The Fresh Loaf

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making sourdough starter -- sauerkraut juice

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

making sourdough starter -- sauerkraut juice

The No Stir Sourdough Starter

This last week I started a vigorous rye starter by simply pouring water over rye flour and leaving it alone, covering it.  No stir, no mixing, just stand alone at 75°F and watch.  

This time I want to avoid, skip over the stinky bacterial population growth in the starter so I'm pouring sauerkraut juice over flour to see what happens.  Same 74°F to 75°F  temperature.    

Instructions:  

  1. Spoon rye flour into clean tall narrow jar.   About one inch or 2.5 to 3 cm. deep.  (I used 30g Rogers whole rye flour)
  2. Pour strained sauerkraut juice gently over the flour.  Should make a top layer of about half an inch or 1.5cm deep.    (I used 40g strained Bick's Wine Sauerkraut)   Do not stir.
  3. Mark the level, time and date with a permanent marker pen.  Cover loosely with lid or plastic wrap and loose rubber band. 
  4. Stand in warm spot 75°F (23.8°C)  out of drafts and danger.  Do nothing but observe but this includes daily removal of cover and noting aromas before recovering.  

That is it.   Just for information my culture growing glass is about 2" in diameter, 5" tall and weighs 178g empty.  The sauerkraut contains sodium as well as vitamin C, wine and sulphites.  The last of which may or may not interfere with yeast activation.  It is not raw sauerkraut juice which might be preferable.  When the starter takes on a beer aroma, it will be fed more flour.

Anyone wishing to participate is welcome.  

Options might include other flours, other sauerkraut juices, other temperatures.  As sauerkraut is fermented around 60°F it might be interesting if a 60°F sourdough starter could be developed (might take more time?)

Comments

Farahkamal23@gmail.com's picture
Farahkamal23@gm...

Hi I have been trying to grow culture and so much of regular feeding and my job and travelling won’t allow me to do so. i want to try out your recipe I have whole rye flour. However, I dont have sauerkraut juice, can I use pineapple juice instead. Also what s your entire procedure, I mean how long would this take to mature, feeding schedule and such.

 

Farah

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I predict that it will mature in about 4 days.  5 to be sure!  It is an experiment and we will compare notes.  

When the yeast start to ferment the flour, increasing their numbers enough to be noticed, then any scum on the surface of the culture will be removed,  a small amount of water added to replace any evaporated liquid and stirred.  This will be the first feeding of the starter culture along with some fresh flour and water within the first 12 hrs.  Regular maintenance should then follow.   

Edit:  I see you've tried this before rye and pineapple juice...  only difference is that this one won't be stirred or fed more flour right away.  If your conditions are slightly warmer or vary please note those changes.  I know for a fact that a few degrees warmer will help the starter on the first day and speed fermentation.  

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Here is what Wiki says about Sourkraut fermentation and the production section was especially interesting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sauerkraut

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Three steps!  indeed interesting!  The relay race to a starter...  Also the part of the Leuco-beasties in the flavour department and the back slopping method made a "more sour" less flavourful sauerkraut.  I was back reading a TFL thread last night (April 2012) Eric Hanner had posted about the idea of inoculating his sauerkraut with sourdough starter to jump start his sauerkraut.  fermenting vegetables

Perhaps there is something to be said about a super fresh starter that includes lots of dead Leuco-beasties to add flavour to SD bread.  Must think about their little dead bodies as being food for the next beasties.  That first loaf that I made for Abe's experiment using all of said starter was powerful and tasty.  (wet water on rye flour, no stirring no feeding, just waiting.)  

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

if the first day sets up the needed conditions for desired bacteria and yeast growth.  2-3 days?   

Weighing the container ahead of the experiment makes replacing evaporated water easier to measure.  Flour will not evaporate but as flour hydrates the water level will fall below the beginning starting mark made on the jar.   Weighing is the only way to discover how much water has evaporated into the air.  Hydration can then be calculated if needed.

The experiment has stood, covered now 22hrs and the sauerkraut aroma is less intensive/pungent  (compare to chilled sauerkraut stock jar)  and more flour has hydrated since juice was first added.  There is an irregular band of wet flour about 1/4 inch (0.7cm) wide between dry flour and settled clear sauerkraut juice.  Juice layer has dropped about 1/8" below starting mark.

Now, how will we know when there is activity?  There should be several signs:

  1. aroma, more yeast or beer smell coming off the experiment (along with pickled aromas)
  2. a widening of the wet flour layer due to gas collecting and pushing up wet flour
  3. smoothing out of the rough wet flour contours caused by rising gas bubbles
  4. milkiness of the liquid layer caused by rising gas bubbles thru the wet flour 
  5. gas bubbles forming between the glass and the wet flour layer  
  6. darkening of the liquid layer
  7. reddening discolouration of (my particular flour) the wet flour layer caused by acid building within the wet flour 
  8. notice gas bubbles collecting around the top edges of the jar or a yeasty foam on the liquid surface
  9. replacement of gas bubbles in the wet flour layer with liquid, back filling first, narrowing the liquid layer band
  10. more consistant colour texture of the wet flour layer indicating self stirring of the starter caused by fermenting
  11. reduction in bubbles of wet flour layer may be equated to a "falling back" of the starter as the food becomes less available.

That is all I can think of at the moment.  Did I miss anything?  

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Hi Mini,

Looked up Bick's Wine Sauerkraut - it contains sulfite (from the wine?). It will knock out the wild stuff in your inoculant..., 

Wild-Yeast

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I'm not so sure about that.  I'm sitting here on the sofa and I can smell sauerkraut juice.  I came here to type up another sign of activity:  12. pumping out enough gas to smell aromas across a room even when covered.  There might be something going on in there already. It's smelling gradually more like pickles, sweeter.  

I thought sulphite prevented the wine turning into vinegar.  Sometimes it's just enough to stop fermentation, or used to slow down or control fermentation but I hoping exposure to air and dilution with flour would raise pH and possibly dilute the effect of sulphites.  I don't know that much about it and it's use other than what I'm reading in wiki.  

Now at 30 hrs sitting, the clear liquid is getting a little cloudy and gasses are escaping enough for me to smell them.  (I do have an incredibly sensitive sense of smell.)  Something is going on inside the wet flour layer.  That would not be happening if everything was dead in there.  

I've dug out my magnifying glass... but don't see much.  The juice is a little cloudy.  Wet flour contours and surface bumps are getting softer.  

I'm putting a deflated plastic bag over the top with several tight rubber bands to see if it inflates overnight.  Does that make another positive sign of activity? Let's hope it inflates.   Number 13. 

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Hard to say what's really going on with the brew. Organic whole rye flour will generally take off by itself without a whole lot of help. I've used sourdough starter to inoculate half sour gherkin ferments - what you're trying is kind of the inverse of that.

You could use organic Greek yogurt as an inoculant, the wild-yeast contained in the rye should end up fermenting once the acid level rises to the point that it begins breaking down the carbohydrates into fermentable sugars. Leastwise, that's my current version...,

Wild-Yeast

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I just want to set up the flour's own bugs from the word, "go" at 75°F.  As simply as possible.   

10 am (after 44hrs) today (73°F) the plastic bag as stood up on end, not ballooning but it trapped gas.  Liquid is slightly cloudy, clearer than last nigh but the wet flour contours have pretty much flattened out, not completely level, higher on one side.  Water band and wet flour band are about the same width.  Liquid level is still 1/8" under the mark.  No surface scum or foam.  A few tiny gas bubbles in the meniscus.  One spot, halfway up in the wet flour layer, earlier was filled with liquid is now full of gas, a trapped irregular bubble about 2mm across next to the glass.  

I just removed the cover to observe the aroma and while at it, weigh, and it weighs the same  248g so no water has evaporated.  Hydration is the same.  The aroma is still weak sauerkraut aroma and perhaps hints of yeast or at least it smells more appetising or pleasant.  Hard to explain that.  Smells closer to fresh raw sauerkraut than jarred.  I take this as a good sign. I covered the jar and will wait until 48hrs have passed (2pm) to stir. 

Plan:  At 2 pm.  Exactly 48 hours or 2 days into the experiment, I am going weigh the jar and culture (to determine the hydration) and stir, mixing the wet liquid into the rest of the dry flour.  Then cover with the deflated plastic bag (pressing it down flat) and wait.

    Weigh jar:  Total minus rye flour weight (30g) and jar weight (178g) gives water weight.  Water weight divided by flour weight x 100 gives hydration in %.  

At the beginning the experiment  had 133 % hydration on paper however juice was not mixed completely into the flour so I would guess it was much higher, closer to 400% with only 10g of flour wet or about a third of the flour.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

stir, I used a chopstick, until well blended.  A soft paste.  Mark, time/date.  Cover  (in photo with a collapsed plastic bag to trap gas)  It now has 133% hydration.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Oct. 19 (72 hrs into the experiment)  so gas has been made in the last 24 hrs.   The level of culture appears unchanged. <could be caused by a number of things so let's not rely on that.  

Aromas are more like rye sourdough than sauerkraut but the taste is bland, salty and not sour, not like I want it to be.  Fine white foam meniscus.  Needs more time?   Taking out 10g to feed 1: 5: 5 (s:w:f) to race with the jar.  This is an attempt to rid the culture of sulphites, salt and raise the pH to stimulate bacteria growth.  Hopefully yeast will follow up.  Original experiment jar is marked and deflated plastic bag is covering tightly.   The inoculated starter stands nearby with a loose cover.

I wonder how Farah's pineapple juice is coming along...  ???

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

October 20th (96 hrs into the experiment)  using sauerkraut juice to jump start a rye starter is rather disappointing.  so far.  

Today at 2pm no gas trapped in the plastic bag.  Opened the jar to take a good whiff.   No obvious changes from yesterday in both jars.   :(

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

has gone bad (1:5:5) really bad off smell.   The original experiment is still hanging in there (now 120 hrs along) doing nothing but smelling like my active rye starters.  It is however staying light in colour whereas the  (1:5:5) culture has durned a good shade darker especially where it is exposed to air.    

Well...  At 114 hrs, I added 31g standing water to the sauerkraut culture, then added 19g rye flour (the last of it) to make a soft paste and happen to add enough food & water to return to the original mark on the glass (Oct 16)  Been watching it about 9 hours now with not much going on. (Oct 21 5pm) Perhaps there are just too many sulphites in there after all.  

Next time I get some raw sauerkraut juice, I'm trying again.  I will keep an eye on these jars but I don't think much is going to happen in the next few days.

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Happy to report (let me figure this out...)  that the starter has jumped into action and I caught it this morning on the way down from a peak.  Time to feed it.  Yeah!  Not as fast as I would have liked it to be but did get over the stinky stage, I can run the experiment again, possibly speed it up with more warmth and/or more sauerkraut juice (lowering the pH) on the first and perhaps consecutive days.   

At  114 hours, I fed 60g (70g minus10g) 31g water and 19g rye flour  total of 110g 

    That would be 146% hydration with 44.7g Rye flour  and 65.3g liquid.   

Now at 139hrs (5 hrs shy of 6 days)  into the experiment (and a dilution of water and feeding almost doubling the amount of culture)  It is showing promise as a starter.  It tastes sour but smells mild and no beer aromas that I can pick out.  Will remove 10g for another 1:5:5 test, while letting this culture alone at 75°F.  

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and low and behold it just wants to keep going!  higher even than the first peak!  ...and keeps going.  like the battery bunny!

 It looks like it is boiling at 146% hydration.  Pea size bubbles moving up and popping on the surface  (nothing to stop them)    

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

fallen.   If I wasn't noticing I would have missed it.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

at 13:45 and falling again as soon as I lift the glass.  Never had so much fun watching a starter while I bake other things.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Nicely done. Now to bake some sourdough hotdog buns!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I've got a loaf in the oven at the moment.  Using Abe starter, very peppy starter.  Smells like it's getting done.   :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and it is 144 hrs since starting this.  (6 days at 75°F)   Time to thicken this goop!  

Edit: 6pm  added 19g of rye flour to starter to make it 100% hydration.  Total amount is then 118g starter.  Doing a 1:2:3 Sourdough formula using all the starter (the 1:5:5 is doing just fine to continue the starter) The little tiny bit of fresh food will keep up the yeast growing pace as I'm deciding what to do with it.

118g starter  236g water  354g flour  8g salt      so far 716g of dough...  

59g is already rye...   If I go 25% rye  that would mean adding 45 g rye flour (and 309g other flour) to make 1/4 of the total flour.  That would work well.  Let it rise a little maybe 2 hrs then Retarding until morning.  ...done.  (put it outside on the porch, 48°F) 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

that was 5 to 6 hrs ago. (It's 3 pm) Looks like it will be ready for an evening dough mix and overnight retard.  I give it another 6 hrs to peak.  

Edit:  5pm:  It has already doubled and is still rising. !!!  :)  Go beasties Go!

7pm: seems to stopped rising.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

for sourdoughs!  So I just checked on my porch chilled dough (48°F) and it has almost doubled overnight and the dough is sticky and stiffish.  Since rye is making the dough sticky (it loves me) I swiped the counter top with a wet hand before tipping it out of its greased bowl.  Gently flattened the dough out and folded it to tighten up the dough "skin" using lightly wet hands.  Want to keep hands wet enough to not stick but dry enough not to make the dough slimy.  

Shaped into a log and dropped into 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan.  Stiff enough to free form but want to toast it later.  So boxed it is.   Sprinkled with raw sesame seeds and covered with oiled plasticrap.  The micro is warm so in it went (no power) to warm up and rise.  Dough fills about half the pan, sides are clear and will soon fill in the spaces and rise up.  Plan on scoring top to prevent a side rip in the oven.   We will see when it is ready.  When it starts rising, preheat to 450°F to lower to 425°F for the bake.  I'm guessing at 35 to 45 minutes.  

The 1:5:5 went into the fridge last night around 8pm and stays there until I feed 10g of it.  Then do something with the bulk of it, about 100g.  It is still totally inflated (very typical for a rye starter to stay up while the inside falls) and at peak.  I should try to photograph this.  

It is good and sour, now to feed a small feeding which will boost yeast numbers while the bacteria hold back (the culture is sour enough)   So here goes with a 1:2:2 feeding  10:20:20  let that peak, wait for it to taste sour, then feed to build or feed for the fridge.  That would be a 1:4:4 or a 1:5:5   Should be strong enough for a 100% rye loaf by then.  If not... repeat letting the peaked starter taste sour after peaking before feeding first with a low feed then a bigger feed.  

For storage in the fridge, after the 1:4:4 feeding, let it rise about 1/3 of it's potential and then refrigerate.  Start using to inoculate after about 3 to 4 days,  It can stay in the fridge several weeks easily.  If you need it sooner than 3 days, take it out and let it finish fermenting.  You may have to rely more on your nose for strong yeast aroma and tasting for sour than to watch it rising.  The matrix may be too weak to rise or non existent.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Mini Madness starter success!  Now you can make a Ruben without  having to put the kraut on it since it is built in the bread :-)  Well done.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Blast that!  Just ate the end off the loaf. Still a little warm. Half the starter contained the original kraut juice.  I sort of over baked it. Wanted 15 more minutes on 30min and oops!  Forgot to set the timer.  Started smelling toast and it had gone an hour.  A bold bake ...and very tasty.  A bit chewy on the ends.  I frantically brushed the hot loaf with butter to trap in moisture and soften the crust.  It shines!  It glows!  Two points!  

Walked outside to see the eclipse but it was hidden behind clouds, trees and the moon.  Looked around here like a bad mean rain cloud coming so most probably didn't even  know the sky had pretty much cleared, stopped raining, and the sun was on "low."  Most everyone had their headlights on and a few street lights flickered.  Then the blue brightened up and the grey clouds were back.  Went so smoothly, the transition, like well, spiritual.  If you weren't noticing, you weren't noticing.  Came back in and the heavenly bread aromas literally knocked my shoes off!

Did you want a picture of the loaf?  Lemme see what I can do.

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

One week after starting a starter using sauerkraut juice.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

It is not surprising that you made a fantastic loaf of bread. Very nicely done. I want some. :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

there is a small addition of 20g crushed golden flax in there too.   Dough weighed 738g going into the oven.

Toasted some slices then: Sweet butter, Smoked wild Salmon, egg, onion, fish roe and lime juice.  About 3 slices left.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

it has to be crunchy and very tasty.  Brown bread tastes best!  Love your experimenting..  Now I want to take some WW and put some kraut  juice in it to get it to 66% hydration, golf ball size and drop it in a brown bag half full of  AP and put it on top of the fridge for a week:-) Well done and

Happy Kraut Starter Baking!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

but it did soften with the butter.  Hubby commented how much he liked it.  I wonder what would happen if that golf ball was submersed in sauerkraut juice?

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Mini,

Seems the organic rye was able to prevail over the sauerkraut inoculation. Your loaf looks ready for a smear of cultured butter..,

Wild-Yeast

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

might include more liquid and pH testing the juice playing with the pH level.  But compared to water (thread: Abe's Experiment) it took about the same amount of time meaning it wasn't the ideal set up.  But it worked.  I wonder about the sauerkraut's salt content and what role it played if at all.  If salt slows down a tropical heat starter, this might be the way to go in high temperatures.  Just wait till I get back to SE Asia!

Today the crust flavour is dominant.  Crust Lover's dream of flavour! And has a more distributed amount of chew and moisture after being bagged overnight.  

Kiseger's picture
Kiseger

Mini - what a success!!! That is a beauty, and what a cool experiment - I've enjoyed following you through this!  Na, es braucht nur ein bissl' Speck!!!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Speck goes real well with it.  It's not a very salty bread.  Hot or cold bacon drippings also good!  

It can also can stand alone without any toppings.    

Thanks,  Mini  :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Time for a Southeast Asia sauerkraut Experiment!   :)

andychrist's picture
andychrist

using raw sauerkraut instead of processed?

Found this blogspot where she incorporates some unpasteurized brine into the dough and after fermenting overnight it's ready to bake the very next day:

http://growthechange.blogspot.com/2009/12/cheaters-sourdough-bread.html

Will have to try this next time I bake, have plenty of extra brine from the red sauerkraut I've been brewing.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Fresh unpasteurized sauerkraut juice.  Thanks for the reminder.  Will get some asap.

Just mixed 50 g unpasteurized unadulterated cold sauerkraut juice with 50g rye flour at 8 pm and it is very stiff. Covered and left in a warm spot 26°C for overnight. Hmmm maybe I should get it warmer....or add some water...naw, going to bed.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

8am:    I didn't mark the level, it was so thick and frankly, I didn't expect any change.  ...it more than doubled in volume!!!   After poking it, it is still thick.

Rye and raw sauerkraut juice

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Added water and marked the jar.  08:30. Saturday.    Smells good!  Amazing!

andychrist's picture
andychrist

now you've got me "started" with my red sauerkraut brine and rye. 

Thanks!

Red Sauerkraut Rye Starter             

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and mine has already doubled again at 5 pm (17:00).   Will remove 10g and feed 1:5:5 and see what it does.  Discard goes into the fridge as a back up just in case.  Will bake with it tomorrow when I have time.  MIL birthday party today, the whole family here and they agree, smells like a rye sourdough.  I want to see it lift a loaf. :)

Oooo, a graduated glass,  very practical.  I think my peanut butter jar will get used tonight.  :). Pretty pink!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Overnight for this cloudy and cool Monday morning.  Looking good, and still rising.   High time to pick out a recipe, line up the ingredients and when peaked, mix up dough.  

Let's make it easy, use the same recipe earlier in the post and find some nuts or something to add...

118g starter  236g water  354g flour  8g salt      so far 716g of dough

If I go 25% rye  that would mean adding 45 g rye flour (and 309g other flour) to make 1/4 of the total flour.  That would work well.  Gotta have my rye!    Hazelnuts?  

(I ground peanuts and green pumpkin seeds for a butter spread about a week ago, not recommended.  I can taste a fair share of each but it is too weird.). 

Let it rise room temp about 22°C  and ev. bake late afternoon.   I've got a large Easter lamb mold somewhere that might be interesting...  what else is collecting dust around here?     "Elvis!"   (Hope that elf knows where things are hiding in the attic.  ...treasure hunting after coffee.).  

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

found it while looking around.  The loaf has a slight sour twang that gets stronger as it ages.  The starter sits in the fridge but I might make a new one just to see if I can make a loaf of table ready bread in 24 hours.  Start out with enough flour and juice for a 200g levain.

Sauerkraut fast starter

andychrist's picture
andychrist

Mini maybe you should cross post this on the front page because blog entries don't show up there, only new threads and it looks like you have a real winner that everyone would benefit knowing about. 

Thanks so much for carrying out this experiment!

P.S. How does it toast?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and I got the impression the pastrami was missing.  :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

on the bread. Quite the sour in taste.  :)