The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Making a starter in hot humid Tropical climate

Goomes's picture

Making a starter in hot humid Tropical climate

Hi everyone! I am extremely new to this forum and bread making and have mostly succeeded only in baking Asian breads.

I would like to begin with sourdough and want to attempt Peter Reinhart's starter recipe with the pineapple juice method. 

My main concern is the weather in Singapore. The average temperature here is 30 degrees celsius (86 Fahrenheit) so I am unsure if I can leave the starter out at "room temperature". Will it 'go bad'? Can I follow this recipe but use the refrigerator?

I had thought of leaving my air conditioner turned on for the duration but it would be a very costly project! 

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!


barryvabeach's picture

I personally would try using it at room temp, just adjust the timing.  IIRC the general rule of thumb is that yeast reproduce twice as fast with every 17 degree increase in temp ( Fahrenheit ).   So if the procedure you are following suggested 70 degrees, just cut the time in half.   If you decide you want to extend the times, you can always put it in an cooler with a few pieces of ice, that should bring the temp down a little.   

Rempejek's picture

I am not that experienced, but I have been making sourdough bread and pizza for a while.

You can definitely use a SD starter in your climate (mine ranges from similar to you to hotter, to colder and anything in between). You may have to feed it quicker if you leave it at room temperature, or you can use the fridge (which is what I do).

If I remember correctly, when I first made my starter, I made a bigger amount. Some stayed at room temperature, some in the fridge, just to get a feel for it and to not have to go back to scratch when I would mess up. Which incidently actually didn't happen. Sourdough starters are quite a bit more sturdy than I thought!

Good luck

clazar123's picture

If you enter "tropical sourdough" into the search box you will get a list of MANY posts. 2-3 weeks ago was the last post/string I remember and there were quite a few suggestions. Look around. It is not impossible.

Goomes's picture

Thanks everyone for your thoughts! Sorry for the late response... somehow didnt get a notification.

I also never thought to search 'tropical sourdough'. I am encouraged by you guys saying that it is possible to do this.

My other challenge is my countertop oven which is supposed to be able to hit 240 degrees celcius but in reality goes only to 220. But never mind! Let me try first!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

:).  I got a few tricks for you!

 The bit about keeping the starter cool. Try standing out some big PET bottles filled with water while the AC is on...then when turning it off, put starter and bottles into a cooler or styrofoam box to keep it cool during the day.