Both the yeast and the lactobacteria are inactive around 32°F (0°C).  The activity of the yeast peaks at about 80°F (27°C) and the lactobacteria at about 90°F (32°C).  The yeast is close to death at about 93°F (34°C) and the lactobacteria at about 104°F (40°C).   Therefore 85°F (29°C) is about the best compromise temperature for these "critters".

[This information is from [1] Gänzle, Michael et al., Modeling of growth of Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis and Candida milleri in response to process parameters of the sourdough fermentation, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, July 1998.  Also in Sourdough Bread Science, eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters; http://www.egullet.com/imgs/egci/sourdough/science.html ]

 

Hope this helps,

Ford

Jezella's picture
Jezella

Thanks for the input Ford. It's a learning curb and given time, I'll no doubt settle into a routine. Just so much to learn and when you get to one point, as in the case of my starter, you don't want to destroy the progress made. Every little bit of information helps and combined, is really beneficial to the new boy on the block. I'll check out the link you provided.