The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

new starter rising, but few bubbles

MontBaybaker's picture
MontBaybaker

new starter rising, but few bubbles

I'll admit I'm trying to be patient, but spent most of a year physically being unable to bake much and now have a long list of SD recipes bookmarked.  I'm on day 8 of a new starter using Debra Wink's method from TFL. The starter I made 3 years ago from BBA (started in warm weather) had phases of vigorous big bubbles (called it the witches cauldron at times), strong acetone, and fast tripling. 

Our house runs cool, so on non-woodstove days it's been in a small ice chest with low heating pad at about 80 degrees.  50/50 Guistos UB Ultimate High Performer and One Degree Sprouted Red Fife (3 days of pineapple juice, then bottled water).  Since day 4 I've discarded all but 1-1/2 to 2 TBSP, fed every 24 hours with 1/4-1/3 c, flour and 2
TBSP water.  The smell is pleasant, occasionally very mild acetone, doubles-to-triples in a few hours, but not many bubbles and those are certainly not large or boiling like my first starter.  There's been no hooch.

Is it good that there's been minimal acetone smell, or bad that it's rising but not vigorously bubbling?  This morning I saved and fed the discard; will continue this and try Hamelman's pancakes or flatbread this weekend as a test. TIA!

 

BreadBabies's picture
BreadBabies

Are you using a glass container that allows you to view the starter from the side? My starters were always full of small bubbles. I wonder if it could be the properties of your flour now vs before that may have trapped the CO2 differently. (Or were you using a different hydration before?)

I'm also on Day 8 of a Debra Wink method starter. Hah! Took the summer off baking and I'm so desperate to get back into it! I've been working on ciabatta while I wait. (Your starter is rising more than mine at this stage. I have lots of small bubbles throughout.)

You might want to try feeding it 1:2:2 or 1:3:3 and see if it still rises as much. If it does, you probably have a nice yeast population in there.

MontBaybaker's picture
MontBaybaker

Love your username!  Used glass & can see bubbles throughout, just tiny on top.  As a 2nd time newbie I was expecting the roling boil, huge bubbles & smelly hooch I got last time.  I know I used rye and whole wheat back then. 

Anyway, Sunday I did Hamelman's Harvest bread and the starter performed well; no way would 1-1/4 tsp yeast alone have risen that heavy dough.  I'd also saved a few days of discards, fed it, and Saturday did Jeffrey's waffles as the first test; got beautiful Belgian waffles.  So, I'm guessing differences in flour, time of year/weather, and the mood of the SD gods.  Somehow I bypassed the heavy acetone phase and have a balanced starter (to me).  Thanks for the advice!