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Acidify Rye Starter?

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tea berries's picture
tea berries

Acidify Rye Starter?

Hi, I am new to sourdough and started my first starter about a week ago. It's a real mess of craziness, as I began with AP + water (non-chlorinated) then it began to smell funny so I added pineapple juice, whole wheat flour and a dash of dark rye flour. After reading all the stories of success I think I just got impatient. 

Today, I decided to take a deep breath, and start anew (but haven't thrown out the "kitchen sink mixture"). Now I simply have some dark rye flour, water at 100% (non-chlor) and a pinch of salt. I've been reading this is really the way to go, but I've also been reading all about rye and it seems like people make a hearty starter with pure rye flour and then after the culture has taken hold try to end up with an ended starter of around 15% rye and 85% wheat. I guess rye has great starter yeast cultures and fantastic sugars but inferior gluten. I've also read that acidifying the rye starter is necessary. How do I acidify it? Will that naturally happen as the starter ferments, or do I need to add something special? Thanks and God Bless!

squarehead's picture
squarehead

It is my understanding (though I'm no expert) is that the acidification process in the starter is a result of the different types of yeast and bacteria colonies establishing themselves and influencing the Ph of their environment. As the starter developers and matures the preferred colonies of yeast and bacteria take over and the starter will begin to pro vide sufficient rise to dough (yeast) and a sour tang (bacteria). the starter will naturally develop these colonies over time and the desired sour can be altered through temperature control. The trick that worked for me was starting my colonies with some organic red cabbage leaf chopped up in a glass mason jar with water and flour (equal by weight) left on the counter overnight. There was microbial activity in the morning. I then stained the flour water mix through a mesh basket and began feeding it once a day and with time stepped it up to twice a day. I have had the best results with the twice daily feeding. The red cabbage leaf (as well as many other fruits and vegetables) is covered in natural yeast, it is the white-ish coating on the inside of the outer leaves. Anyways, I hope this helps and good luck.

isand66's picture
isand66

Go to this post and you will discover all the science behind what makes a starter: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10856/pineapple-juice-solution-part-1

Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

When making regular rye bread, it is often advantageous to add a preparatory sour to the regular dough ingredients. Sometimes these sours are built up in several stages over several days. I use a simple sour, like in 33% Dark Rye with Preparatory Sour. You might try making a preparatory sour first, then proceed with building your starter.

Bob

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

isn't sour or SD at all - it is just a poolish right? I'm thinking it would take a very long time to get sour form it and add at least a few days to the normal time required to make a SD starer.

Happy Baking Bob

Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

I agree, a preparatory sour is not a sourdough starter. I was suggesting that tea berries might begin her sourdough starter by supplementing it with a rye preferment. It might help, and most likely won't hurt.

Bob

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

keep the commercial yeast out of it, which was in your preferment.  Commercial yeast is not a good thing when trying to get a SD culture going,

tea berries's picture
tea berries

who said commercial yeast, but just to be clear there is none in my starter or YW. :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

But below the jars of yeast water YW you wrote,

"So I took about a T of this and mixed it with my Rye starter."      

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

starter going isn't required. nor is it required for any attempt with any flour  All will naturally acidify as time goes on.  The starter will go through 3 stages with the first one being that the wrong LAB taking over the mix the first 2-3 days.  Since these bad LAB  tend to be less acid tolerant that the ones you want, what the pineapple or orange juice does is to lower the ph to keep these bad beasts in check allowing the LAB you want to have a more clear field in establishing themselves and speeding this process up.   The 2nd phase it could look like it is dead or at least way less active.  No worries the Good LAB are winning and the yeast is trying to get going too.  Then by day 7 or so it will start to pick up steam as the LAB have maxed out and yeast is starting to pick up steam,  By day 10 or so you should have a culture ready to try out on bread.-  even though it will still be weaker than it will be in a month.

Your first culture will likely be fine too. 

Happy culturing

Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

I assume that LAB stands for lactic acid bacteria. It would seem that acidifying the starter is desirable, as that is what happens when you lower the pH by the addition of citrus or pineapple juice.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

that is what Denra Wink says and why she uses a weak acid for her how to begin a starter method.

tea berries's picture
tea berries

I know bread making takes patience, and I'm really trying! Lol

So, it's been about 4 days since Rye flour hit water and it does smell sour, tangy… I wouldn't say fruity, but maybe that's the wine version of fruity, not the fruit version of fruity. ;) Like when you taste wine and some people just have a pallet for it and can say "Oh I taste currant.." while others just taste alcohol. Anyway, I don't know which of you opened my forum question about starter… my original question. In any case, I'll post the significant photo here so no need to post a link… I started about a week ago with a starter right along side some potato water and raisin water. My focus today is on the raisin water, as I believe I've made YW with the raisins successfully. The raisins were forgotten in my cabinet and turned into raisin-nuts! They were extra dehydrated.. exposed to the air and hard. So I figured they were perfect candidates for the experiment, and went about making YW with them. Put them in water, they swelled, doubled the water to the lid and as someone here said, "Let it ride". Here's the result = 

When they were fresh, about a week ago:

 

A week later:

 

There's a slight "tssss" sound when I open the jar. So I took about a T of this and mixed it with my Rye starter. Darnit, if I don't get this thing going, I don't know WHAT will work! :) Wish me Luck!

Bob S.'s picture
Bob S.

and good Luck!

tea berries's picture
tea berries

thanks a lot :)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Well done.  Do you know to maintain it?

tea berries's picture
tea berries

It was by pure luck that I got to this point! In other words… Help! 

squarehead's picture
squarehead

That's what's been working for me. I find day 3 seems to produce the strongest yeast smell and fizz when the jar is shaken up. The schedule that works for me (and I am no expert as far as the science behind it) is to take a couple tablespoons of the YW on feeding day, and add it to a clean mason jar, fill the mason jar 2/3 full with chlorine free water, add a handful of ORGANIC raisins (don't want pesticides in the YW after all) and I add about a half and apple, cubed, including the skin. Put on the lid and give it a shake then crack the lid to let it breath. Try to give it a shake or two a day if you can and by day 3 it should have refreshed itself and be good and fizzy again. Then sometime between day 3 and day 7 I will strain most of the YW out and make a poolish and dough water with it and then start the whole process again. Easier then my 4 am and 4 pm SD mom feelings! Anywho I hope this helps, and good luck. 

tea berries's picture
tea berries

So I'm going to toss out a majority of this original mixture, all but a few T's of the water, added to 2/3 of a jar of water and half a cubed apple every three days to keep the yeast water alive? What will happen to the yeast water in the jar if I just let it go… will it turn into "jailhouse booze"? So basically there's a window between fermenting the yeast to maturity, and it turning into alcohol rather than yeast water… so I take a culture of the YW and renew it with "food" (raisins and apple) every 3 days to keep YW active? 

Also, it seems the reasons for discarding SD starter vs discarding YW are totally different… you discard SD starter to make room to feed the starter with flour, while you discard the majority of the YW so it doesn't turn into alcohol… is that right? Thanks!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

as much YW as I maintain in my 18 oz peanut butter jar but this is how I do it.  I converted mine to cherries, then raisins.pears and now apples.  It doesn't seem to mind

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/35473/yw-primer

I love YW.

tea berries's picture
tea berries

Will the fermented YW give my bread flavour, or will the dough be bland? 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Planning on tossing those spent raisins into some dough?  Your yeast water would make a nice loaf.  You do need to use some and feed the rest, need only about 10 new raisins to feed a tablespoon of yeast water plus water.   DB?  got a suggestion?

tea berries's picture
tea berries

Thanks, I really need to hear this right now! :)))

tea berries's picture
tea berries

If I could get a good recipe for some wheat/AP raisin loaf, I would be totally excited! If anyone could please look at these raisins and know that I have 1. dark rye flour 2. whole wheat flour 3. unbleached AP… and the raisins… and the starter which yeah gets bubbles but doesn't "double" in size… it's like 85% rye flour and whether thick or thin doesn't really double… 

If I could get a great recipe for a nice, crusty, either ap or wheat raisin bread I would totally make it and post the results on the forum~ 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I freeze my 'spent fuel' YW  fruits when feed my YW and they are great on ice cream and in Panettone, pancakes, banana bread, roasted gravies, compotes,  jams etc.  I think I keep 6 of the old raisins and add about 20 more with 1/2 tsp of sugar and 1 T of honey and then refill with water and leave on the counter shaking it when I happen by.   It is ready the next day or you can fridge  it in 4-6 hours like a SD starter - which is what I do.  I feed mine about every 4 weeks when in teh fridge -  if I do not use lt.  Don't frige i until it is a month old to make sure it is strong.

May use the YW for the liquid in the dough but I usually build a 3 stage levain with mine so I don't use so much YW and it is easier to maintain and takes way less space up in the fridge, 

Happy Baking Mini

tea berries's picture
tea berries

I didn't add anything but raisins and water to this YW… do I need to incorporate sugar into a new batch when I feed it… don't the raisins have enough sugar? Also, you can retard fruit/YW in the fridge and feed every week just like starter?

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

is because I am going to keep it in the fridge for up to 4 weeks without any maintenance - if i don't use it.  The YW primer link i posted above will explain everything,  If you are going to bake with it every day you might want to get with janetcook who does so and has a good feeding method for a daily bake schedule.

tea berries's picture
tea berries

I'm sterilizing a new mason jar right now to feed a new batch of the YW and I'll make a loaf from the rest. I think I'll make the poolish suggested… equal parts YW and flour (probably 15/85% wheat/AP flour as I think wheat has a harder time rising than ap and I think the confidence boost would be good if I get a good rise :) ) … 

squarehead's picture
squarehead

I've used YW a number of times making a polish with equal parts by weight of YW and flour. The poolish is left to double in volume (10-12 hours) and added to the final dough mix with flour, salt, and either plain water or more YW. The addition of YW in the final dough definitely will provide additional oven spring. For me at least the YW is a bit more forgiving then my SD culture. Most times I use YW in the poolish, regardless of the recipe, I have success. I wish I had a cinnamon raisin recipe using YW I could give you but all my loaves tend to be off the cuff and I rarely right down the formulas. Dabrownman is very knowledgeable in all things bread, I would look towards his blogs for advice on YW. Good luck and I hope you find a successful recipe.

tea berries's picture
tea berries

Do you all think the YW is ready? Will it double my loaf, and if it needs more time, what's my window of YW peak, before it starts to get boozy? Does anyone know?

squarehead's picture
squarehead

I say go for it! Good luck and don't forget to post a pic of that crumb shot. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

When can you watch the dough?

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

a 3 stage levain with YW rather than using for the dough water, is because i want to make sure it is ready to do its job.  So I might start with 25 g each of YW and flour for the first build.  For the 2nd I might go 35  each fo YW and flour giving me 120 g of levain 60 g each of flour and YW.  For the 3rd build I usually try to shoot for the same hydration as the dough. If I am doing  a 1,000 g loaf of bread  that is 20% levain = 200g and 75% hydration it will have 200/1.75 = 114 g of flour in it and 86 g of liquid.  So I would need I would need 54 g of flour and 26 g of YW.  Each stage is n4 hours and it should double 4 hour after the last stage.  If it does then it is ready to go.  If not then I would toss the last build amount, 80 g,  and do it again - but this never happens - at least not yet.  I like to keep my levain build on the heating pad at 80-82 F the perfect temperature for yeast.

So I say build a levain with yours for some bread bake and see it it can do a double in 4 hours after the 3rd stage feeding.  If i does then go for it.

The thing to remember is that YW is slower than SD so you need to watch the proof carefully.  My first on took 12 hours to proof to 85%.  Also sometimes YW can have explosive spring too. Amazing really.  It is a great addition to heavy wholegrain SD bread as a separatel evain if you want to open the crumb and lighten it up.  You can also use it for the liquid in the SD levain build to have a combo YW SD levain.  YW has no sour component adn will mute the tang od sourdough.

YW  is every bit as fun and interesting as a SD culture