The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starter has lots of bubbles but not rising.

kellym7's picture
kellym7

Starter has lots of bubbles but not rising.

I posted this on another forum and this site was recommended to me. So I am posting here as well. From replies on the other site it seems as if maybe I have too much hydration. Just wanting to get it on the right track. Its still young so I want to make any corrections now instead of later. any and all suggestions or help will be greatly appreciated!

 

I have read post and searched the Internet for hours. I find some similar situations but still not sure what to do. Unfortunately I started most of my research after I started having "possible issues" I used the first recipe I found which is unlike any other, as it calls for active-dry yeast in the initial mix. Not sure why this recipes uses it but I already used it.  The recipe called for:

2 cups all-purpose flour*
2 teaspoons granulated sugar (optional)**
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) of active-dry yeast
2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.)***

Day one:  lots of bubbles stirred it a few times about 12 hours in I fed it by removing one cup of the starter and putting in one cup all purpose flour and one cup of water.

Still good bubbles but no rise.

Day 2:  stirred it on occasion fed again with one cup whole wheat flour and one cup water. In the evening did the same thing but went back to all purpose flour.

Still stirring on occasion.

Day 3:  the aroma is not as strong and smells good, but still no rise starting to show a little bit of hooch (or as a responder on the other site said it may just be water separating). Stirred again to mix in hooch(or separated water) took out 1 cup and this time mixed whole wheat and all purpose flour. The starter seems a little thin so i did one cup of the mixed flour and 3/4 cup of bottled water. ( all previous water was tap) Bubbles started right away. I put the container in the oven and turned on the oven light. The level is slightly below my mark. I guessing maybe it has fallen slightly. It's a very large container so I don't think 1/4 cup of less water would be that noticeable 1/8 inch below my mark. Not sure what else to do. I am sure it's alive as I have bubbles. The thermostat in the house is usually set between 68 and 71 so maybe it's just too cool. I will see if putting in the oven makes any difference.

Please tell me what else to try! Am I just being impatient or do I need to try something different? Like many others here, I have invested lots of time (and flour) in this and hope I don't  have to abandon it.

Note. Container is heavy glass and I only use a wooden spoon

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

too much water.  The starter bubbles but it can't hold in the gas so the bubbles come to the surface and burst without raising the volume.  Not to worry - an easy fix.   Next time you feed, keep 1/4 c of starter, toss the rest or make some EM's or pancakes with it,  and add 2 c of flour and 1/2 cup of water to the 1/4 c of starter. Mix well and cover;.  Do this from now on and your problems will go away.  You will be doubling away in no time.  You should really do this by weight equal flour and water by weight.  Flour is around 140 g per cup and water is around 120 g per half cup.  So every 2 nd feeding you can put in a scant extra 1/4 cup of water just to stay near 100% hydration .

Happy baking.

Ford's picture
Ford

Hello kellym7,

I would recommend you read Mike Avery's site (http://www.sourdoughhome.com/) on sourdough starter and also use Debra Winks "pineapple solution" as a means of making your own starter (use the search box in upper left of this page).  Bakers do not recommend using commercial yeast in making a sourdough starter.  Since you have, you will just have to wait until the commercial yeast has been displaced by the lactobacteria and the wild yeast before you get a good sourdough starter.  I have no idea how long that will take.  I would start over using the pineapple juice method of Debra Wink.  I would also use less liquid.  Use equal weights of water and flour to get 100% hydration.  A cup of sifted flour weighs about 4.3 oz and a cup of water weighs about 8 oz.

Good Luck,

Ford

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

commercial yeast.  Use this starter as a biga and make some bread with it.  Ford isw right use Debra Winks pineapple (or OJ as I did)  to start or use Joe Ortiz's method as sweetbird blogged about here.  I have used both and they worked every time for me.

kellym7's picture
kellym7

found out the recipe I used came from King Aurthur Flour. I went to their website and chatted with them. They recommended feeding with out adding water and just put in enough flour to get to a pancake batter consistency. I did this last night and the starter rose about 50%. So I will now feed once a day buy removing one cup of starter and replacing with 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup of water.

kellym7's picture
kellym7

I have to go into hospital for a procedure in a couple of days. If I put my starter in the fridge on Thursday. Will it be ok to not feed until Saturday? I know once I get it ready I can refridgerate and feed once a week or so, but it's still not ready to use. So If I refridgerate on Thursday should I take it out and put back on counter and go back to feeding once a day until I get a good rise of 100%?