The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starter - float test

innerlight's picture
innerlight

Starter - float test

HI, each time I do the float test on my starter, some portions sink and some portions float. Usually this is 18-24 hrs from the last feeding.  Can I still continue to use it for baking? Or am I suppose to test it at its peak like 2-4 hrs from the last feeding?  

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

If it is so mature that it sinks, I suggest feeding it and then using it at peak activity when it can float.  More info would be helpful like temp, type of flour and how the starter is maintained.  However, if the starter is peaking after 2 to 4 hrs, then I would guess that it is being underfed and not very active at 24 hrs.  

See if you can feed the starter a larger portion of flour.  Perhaps 4 to 5 times more flour than starter with enough water to make a paste or soft dough.  See how long it takes to peak. Aim for peaking at about 8 to 10 hours and feed again at 12 hours twice a day.  If it takes longer to peak, just give it time and repeat.  The starter should be more active with each feeding and take less time to peak.   

PS  I don't use the float test.  The aroma, taste and bubble activity tell me when to use it.  

innerlight's picture
innerlight

Currently, I'm have a rye starter at room temp (30-32deg Celsius) . Trying to work towards  a 200-300 gm starter to bake. 1 starter (50gm):1 flour (rye & breadhflour):1 water. I mostly feed once about 18-24 hrs . I could feed every 12 hrs or feed double flour but how much do I discard at each feed?  Currently  I discard all but keep 50gm starter at each feed.

If I feed more flour , can I stop using rye flour and only all purpose or bread flour to build it up ?  But my aim is to have a rye starter though.

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/40918/no-muss-no-fuss-starter

Your temps are very high and a starter at those temps will eat thru your flour like crazy!   Try keeping with the 1:1:1 feeding and when it is half risen, pop it into the fridge for the next few days and up to a week.  Check the no muss  no fuss starter out and reduce the amount of discard waste to zero.  (null, 0, nada)

If you want a rye starter, feed it rye.  :)

Portus's picture
Portus

If it is the amount of air/bubbles in a starter that facilitates the float, low hydration starters or starters stirred before use may be unfairly judged as flawed.  I gave up on the float test after mixed results, and since I use Firebolt, my NMNF equivalent, to build a healthy starter according to need.

Merry Christmas!