The Fresh Loaf

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Community Bake - Pt1 Yeast Water - Hamelman's Swiss Farmhouse - Part 1

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Community Bake - Pt1 Yeast Water - Hamelman's Swiss Farmhouse - Part 1

This Community Bake (CB) will feature Jeffrey Hamelman's Swiss Farmhouse bread. It is a full flavored bread with no sour flavor. The dough is leavened with a Raisin Yeast Water (RYW). And raisins and walnuts are used to enhance the flavor of the bread. Abe has been after me for a long time to try this bread. And after finally getting around to baking it I can fully appreciate his enthusiasm. The flavor is unique and I'm certain that all who bake it will agree...

For those that may not be familiar with our Community Bakes, check out the top paragraphs in  this LINK, for a little background.

Jeffrey Hamelman has given us permission to post his copyrighted formula and instructions.  The Swiss Farmhouse bread is taken from his book, BREAD: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes (second edition), by Jeffrey Hamelman. Copyright 2013. Published by John Wiley & Sons. If you don't own this book, it is an all time favorite on TFL and definitely one to consider.

For those that don't have access to the book, the formula and instructions will be posted on the Community Bake.

Since this particular bread utilizes Yeast Water (YW) for the leaven, it seems best to host the bake it 2 parts. Part 1 will detail the instructions to make your own YW using only Raisins and water. It is much more simple to make than a sourdough starter and is generally mature and ready to use in 5 days or less. Everyone, including bakers that use commercial yeast are encouraged to participate. NOTE - the actual bake (Part 2) is scheduled to begin Friday, August 9.

 By-the-way - any kind of yeast water will do...

Once your yeast water is active see THIS LINK for the formula and instructions to bake the bread.

Instructions to make a Raisin Yeast Water Starter, by Jeffrey Hamelman.

At least 5 days before the bake, soak 74 grams (2.6 ounces) of raisins in 179 grams (6.3 ounces) of cholrine free water. Organic raisin are preferred. Any additives or preservatives in the raisins should avoided. Cover and leave at warm room temperature (75-80F). White mold normally begins to cover the surface of the raisins, an indication that the liquid is ready. Occasionally, however, no mold is visible. Once the ferment starts to actively bubble and the smell is sweet and has a tangy aroma, it should be ready and the dough mixing process can begin. If your YW is ready before you want to bake, it can be left out on the counter for a few days, or stored in the refrigerator for much longer storage. NOTE - YW is not nearly as finicky as a sourdough starter and requires very low maintenance. Like sourdough starters, some have kept their YW for years.

I am not an authority on YW, but those that are, will be available to answer your questions. 

Abe sent me a link for a good teaching video about making a Raisin Yeast Water (RYW). https://youtu.be/vcfuUtbnteY

If you are new to YW, be prepared to have a blast...

Danny

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Today, I plan to start a new Raisin Yeast Water (RYW). I have a healthy RYW in the refrigerator, but wanted to photograph and document my experience with the process. I followed Jeffrey’s instruction to the letter. 

Information to be posted as it becomes available.

I covered the container with a paper towel to allow some air flow. It is also recommended to shake or stir the jar a few times a day to aerate the mixture. See Debra’s comment below pertaining to aeration.  I took advance of a proofer and set it to 80F. I have matured a YW in 3 days by keeping it at 84F, though. If it is warm outside you could keep it there during the day. YW loves warmth...

Update - I just learned that YW does don’t require oxygen. I am told the YW is best without oxygen, so yesterday I changed jars to a smaller size with the idea that there would be less head room for oxygen. A latex glove was placed over the top to seal and also since it expands, it can inflate to accommodate the fermentation gas. After covering the jar opening, the glove was depressed to purge out most of the remaining oxygen.

The Image below was taken 24hr after replacing the jar and installing the glove. It took 2 1/2 days @ 80F using organic raisins to ferment a mature starter. Raisins are floating and it is bubbling aggressively and producing gas...

YW success = organic raisins + good water + warm temps (super important for speedy development).

 How I wished scoring and open crumb was just as easy... <LOL>

Update - after fermenting for 72hr (3 days) the raisins have been exhausted. They are all floating at the top. Also notice how the glove is not very inflated. So the old raisins were taken out and replaced with a handful of fresh raisins. Note - I decided to add more water from the previous image because I wanted a larger YW.

Danny

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

See below for those that think Yeast Waters are difficult.

For full writeup see this link. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/60872/community-bake-hamelmans-swiss-farmhouse-part-1-yeast-water#comment-438525

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

CAUTION - For those that don’t want to chase the rabbit down the hole, you may choose to skip this detour. YW is super easy to make. If you follow Jeffrey Hamelman’s instructions above, you will succeed. BUT, some of us can’t resist the intricate details :-D

Here is some helpful information that Debra just sent me. She gave permission to post.

//////////Begin Debra Wink//////////

... here are the tips from that article if you want to include them in your part 1. For what it's worth, I don't recommend shaking because 1) it isn't necessary, and 2) it tends to break apart the raisins which become fragile, and turn them into an unattractive sludge. The oxygen isn't necessary in this application as many believe, and reduces fermentation. Fermentation creates more flavor and aroma :)
 

Observations and Tips 

Here is a compilation of tips and observations from my own experiences in coaxing raisins to ferment. After doing some homework on wine fermentation and a bit of experimenting, this is what I’ve learned; but it would be premature to assume that I have it all figured out, or that my approach is the only one. Feedback is welcome. 

➤ If a blanket of gray mold appears on top, it is likely a sign of delayed fermentation. I find this can happen when the pH does not drop to 4.0 or below in the raisin water (more on that below). Gray mold (Botrytis cinerea), known as noble rot in its benevolent form, is also intimately associated with grapes. An ever-present opportunist that kills yeast when it runs amok. So if you see it, discard and start over. Other molds may or may not inhibit fermentation, but do skim them off immediately if you see them forming. 

➤ pH seems to be an important factor in the initiation of raisin fermentation. I find that if the pH of the water combined with dark (unsulfured) raisins is 3.5 – 4.0, bubbling is often evident within a few days at 75-80°F with no sign of mold. As raisins soak, they infuse the water with their acids and other substances, which raise or lower the pH of the water over the course of several hours and buffer it to some degree. But if the pH starts out too high, fermentation might not begin on its own. Your pH will be influenced partly by the water, and largely by the acidity of the raisins themselves. As a point of reference, the pH of juice from freshly crushed wine grapes falls in the 2.8 – 4.0 range. 

➤ Water varies quite a bit from one source to another. The pH of my tap water, even after softening and reverse osmosis, measures a little on the alkaline side. I’ve had hit-and-miss results with it on its own, depending upon the raisins, which themselves vary in pH. The bottled waters I tested all measured 4.5 and seem to be slightly more successful so far in my limited experience. 

➤ The acid profile of grapes includes several organic acids, the top three being tartaric, malic and citric, in that order. I haven’t used tartaric or malic in this, but the tiniest pinch of citric acid – 0.02% sour salt, or perhaps even a little lemon or lime juice – may be enough to get the fermentation started if it seems stuck. I prefer ascorbic acid, although it takes a bit more. Try 0.5% of the initial water weight. If you’re worried about the effect these acids will have on the final dough, you can transfer a splash of this liquid over to inoculate a fresh batch of raisins and water after bubbling is underway. (This also works to perpetuate raisin water yeast and shorten the process to half as many days if you don’t want to start over each time. I don’t know whether you can keep it going and preserve its character indefinitely, as I have only played with it for a few weeks at a time.) 

➤ Too much dead yeast (with its glutathione) will do strange things to your dough at mixing time. So watch that you don’t let cells pile up too thickly as white sediment on the bottom. Refrigerate before it reaches that point; or transfer a bit to a fresh batch of raisinwater to refresh and buy a little more time; and/or take care to decant the cloudy liquid from the top for your preferments. Failing that, dough issues seem to resolve somewhat with an extra fold or two, and longer fermentation time.  – Debra Wink

//////////End Debra Wink//////////

Here is a link for an article Debra posted to the Advanced Topic Section of the forum. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/60897/raisin-yeast-water

Here is a link with more information from Debbie for those that are technically inquisitive. http://www.junkomine.com/blog-/2015/2/21/anaerobic-without-oxgen-or-aerobic-with-oxgen-

So, with this new information in mind, should the YW container be tightly sealed, loosely sealed, or what?

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

 

I love adding yeast water to my sourdough bakes for a little added oomph and lightness, so this will be my first loaves without any sourdough starter. And, I don't like to start a project by promptly ignoring the guidelines and doing my own thing, but......😃

1) I have a garden full of fruit

2) I don't like raisins so never buy them. See point 1

I've been fermenting and using yeast water since my first plums started to ripen. Now I've got apples coming on, and at the end of September will come more grapes than I know what to do with.

On the left is a new apple yeast water I started on Monday which is almost ready. On the right is the last of the plum measured out for a loaf.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Don’t let the raisins stop you from joining in. Variations are always welcomed...

How do you like the valves that is pictured on top the Mason Jar?

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

Thanks Dan, I'm getting started already. 😃

Got build 1 started for a single 600g loaf.



The airlock (sterilock brand) are OK..I kind of like a water airlocks better because it's easier to see what's going on.
These have a filter thingy in the middle that is hard to get out to clean or change. But, they are very compact and so don't take up much room. I also am not really keen on using any metal in any ferments because they start to rust when they come into contact with salts.

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Julie, I hope you take pictures and document the Swiss Farmhouse on the Community Bake. The actual bake (Part 2) will be posted next Friday.

ifs201's picture
ifs201

Getting setup now making my yeast water - going to try with fresh grapes since I have those on hand. 

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

My culinary muse aka my better half just informed me after 25 years that he doesnt like raisins. So I went on a raisin eating binge. But I think I have some dried currents lurking in the fridge and also some fresh fruit.  I will give this a go when I get back from vacation

 

 

 

mutantspace's picture
mutantspace

have made this before - its a great bread and a wonderful loaf for using yeast water...

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)
jey13's picture
jey13

I know the instructions say "organic, no preservatives" but even some organic dried fruit uses sulphur. As my husband is mildly allergic to sulphur, I'm super cautious when I buy dried fruit. Only naturally dried apricots and such for my house. But if that weren't the case, I think i'd take for granted that maybe sulphur on a package of organic raisins was okay. Obviously not. :-D

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Sulphur dioxide or sulphites but not sulphur! Using the word "sulphur" as you have is not appropriate.

Sulphur dioxide is a common preservative and particularly bad for asthmatics and those with sensitivities.

Sulphur is an element and a vital nutrient for all living things (Humans, animals, plants). Can't live without it and we are partly made up of it. 

Sulphur dioxide and it bound constituents; sulphites are those that are problematic.

Still, sulphites occur naturally and even yeast produce a little sulphur dioxide (a few mg/L) as a defense mechanism.

In summary it is the sulphur-oxygen compounds that are the issue not sulphur its self.

Forgive my pickiness. But from my perspective it isn't.

Sulphur dioxide has it's place in a world where convenience is a factor and the wine industry would be a different place without it!

algebread's picture
algebread

Looking forward to this. I will have to get some raisins later today.

I will add notes to this post as things progress. Ambient temperature was 77--82F throughout.

Process

Day 1.  Put 179g tap water in a jar. Water was allowed to sit out for 24 hours so that any chlorine would evaporte.

Day 2.  Added 74g raisins. They are not organic, but don't contain anny preservatives either.

Day 3.  A couple of raisins are floating, but there are no more than a few small bubbles.

Day 4. No change from Day 3. Smells like raisins and not much else.

Day 5.  Some mold, which I removed, but otherwise no change. The mold looked mostly white.

Day 6.  Scooped off the mold and added about a quarter teaspoon of rice vinegar as a last-ditch effort to make things work (adding acid suggested by Debra Wink).

Day 7.  Lots of bubbles, audible fizzing, all raisins floating.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Alge, if you have a choice get organic. Otherwise make sure the raisins don’t have any additives as Abe stared.

algebread's picture
algebread

Thanks for the tip; will do.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Only 9 hours in and my raisin yeast water is showing activity. Airbubbles have formed around the raisins and some are starting to float. On schedule for a normal raisin yeast water. Should be ready in a few days

So 5 days in without much activity and mould... something is wrong.

Question is if it's the raisins, water or something has been introduced into the YW which shouldn't be there.

Got any raisins left? If so which brand? (i'll look into whether they're truely organic with nothing added). When starting over i'd use boiled water which has been left to cool.

algebread's picture
algebread

My raisins were whatever the store brand of Whole Foods organic raisins are. I think the problem was the water pH though. Thank you for all your help.

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

In my experience, when raisins refuse to ferment it's usually because the pH is too high. Hard water often has a high pH. And the raisins, if they're very sweet, may not have enough acid in them to overcome that. Try adding a little citric acid (.02% of the water weight), or ascorbic acid (.5%) to the next batch.

Maybe I'll start a batch to figure out how much lemon juice would do the trick. That might be a simpler/cheaper solution, but citric acid is pretty easy to find these days in the canning section of many grocery stores.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

London and the water is hard, and therefore alkaline, yet I have no issues with making yeast water.

However I do boil the water and let it cool first. Will this undo any negative effects of the hard water?

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Water treatment is different from municipality to municipality. Raisins differ from source to source. It's mostly luck of the draw, I think.

variable live cultures + variable conditions = variable results

That's all I really know for sure :)

mwilson's picture
mwilson

 

Will this undo any negative effects of the hard water?

 

No. not at all. In fact you'll probably increase hardness ever so slightly through concentration via moisture loss.

Hard water is generally preferable to soft water in fermentation.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

That was my intention of course! ;)

Thanks Michael. 

mwilson's picture
mwilson

If you are curious Abe why not have a look at your water quality report.

For you see hear: https://www.thameswater.co.uk/help-and-advice/water-quality/check-the-water-quality-in-your-area

This information is freely available to all citizens.

My water is around 130ppm CaCO3, I'm guessing yours is a fair bit higher!!

Look for total hardness, Calcium Carbonate / CaCO3 (mg/L).
Also look at Alkalinity, this translates as the buffer capacity of your water.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Will do over the weekend and will report back to you for an explanation of the results.

algebread's picture
algebread

Thank you for the advice. After reading through Dan's compendium of your advice above, I skimmed off the mold, then added a quarter teaspoon of rice vinegar. The raisins were floating and bubbling within about 36 hours. I am not sure if it was the pH change or just more time that did it.

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

No matter what, you're in business now :)

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

I am thinking to add a tsp. of fresh squeezed lemon juice to my concoctions. Yea or nay?

 

 

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

But yay as a backup if needed. Give nature a chance. 

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Sounds like a plan!

Benito's picture
Benito

I hope the raisins I bought today do not have any preservatives in them.

Fingers crossed this works.

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

Whoever started the idea of a community bake was brilliant. It's so nice to see people progressing and working together as a class would do, but all in our own kitchens and materials. I look forward to getting started, but I need the propper raisins first.

albacore's picture
albacore

And what a great job he does!

Lance

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

Agreed. I've been on this board on and off for probably 10 years and seen lots of shifts in "tone" here. There was a time it was pretty condescending to middling bakers like myself. But when I started to come back again recently when I wanted to start grinding my own flour, I was so happy to see more encouragement here - Danayo especially. 

Benito's picture
Benito

I’m totally new here but I have to agree that Danayo is doing an amazing job in so many ways.   One thing stood out immediately to me was how welcoming and not intimidating it was as a newbie to post here.  I was a bit scared to ask questions at first but that feeling went away very quickly.  Everyone who I’ve interacted with here has been so welcoming and generous with their knowledge and encouragement.

Benito's picture
Benito

I have no idea what to expect this to look like after a few hours.  It is a bit cloudy with particulate mater floating around and some bubbles attached to some of the raisins.  I assume this is all expected.  I have no idea what the pH of my water is, I use filtered tap water just as I do for my sourdough starter and bread.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Bubbles attaching themselves to the raisins is a very good sign. Looks like you're onto a winner. When they're all floating and it's making a fizzing noise, when you hold your ear close to the jar, then it's ready.

Benito's picture
Benito

Well that is hopeful then, thanks Abe.

On another note, after using this yeast water for the upcoming bake, how does one keep it going?  Do you add water and more raisins at some interval?

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

And it's ready within a few days then I always make fresh. You're never more than 3 or 4 days away from making yeast water but you can keep it going. As with sourdough everyone will have their own method but you have the gist of it already. It'll keep in the fridge for a while so you can refrigerate the yeast water then take some off to build preferments with yeast water and flour then once it's run low just replace the fruit and top up with water. Within 12-24 hours it'll be activated again and refrigerate etc. Or you could just replace some of the fruit and top up however much you take off as you go. Once in a while a big refreshment is needed as described in the first example using a little of the yeast water to inoculate a fresh batch. If all the fruit has sunk to the bottom then go for a big refreshment. Bear in mind that the fruit can sink and refloat in a healthy yeast water but once they've all sunk then it's time to completely refresh. Some like to just replace the water within a dough but I like to do a preferment to make sure everything is fine before going into the main dough. The Swiss Farmhouse Bread has a preferment. 

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks Abe. 

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Hi Benito,

Your timeline might be a little different than this, although you should see bubbling within 48-72 hours if it's working. Mold first doesn't bode particularly well, but is not uncommon despite what aficionados say about how easy yeast water is. It can be. But as always, with variable live cultures under variable conditions, there are going to be variable results. That's what makes it interesting, and I have seen some really fascinating molds along the way :)


Day 1

Initially, raisins sink in water and start out on the bottom. Some air bubbles may get trapped in the wrinkles.


Day 2

As they absorb water and swell, raisins expand and appear to be suspended throughout the watery raisin juice, although still underneath the surface.


Day 3

You'll know fermentation is underway when active bubbling becomes evident. The liquid will turn cloudy with yeast, and the raisins migrate upward as they become gassy.


Day 4

As fermentation progresses, the raisins become more buoyant, floating higher in the liquid (above the surface). Excess yeast cells settle in an increasing layer of sediment on the bottom.

 

Benito's picture
Benito

Thank you for the photos Debra.  I started this about 52 hours ago and no bubbles visible yet today.  The water is quite cloudy and there is a bit of a musty odor which I think doesn’t bode well for this yeast water.  I’ll keep it going but I really think I’ll need to toss this one eventually and start over.

Benny

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Musty odor from mold growth and no bubbles are negative signs, and the flavor is likely compromised at this point. If you've been shaking it, that can account for the cloudiness. Or bacteria. If/when you start over, consider adding citric or ascorbic acid. Citric is often found with canning supplies. A little goes a long way.

I'm rooting for you :)
dw

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Debra, could Bennie crush a Vitamin C tablet for Ascorbic Acid? If so, how much should he use?

I’m thrilled to see you join in. Can we expect a Swiss Farmhouse loaf from you?

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Yeah Danny, finely crushed tablets are fine. But preferably the unbuffered variety, which means you need to know what to look for in the ingredient list --- they won't usually say "buffered" on the label. It will be an acid (such as stearic acid) and a salt of the acid (i.e., magnesium stearate). That's one possibility. It could be a different acid/salt pair, and if the list is long, they may not appear together, making them harder to spot. Unbuffered brands generally have a very short ingredient list, though.

So, 1000 mg = 1 g.   The dosage in mg per pill will be listed on the front of the label (not the weight of the pill)

And I would start with 0.5% based on the water weight --- a 500 mg tablet per 100 g water? You'll have to check my math. If your vit C is a higher dose, dilute with a proportional amount of water, even if you don't need it all. And make it fresh, because it doesn't keep.

I don't think I'll get to bake this bread along with you, but maybe I'll find time to dig out some old photos. It's one of the formulas I tried while working on the book, and it has been one of my favorites ever since :)

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

You mentioned 0.5% of the water weight.

What if we (me) technical nuts shot for an ideal PH instead. What would you consider the target PH for YW to be?

If this  idea makes sense should the PH reading be taken with the water only or should the fruit in the water be measured?

Would this target PH be correct for all types of yeast water?

Danny

Inquiring minds want to know...

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

I've gotten consistent results bringing the water down to 3.5, and then testing the pH after the raisins have been soaking in it at least a few hours. As long as the pH doesn't rise above 4 in that time, you should be good to go.

But it doesn't have to be from the start. I once had a jar of raisins soaking for 14 days with no sign of fermentation (how it didn't mold, I don't know), and 12 hours after adding citric acid I saw the first bubbles. Within 24, it was happily bubbling away :)

Benito's picture
Benito

I have bubbles now, but that musty smell persists.  This might end up working but tasting bad given the mold that had formed, if that smell continues it would be hard to imagine that it wouldn’t make it taste off.

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

You may not need to start over, Benny. Let it ferment a day or two, watching for new mold. If none appears, all looks bubbly, and the smell improves, transfer about 1/2 to 1 tsp of the liquid to a new jar with fresh raisins and clean water. It doesn't take more than a splash, and it should take off within 24 hours.

Benito's picture
Benito

Overnight and around 68 hours or so since starting, I have fermentation.  The smell has changed, the musty odor is less, but not quite gone.  This is working, the question is now, will the musty odor completely dissipate and not affect the flavour of the bread?  I guess I have no idea what it should smell like at this point since I’ve never made yeast water before.  If I can find a source of raisins I may still make another batch and inoculate with some of the water from my current batch, but I don’t think I’ll toss this batch.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

If this is a good 'n healthy yeast water then you should be able to make bread with it. If unsure about that musty smell then you can try using a bit of this yeast water to inoculate a new batch to "feed it out". When making a yeast water from scratch it can take 3-4 days. But when it comes to a refreshment it should take 12 - 24 hours. What you can do is as follows...

Get another jar and clean it out thoroughly making sure to also wash out all the soap fully.

Fill the jar with a handful of fresh raisins then pour in water which has been boiled and cooled!

Then take a little of this yeast water (about a 1/2 - 1 tablespoon) and add it to your new batch. Give it a good stir. See what happens within the next 12 - 24 hours.

And/Or... you could make a 63% hydrated dough ball to see if your yeast water leavens it. This is the first step of the Hamelman recipe.

Benito's picture
Benito

The musty smell is completely gone now replaced by a smell that reminds me of a winery.

As a backup I bought organic grapes and started a new yeast water with red grapes to which I added some of the raisin yeast water that has been fermenting.

Benito's picture
Benito

After 12 hours my grape yeast water is already fermenting.  I had the inoculation of some of the yeast water from the raisin one to give it a kick start.  I think I will use this one for the CB, it has a cleaner smell that is more fruity and without any of the initial musty moldy odor and it has no mold on it.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Looking good and healthy. 12 hours is very good but this also means that the yeast water you used to kick start this one was also good.

You're on schedule to start the recipe within a day or two. Wait until you can hear the fizzing before going onto the recipe. If it's matured before you have time to bake then refrigerate until needed.

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks for your help Abe, and thank you Debra and Danny.

How do you know when it is matured and if not ready to bake, ready to go into the refrigerator to slow down fermentation?  The raisin yeast water is still bubbling and the raisins are all floating.  The new one is bubbling and you can hear a bit of fizz.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

And if you wish you can use it. If not then refrigerate it. Your grape yeast water needs a tad more time. You want them floating with a fizz and bubbles rising to the surface. Again, when ready use or refrigerate.

The yeast waters will be happy in the fridge for a while and as long as it's only been a couple of days just dip into it/them and go onto the first of the two dough builds. The only thing i'd advise is to expect different timing for the first build at least. Recipe recommends 6- 8 hours and it should be visibly risen. Go for visibly risen however long it needs. Second build should be more in time with the recipe.

You can keep your yeast water indefinitely in the fridge. If it's been some time since the last feed and maturing then give it a refreshment.

Benito's picture
Benito

Great advice Abe, thank you.

Benny

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Even though it would probably leaven, I'd let it ferment a few days more to develop better flavor. Whenever I've used raisin water too soon, the bread has been sweet and bland tasting. Grapes/raisins have a lot of sugar. It takes some time to convert it to more flavorful fermentation products, and for the S. cerevisiae population to rise up. The other species may not leaven quite as well. There's a reason for that 5-6 day raisin soak. Inoculating your grapes really only knocks off a day or two. That's just my opinion :)

Benito's picture
Benito

Debra I will certainly follow your advice.  This is my yeast water from grapes 24 hours after starting with the inoculation.  Not all the grapes are floating yet but really good fizzing activity.

Benito's picture
Benito

Almost all the grapes are floating now at around 36 hours.  No signs of mold, the fresh grapes are definitely more acidic than the raisins I had.

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

That's looking really good :)

Benito's picture
Benito

48 hours plus hours and the grape yeast water inoculated with some raisin yeast water is very active.  All the grapes and floating now and it is nice and bubbly.

On another note, I kept the raisin yeast water that had the white mold which I removed and put it into the fridge.  The activity has slowed down but it has a lovely lovely smell of fermentation and sweet fruit.  2 of the raisins have now sunk to the bottom but the rest are still floating and there is still some activity.

At what point do we know that the yeast water is ready to use in the next steps of building the dough?

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

This one looks like it's getting a really good start!

jey13's picture
jey13

It would be really useful to see photos of raisin water with the "okay" mold that just needs to be removed, and then some with the "bad" mold that means the raisin water is in trouble and should be tossed out. 

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

There are lots of images on the internet, just do a search for 'Botrytis gray mold.' It really loves strawberries too :)

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

I am positive I had bad mold. Just tossed it (detailed below in a thread).

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

This is so fascinating! And I don't know what you did before you retired, but you could enter a new career in photography and film editing - so well done.

Benito's picture
Benito

I noticed in this video they use a 1:3 ratio of raisins to water and we’re using less water.  In my bottle there is almost no space for the raisins to float, they have absorbed most of the water and have reached the top of the water.  I’m wondering if I should be adding a bit more water?

 

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

you are right - it doesn't match.

 

Benito's picture
Benito

I have white/grey mold on the surface today.  I’m going to have to try to find a source of organic raisins that lists the ingredients to ensure there are no additives in them.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

But they will also inhibit any yeast growth we are after. So I doubt that was the problem. Either you can skim off the mould very carefully then discard and replace any of the raisins that have mould on them. Or start again but this time make sure everything is sterile. True raisins look to be floating. Can you hear any fizz? 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Bennie, I am disappointed for you. I don’t have enough experience to be a definitive help. But Hamelman says, “White mold normally begins to cover the surface of the raisins, an indication that the liquid is ready.”

I hope this is what you are experiencing and is recoverable. I’d remove the white mold immediately and watch the forum for the replies of others.

Good Luck!

Dan

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

But I do seem to remember something along those lines. If the mixture is behaving exactly as expected except for the "mould" then perhaps the way to go would be to salvage it. One could test the liquid on a piece of dough (which is what I think the first build is doing) and if it behaves like a mature yeast water, it is a yeast water. 

Benito's picture
Benito

I’ve removed the mound which seemed to be attached to the raisin skins of the raisins that were floating at the top.  There was no fizzing sound that I could hear and no bubbles that I could see.  I’ll keep it going but also try to find more raisins from another source.  On Friday the only organic raisins I could find were from a bulk food place at a market, I’ll look at Whole Foods, I would hope that they would have organic raisins without additives there.

Benny

jey13's picture
jey13

As I mentioned in another reply, my husband is allergic to sulphur, so I buy all dried fruit at a local farmers' market. At mine there's always one stall with a guy who naturally dries all kinds of fruits. Raisins included. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Dried fruit is not necessary for YW. Grapes, apples, most anything will work.

Benito's picture
Benito

Duplicated, pls delete.  Sorry. 

Benito's picture
Benito

Maybe now that there is fermentation happening I’ll pick up some fresh grapes and add some of the raisin yeast water to kick start it along with the remaining raisins I have if I can’t find organic raisins without additives.

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

grapes and use a dehydrator to turn them into raisins. 

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

Grapes will work too, so they don't need to be raisins per se..

 

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

I've started a new apple water today. It should be ready around Friday.

I used the apple water I already had for a hybrid loaf I baked this morning and it has a lot more lifting power than my previous plum water.

 

 

Day 2:

Water has started to get cloudy, bubbles are showing, and fruit are starting to lose color and shape.

Day 3 Update:

The water is quite cloudy now, and there is active fizzing around the apples. It's hard to see on a still image, but it's there. Comparing to day 1, the apples have with each day risen higher and higher in the water column and the peel is losing more and more color and detail with each passing day.

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

looked like that just before I stuck a stick mixer into it to break up the apples.  Strained it later after more fermentation and used the liquid chock full of yeast.  A small bit saved to inoculate more yeast water .

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

I've made lots of yeast water over the years, but I've never read to blend it...

The past couple of days I've been baking with some previous made (only, no sourdough starter) AYW and I'm struggling to get a grip on the crazy fast and strong fermenting.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

because not all of it had fermented.  Cutting thru a large chunk of apple revealed what appeared to be untouched raw fruit so...why waste it?  Purée for a second feeding and feast the yeastie beasties.  It worked.  Made some nice bread.

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

Brings back memories of the lovely bricks I made the two times I attempted this recipe! 😂 Good luck everyone! May the yeast gods be with you and result in a nice fluffy tasty loaf!  

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

My first attempt turned out great. I’ve baked this many times and never had a fail... and I am new to Yeast Water. The flavor is outstanding, bet you’d really enjoy it. Didn’t think I would like raisins and walnuts in a bread, but I was dead wrong.

I hope you decide to join in and redeem yourself :D

Danny

 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

They were awful! Tasted good but total bricks! A friend of a friend gave me a piece of a loaf that she had made and it was lovely! So I thought I would give it a second try! No go! So needless to say, I am really leery of this recipe. 

I don’t think I’ll be able to give it a shot in the next few weeks. My daughter is running a half marathon in Vancouver on August 17 so that has kind of taken life over for a bit (I follow her on a bike for her long runs). She actually did the whole thing this morning as a trial so we are both elated with that. Not bad for someone who has rheumatoid arthritis (her, not me!)!

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

I've just tried this recipe which is still baking. It ferments like a high speed train, so I think this one is overproofed. There was some degassing when I scored it. Shame!
Next attempt I will also reduce amount of fruit and nuts. I'm using cranberries in my bread in place of raisins.

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

I love this recipe and make it from time to time.  my YW lives in the fridge so I take it out the day before, warm it up and feed it. Usually fizzes away within an hour or two.  My YW is kept going with raspberries and raisins and is now over 2 years old.

I think the critical thing is to make sure your 1st and 2nd builds in recipe are really active and you keep the dough warm.  I use my microwave with a cup of hot water and the door cracked open so temperature sits at around 80°F. I keep the dough warm throughout. I use pecan nuts rather than walnuts and add a little WW in the flour.  

I am in Switzerland atm so not sure if I will get to participate, maybe after I get over jet lag lol

Bake Happy Danni

Leslie

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Is the YW in the refrigerator only the water, or do you have fruit in it also? I like the idea of having YW ready to go within a day.

Cheers, Gavin

isand66's picture
isand66

You want to put fresh fruit in the water when you put it in the refrigerator for sure.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

At what stage do you think it all went wrong? Perhaps we can put our heads together and work out why. I would love it if you could get to taste and appreciate this bread. 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

to get the Levain to rise. Took hours and hours to get next to no rise and it all went downhill from there. Maybe my yeast water wasn’t active enough. 

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

The recipe then goes onto the first build which says 6 to 8 hours or until visibly risen. The first build is, I believe, just to get the yeasts nice and active from yeast water to a pre dough stage. Then there's the second build and we can call this the levain etc. I think ignore the 6 - 8 hours and just keeping warm for long enough till the yeasts kick into action. Going from your last experience start it in the morning and expect an all day ferment ready for the second 12-14 hour levain. This should bring you to a good time for starting the main dough in the morning of the next day. Hi hurry! 

All that is providing your yeast water matured well. I think this time don't leave it to chance. Track down 100% organic raisins or other dried fruit (dried mulberries worked wonders when I tried them). Then there's the water.... Either used boiled and cooled or leave some out for long enough to get rid of the additives (whatever they pollute it with nowadays). Then put it together and try to find a warm place. Needs to be warmer than sourdough starter. Then don't use it till all the fruit is floating and it's fizzing. 

Sounds like a plan? 

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

I did use organic raisins and filtered water. The yeast water had the raisins floating and fizzing. And I let it rise for hours and hours. It was a complete dud for me. 

If I try this again, I’ll revive the yeast water I have sitting in the fridge rather than play with making a new one. Unfortunately it won’t be for a little while. 

albacore's picture
albacore

I did a bake (not Hamelman's) with apple yeast water a month ago and was disappointed with the result; not a brick, but a bland flavour and a very solid crumb.

I think the key must be to ensure your fruit water is very active before proceeding. Maybe raisins will be better because they have concentrated sugars to get the starter fermentation moving.

Lance

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Hope you're trying it again though. I've always found this bread to be very flavoursome. It's not tangy like sourdough can be but has that something extra different to normal yeasted breads. 

albacore's picture
albacore

I might try it again for the sake of the CB. For the non-purist, I think a sachet of Sacch. bayanus aka Mangrove Jack's wine yeast will give even better results!

Lance

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

I have discovered that the top of my hot water heater is 85 degrees and a good place to set the the jar. 

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Sounds like you've found a perfect place. Nice one.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and saved a few Concord grapes from the jaws of some hungry deer.  Pit, peel and 5 squished grapes got put underwater and set out on the porch 28°C Thursday.  We are rocking yeast water in Arkansas! 

Mini

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

That's a fruit cocktail yeast water :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mango-skin#drawbacks

Um.... wonder if it isn't too late to just scrape the mango off the inside of the skins and chuck the skins.  Think I better start over.  :(

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

😥

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

got some organic raisins from Mom ...and found a few more grapes on Dad's vines.  Back to Ground Zero. :)

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

I saw on a youtube video with Beeshum Soogrum that Theresa Greenway makes the comment that mango, figs, and pineapple can breakdown gluten. Figs surprised me considering how many recipes there out there for fig yeast water and breads with fig.
I know a lot of people make starter with pineapple juice, but since that is generally pasturized, is the enzyme that breaks down gluten broken down I wonder?

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

Nothing exciting to show, but I've started mine too.

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

I'm beginning to see some tiny bubbles. Day 2

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

(Aug 5) ...and my raisins are all gassy and floating already.  I stirred it because there was so much amber colour on the bottom.  Must be the Concord grape skins tinting the water.  

(Aug 6)  ...too hot today, brought them inside during the day and put them outside for the night. Cloudyish.

(Aug 7). ...smelling a little yeasty. So half of a very ripe pear got peeled and cut into tiny pieces and dropped into jar where they quickly sank under the floating grapes.  Wow, burst of bubbling and yeasty-light wine aromas and that evervescense nose tickling CO2 like air when trying to sniff the open jar.   Keeping it inside at 76°F today.  Think I'm in business.  :)

supertime:  

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

Day three. Raisins are suspended slightly, not quite floating.

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

Well, this morning I was greeted with mold - on the raisins and crawling up the side of the jar. No fizzing. No sign of anything good happening. I tossed it all. I was using bottled spring water and boxed organize raisins in a freshly washed (dishwasher) mason jar.

 

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Leave soap residue? Handwash and rinse thorooughly (perhaps carefully scald it out too) and use boiled water which has been left to cool.

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

Washing by dishwasher supposedly gets dishes cleaner. Perhaps the room isn't warm enough. I'll try it one more time tomorrow, but if that doesn't work, then that's it. 

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Day one of raisin water just started this evening. Debra Wink's notes are a great complement to Hamelman's instructions. Thanks!

Gavin

gavinc's picture
gavinc

12 hrs - slight bubble activity already.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I just this morning had the latex glove blow off the top of my jar. I am following Debra’s information about fermenting without oxygen. If your cap is tight the jar may build excessive pressure.

I would like to use an airlock, but because of its height it won’t fit in my proofer.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Thanks for the advice/warning. I'll unscrew the lid and just leave it loose. Cheers.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Raisins floating. No fizz or sound. No mould. Happy so far.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I’m not sure how hot is too hot, but I know that YW LOVE heat.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Playing it safe at 25°C (77°F), about mid-range of the ideal I believe. Yes, it is higher than I would normally proof pre-ferments.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I have matured a YW in 3 days @ 82F.

I’ve read different high temps, so not sure how high is too high. Some say mid 90s, but never went that high.

I believe mid 80s is probably fine.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Day 4: Checked this morning and nice bubbles and fizz sound.

Checked this afternoon and noticed the first signs of white mould. Hoping that it is white mould and not the dreaded grey. 

 
gavinc's picture
gavinc

Checked this morning and the white mould has covered the entire surface. Scraped off the mould and drained off the raisin water.  Mixed build one. I'm only making one 680 gram loaf, so my build one is:

Bread flour100%54 g
Raisin Liquid, drained63%34 g
Total 163%88 g
gavinc's picture
gavinc

My first build is a total failure. No rise after 7 hours. Dead. Deceased. Kaput. Lifeless. Inanimate. :(

I'm not giving up. I will try again using organic raisins.

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Can I recommend something?  I know Hamelman and therefore this CB call for RYW.  But making another YW wouldn't be a felony.  I suggest you grab a plastic bag and hit the streets until you find a fruiting plant.  Any fruiting plant.  A real "fruit" plant might (might) be best, like an apple tree.  But any fruit from the wild will certainly harbor bugs of all sorts and very likely the ilk that would serve this application.  As I told Danny, my first YW was made from crabapple prunings. 

Excellent (judging from the resulting breads' crumbs) YWs made from black tea have been blogged about here.  In fact, I'm going to relieve one of our ornamental Camellia bushes of some of its leaves today and see what they inoculate honeyed water with.  They aren't Camelia sinensis (the tea species) but I'm going with the assumption that the bugs don't make strong distinctions between species of their Camellia hosts. And while I'm at it, I may pluck some apple, pear and apricot leaves from the orchard.  Why not.

Yes, there are some poisonous berries on ornamental shrubs in commerce.  But you have to cut or chew them open to release the toxins.  Making YW from them, intact, would be no more dangerous than rubbing against them as you pass.  Not a worry, to me at least.

I tend to choose the path of self-reliance whenever it's available.  Not for everyone but satisfying when it's the right one.

Tom

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

While I like your idea of taking clippings from the wild, and while you think it's no more dangerous than brushing past poisonous berries, i've noticed (in all my yeast waters) that the fruit ineivtably splits open and dissolves somewhat.

For my ease of mind please stick to 100% edible plants.

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

I totally get that Abe.  Hard advice to argue with.  But as a (retired) laboratory biologist/botanist, I tend to think in terms of concentrations more than most.  There are toxins in the world that are dangerous/lethal in picomolar concentrations (some mushrooms, venoms, ricin).  But these are few and legendary.  And consider that in a YW, any undesirables will be diluted (never propagated -- concentrations headed only south) by subsequent refreshment of the brew and very likely metabolized by the bugs we're aiming to culture.  That reasoning successfully puts to rest any qualms about poisoning myself with such an experiment.  YMMV and I totally understand that.  Last thing we want to do is make bread baking a life-threatening pastime.😱

Now where's my copy of Stalking the Wild Asparagus now that I need it...

Tom

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

I did have a look at your profile to learn you're a biologist and botanist! Here i am arguing with an expert.

So i'm changing my post to only YOU! should be doing this :)

I'm looking forward to your really wild yeast water bread.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Is it correct to assume that plant leaves, blooms and fruit have the necessary bugs to make a YW?

If this is correct, then I assume that any fruit with sugars will ferment with water only, but blooms (buds) and leaves will require sugar and water for fermentation. Have I got this right?

Is the biofilm that sits atop these things floating around in the air and just happens to find rest on them? It is not a matter of any attraction, but merely happenstance? So, I’m asking if any fruit, bud, or leaf, ect. in the wild collects more bugs than other substances.

I love learning...

Danny

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Let's not say it's "correct" to assume that Danny, because biodiversity will always present the unexpected exception.  But yes, I have no reason to assume that raisins and apples are special in this regard.  Microbes need sugar and fruits (and some species' roots) are nature's #1 source.  So that's where to look for them.  But it was really the reports of excellent YWs from tea leaves that woke me up to the fact that other plant parts have metabolizable sugars, albeit at lower concentrations than fruits, available to colonizing microbes.  However, plants have not surprisingly evolved all kinds of defenses against theft of their hard-won carbs by microbes - waxy leaf epidermal coatings for example.  And Camellia has very waxy leaves (preventing water loss, making them desirable in gardens here in water-starved California).  How the bugs manage to harvest carbs from Camellia leaves is therefore a mystery to me.  My upcoming experiment (if I ever get off my ass today in front of this laptop!) to harvest fresh Camellia leaves to innoculate a YW implicitly tests the hypothesis that tea YWs only work because the tea leaves acquire the relevant bacteria and yeast during the tea drying process.  Fun to experiment.

Regarding happenstance origins of bugs on leaves, that's harder to know.  Just like the question of where do our sd bugs come from when we start a culture.  Just being answered by current research now!  Insect feet?  Wind?  Rain?  But those that end up populating leaves in countable numbers clearly have evolved to occupy that niche.  So it's likely a mix of happenstance (stochastic events, as a biologist would say) and evolved adaptation (as a biologist would say :-).

Tom

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Thank you Tom for the idea and information. I'll see what I can find that I can trust.  I have some cumquats, limes and lemons, but not sure if they would be suitable. It's mid-winter here and not a lot of options.

 

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Yes, I figured you'd be more limited this time of year down there.  Kumquat levain has a certain exotic ring to it.  Today I plucked a more mundane variety of fresh plant parts and their microbial passengers are now swimming -- and hopefully procreating -- in honey water.  Time to put my m(h)oney where my mouth is.
Stay tooned and keep us posted!

Tom

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Pending sourcing organic raisins, I am inspired to try a kumquat water experiment. Not sure of what to expect, but will keep you updated. I have a cling film layer on the surface.

Cheers, Gavin.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

add some to it, about a teaspoon or two.  Honey is great for making yeast water.  

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

+1 for Mini's honey suggestion. 

I can't imagine making yeast water without it.  But I included a "honey only" control for the "YW From Diverse Garden Plant Surfaces" experiment started today.  Who knows, honey may contain the appropriate bugs for raising bread but they're just dormant in it due to honey's extreme osmolality. Dilute it and they may wake up and propagate.

Tom

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Hi Mini and Tom,

I was wondering about that having read many of the ideas coming forward here. I have some pure honey here from a farm nearby.  I add it in now while still on day one.

Cheers, Gavin

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Good news. My kumquat water was ready yesterday (day 4), nice and bubbly. I had to leave it until this morning (day 5) to mix the first build. 8 hours later, the build was light and puffy, so I proceeded to mix the second build. I was pleased that I'm on track according to Hamelman's instructions. 

 I am quietly confident on this occasion but cautious given my earlier failure.

 Thanks to Tom and Mini for the ideas to use other fruit and honey.  I've ordered some organic raisins for future experimentation.

Cheers.

Gavin

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

That sounds familiar on many fronts.  Anyway, did my first build just now:  50g yeast water with 78g organic ww and was pretty stiff at 64% hydration so I tossed in another teaspoon of YW and kneaded it in.  Thought being, it may not rise if too stiff.  Gotta find the bread flour if there is any, reporting from Mom's kitchen and she's playing bridge.  Dad (broke leg July 1st, turned 94 Monday) is coming home tomorrow.  Now to wait and see what the build does and how long it takes to get there.  Each first build may be different so keep watching it.  Seven hours isn't a lot of time.  My experience tells me this stage varies esp. with temperature, flour and hydration differences.  :)

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Mini, I need to add the flour type in the initial post. I asked Jeffrey about the flour. He considers bread flour any flour with a protein level of 11.5%. So in the case of King Arthur, their All Purpose is considered Bread Flour in this case.

Danny

I’ll have to get back with Jeffrey to confirm the percentage, but it is either 11.5 or 11.7%. 

Here is Jeffrey’s reply -

Bread flour is the term the Bread Bakers Guild uses for flour with a protein content of about 11.5 to 11.8. Unfortunately this is also what most people refer to as all purpose.“

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

We're looking for "visible expansion". If warm enough you should see enough activity. Second build becomes a lot more active and one will see significant expansion. It is low hydration and only 6 hours for the first build but by all means leave it longer untill you're confident there's life in the preferment. Yeast water often surprises I find.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I experienced exactly what Abe described. Here are some photos of the stiff levain build. The second build really takes off.

  

  

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Is for "signs of life" and second build is "time for business" :)

Nice one Dan.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

#1 yeast water build isn't a weird bubble or separation!  It's a brown colored level mark!  Ah!  So it doubled in volume!  I was trying to figure the size of the container and what that blob was.  Finally got enough coffee in my system and/or just marked the level on my own first build...     Mine smells good but not rising yet.  :)

Found some good Organic white wheat flour, it will have to do.  

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Mini, I can’t remember for sure, but my regular practice is to ferment starters and levains warm. Ranges va4y from 78-84F.

I suspect a fairly warm ferment for the images above, at the very least 78F.

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

This has been my experience as well. First build can be crazy, but more often than not is underwhelming at first then takes off rather abruptly.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

76°F is what #1 build took to get to this (photo) and it could use a little more time to get all bubbly.  Want to time my dough mixing to around 9am Friday so I better get on to build #2.   In two hours it'll be 9 pm, that sounds about right.  

Friday:  7 am and the rise is falling (76°F) so for me, this dough must have finished the #2 build in about 9-10 hours.  So I put it into the fridge until mixing up the final dough.  The above pictured WW #1 build got bigger bubbles and tripled  with the extra 1.5 hrs before going into build #2.  I think the whole wheat (instead of the bread flour) has something to do with speeding things up.  

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Have you tried this recipe before? Can't wait to hear your final verdict.

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Mini, I keep your suggestion in mind for my second try.  I've already dumped the raisin water and will start again.

Cheers, Gavin

albacore's picture
albacore

The preservative I would expect to be used with raisins is sulphur dioxide. Not only would this make growth of natural yeasts difficult, they would probably all have been killed off already by the SO2 during storage.

HOWEVER, SO2 is an allergen and, at least in the EU, must be declared on the label. So I would suggest that if sulphur dioxide is NOT declared on the pack label, then it is NOT present.

 

Lance

mwilson's picture
mwilson

SO2 is a strong anti-microbial but bacteria is more easily inhibited by it whereas yeast have a better tolerance and a specific mechanism to deal with it. Still, large enough doses will stop yeast and it is regularly used in this way.

Under EU law labelling for SO2 is only required where it exceeds 10g/Kg or 10g/L.

EDIT. That's 10mg/Kg or 10mg/L. Thanks Lance

albacore's picture
albacore

You might want to check your units, Michael - I believe SO2 declaration is required above 10mg/kg, ie 10ppm.

Lance

mwilson's picture
mwilson

haha. Yes milligrams! facepalm!

Cheers Lance. Still you get the picture. Only exceeding thresholds does labelling come into play.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Debbie is like E.F. Hutton. When she talks everybody listens <LOL> For those that don’t know, Debra Wink is our resident microbiologist. 

I noticed that she just posted about Yeast Water. The post is extremely timely, it should be of interest to those that have a technical interest. How I wished I had the brain power to comprehend it all. I will read and re-read this article many times with the hope that something new will be gleaned with each reading...

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/60897/raisin-yeast-water

BreadLee's picture
BreadLee

I'm too damn lazy to join in the fun here but I'm rooting for all of you from the sidelines.  Great idea! Hamelman is fantastic.  

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

9 hours in and they're beginning their ascent to the top. Some are floating, some midway and some still on the bottom. Lot's of little airbubbles around the raisins. On schedule but I might need to do the first build on Thursday night then refrigerate come morning to do the second build Friday night. Hope that works!

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

but don’t throw away liquid when I refresh. I keep it as reserve liquid.  seems to work well.

Leslie

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Hope all is well.

I'm thinking that if it's been in the fridge for a long time, it needs refreshment and you haven't used any, then like starter, if you don't throw any way one will be making an awful lot. I suppose on can use it up like discard and use it as hydration in the dough and flavour. I never ran into this issue as like sourdough starter I never kept a whole jar full, just a little at any one time. That's when I used to keep one. Now I just make yeast water as I need it. I'm not keeping this one going. It'll be ready in a day or two and i'll use what I need for the recipe. But if storing then yes! with the fruit.

What I might need to do though is do the first dough build and refrigerate that for 12 hours before going onto the second build. DO you think it'll be as strong?

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

I try to refresh YW monthly and just use the discard as part of the liquid in what ever I am baking. I dont keep a lot - maybe 200 ml.  I dont see why the dough would be weaker - it would just need warming up surely?  I will be home again in 10 days, greatly jet lagged but will try to do this bake after that.  I hope my YW is surviving un checked 😊 as i said earlier, it does need a fresh feed and warmth after its sojourn in the fridge but then works a treat. 😊

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

These messages about saving and feeding yeast waters are particularly interesting. While cleaning out the pantry this morning, I discovered I had accidentally made vinegar.

This is a bottle of apple yeast water from sometime last year, which I guess I put on the shelf and forgot. It smells nice and apple like, but wow strong...it'll put hair on your chest! I guess I didn't know at the time that if you just fed it more fruit it would continue on and be happy.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Selling 'Apple Yeast Water Vinegar'.

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

Don't give me any ideas! Actually I will be making most of my apples this year into cider for the first time, so...after cider is vinegar. 

I'm going to freeze the pulp to keep the yeast water going. So many possibilities. How many products can come from just 1 apple

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

How different is Apple Yeast Water to Apple Cider? Allow your Apple Yeast Water to ferment naturally with added sugar to up the alcohol percentage and do you get naturally fermented Apple Yeast Water Cider?

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

Only that the cider is just fermented juice and a little sugar with no added water.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

But the science is the same, no? You have the science of making YW so it can be applied to Cider. Are you going to try and aim for a nturally fermented cider? Perhaps using the yeasts from your Apple Yeast Water to start the fermentation? I wonder if that would work.

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

The question that comes to mind is if I were to use the fermented juice would more apple flavor come through in bread?

I'm going to try both. A batch of naturally occurring yeast and a batch of commercial cider yeast. I'm actually meeting with a friend and brewer that is taking me to a cider tasting to find out what I like. I have enough apples to have both going. Commercially, all the juice is pasteurized and then the yeast are introduced back in. Far more control of course, but it's not very adventurous! haha...

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Julie, you are quite the photographer. Your composition, colors, texture, and depth of field are beautiful! Who would think that an orange/yellow liquid an a bottle could look so nice?

I am enjoying your photography...

Danny

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

Thank you dan! That is so kind of you. ❤️

ifs201's picture
ifs201

I am trying two ways - one using champagne grapes and the other using dried organic mango. I think the mango is more active. 

 

julie99nl's picture
julie99nl

When I read this on my iphone I thought that was kombucha scoby on the left. 😁

ifs201's picture
ifs201

But it's not pictured :) 

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

Is that subject correct, Media? Can the fruit be described at media? Anywho, I digress.

Questions, for the experts. (Ms. Wink) for instance.

1. Would these dried figs work? I happen to have them on hand.

2. What would be my best choice in organic fresh fruit to use?

Thanks for any help. As for the procedure and such I will read, read read before I bore you all the questions.

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

0. Hmm. I think I'd call it a substrate if we're getting all sciencey :)

1. I think others here have used figs, but I haven't worked with them, so I'll leave it to someone else to advise you on that. If it were me, I think I'd and save them for the add-ins.

2. Grapes are a natural, but any fruit that can be turned into wine. You may need to add some sort of sugar, depending on the fruit. Grapes have enough on their own.

Best,
dw

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

I may take your advice and use the figs for the dough. I have to rethink about the "substrates" smile....

BTW, it was your pineapple juice method that got me started on the sourdough journey! Poor Slow-Moe, has be though some changes, trials and tribulations, yet all these years later here we are!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Sorbate as a preservative.  Zooming in on the package. Anything else?

 
The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

I knew it was in there I took a chance anyway. Dates are not doing a darn thing!

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

I am going to document every step of growing Yeast water in my Fresh Loaf blog. Be sure to check back daily for the latest scoop!

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/60915/raisindate-yeast-waterday-day-step-step

plevee's picture
plevee

Can yeast water be kept going like a regular starter once you have made it?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

just use it and save a little to pour over some fruit and water.

JBT's picture
JBT

My progress so far. I'm teetering between skeptical and hopeful. 

Day 1 -- Combined 75 g organic raisins + 180 g filtered tap water (jar washed, rinsed w/ vinegar, then boiling water)

D1 + 10 hours -- bubbles on the raisins

D2 (26 hours) -- all raisins floating, no mold

D3 (51 hours) -- covered in white mold. Removed mold. Smells sweet and musty, not fizzing.

 

My kitchen has been very warm this week which has made this a much more exciting venture than I had anticipated!

Do I just let it keep going? Feed it? Appreciate any thoughts. I am going to pick some crab apples and try to do an apple yeast water as well. 

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

JBT, this is taken right out of Jeffrey Hamelman’s book. “White mold normally begins to cover the surface of the raisins, an indication that the liquid is ready. Occasionally, however, no mold is visible. Once the ferment starts to actively bubble and the smell is sweet and has a tangy aroma, it should be ready and the dough mixing process can begin. If your YW is ready before you want to bake, it can be left out on the counter for a few days, or stored in the refrigerator for much longer storage.

But I don’t have any experience with mold of any kind.

Danny

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

What I'd do:  Rubber spatula in one hand, soda straw in the other.  Gently slide the spatula down the inside of the jar, nudging the moldy floaters toward the middle while keeping the spatula tip against the glass.  Holding it there, slip the straw into the clearing you've created at the edge and suck up as much as you can (without drinking any -- but no fear, it won't poison you).  Then squirt the straw's contents into a jar previously prepared with water + dissolved honey.   Cover, shake and wait.  🤞 that the desired bugs will outgrow any white mold stowaways.

Tom

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Michael Wilson posted a nice article dealing with mold and YW. See it here.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/60927/avoiding-mould-yeast-water#comment-439013

Also I think Debra claims that reducing the PH in the YW will eliminate the mold. I have never had mold problems and have no idea why not. I do ferment very warm, but doubt that is the cure.

JBT's picture
JBT

Thanks for pointing to that; really great information!

I've skimmed off a bit more mold today. So, I've chuck out most of the "old" keeping some to inoculate a fresh jar and will be careful about the headspace. I'll see what happens. :)

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

I think you've misunderstood Danny. I've even said elsewhere that mold is not inhibited by low pH. Mold is happy to grow on acidic things like pineapples, lemons and other low-pH fruits. I'm sure you've witnessed it in your own refrigerator once or twice :)

I find that if the pH of the water combined with dark (unsulfured) raisins is 3.5 – 4.0, bubbling is often evident within a few days at 75-80°F with no sign of mold.

This was simply an observation of association, not a claim of causation. There are other possible reasons for this, but they are related more to the timing --- fermentation commencing without delay.

One possibility is that once the production of CO2 starts, it helps flush out oxygen-containing air. As Michael pointed out oxygen invites mold. And for that reason, I ferment in a container that vents pressure out without allowing air in --- a canning jar with two-piece lid (band + seal), which is perfectly designed for this. The two-piece lid screwed down 'finger-tight' is a one-way valve. If I have to use a jar with too much head space, I have been known to use the jar attachment on my vacuum sealer to pull air out. Michael's suggestion of the balloon is a tried and true one too, a trick used in fermenting pickles and other vegetables.

Keeping it warm helps fermentation commence faster (if there are no other unmet needs standing in the way, like pH out of range).

There may be other factors, like perhaps some of the fermentation products themselves could be mold inhibitors. This would also depend on fermentation commencing without delay.

As always, the devil is in the details, and there are a lot of details to consider :)

My best,
dw

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I’m glad I’ve never had mold, but wondered why not. So, PH has nothing to do with inhibiting mold. Maybe it is because I ferment the YW at warm temps, causing the fermentation to take place earlier than most. Also the PH reads <4.

The image below shows fermentation taking place at 44 hours. Initially  all oxygen was purged out of the jar.

JBT's picture
JBT

My second go with the RYW was more successful with no mold, a sweet/sour winery smell, and audible fizz. Based on my observations I think the biggest factor in my mold problem was oxygen in the jar, although I changed too many factors to be certain. High temps may have been a problem for me only in that, I think it is likely I missed catching the fermented YW and the spent grapes were left too long floating at the top of the water. 

On the second try, taking everyone's good advice, especially mwilson's re: headspace, I got good results in 24 hours by inoculating the new batch w/ the old, adding a tiny splash of rice vinegar, covering the surface with plastic wrap, and having the luck to have temps in the 70Fs. The proof will be in the proof, of course. I've just mixed my first build so I await results.

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

oops.  See above

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Yay! We have lift off. On cue for a weekend bake. Started this on Monday evening. 

EDIT: Looked really good from the outside but when I opened the lid I did find white "mould" on top. But is it mould? Didn't smell like mould. In fact my yeast water smells healthy. It was a white fluff on top of skin. I noticed that my yeast water over the last 3 days had been forming a skin like boiling milk does. The only thing I can think of is that while I've always sourced 100% organic dried fruit until now, this time I made do with organic but with some added oil. While the skin had been minimal till tonight and while the yeast water seemed less active, today it suddenly burst into action with lots of bubbles and all the signs of a healthy yeast water. However it now had formed a complete skin with white fluff on top. Very easy to skim off and it came off all together. So what I've done it taken out all the raisins, discarded all but one tablespoon of yeast water, added fresh raisins and topped up with fresh water. I'm not worried and if the yeast water was healthy it'll mature over the next 24 hours. Still in time for a weekend bake. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Looks super, Abe! What is your ferment temp?

Since the raisins are floating are you going to be replacing the raisins soon?

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Interesting observation and have replaced them already. 

It is warm and humid but not actually sure exactly. About 30°C? 

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

If it looks like yeast yeast water, reacts like yeast water and behaves like yeast water then it is yeast water. 

Using one tablespoon of the yeast water to inoculate a completely fresh batch of raisins and water it has matured in under 24 hours. Exactly what a healthy yeast water should do. 

Arrived home to find all the raisins floating and the mixture bubbling and thus time no suspicious looking growth. Everything seems to be 100% a ok! 

Brings in to question whether it was mould the first time. 

Everything ready to go, Dan. 

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Abe, I tried 1 tablespoon YW in a new mix and it didn’t work well for me. No idea why not.

I built a new YW Wednesday at 6PM and 44 hours later it is producing gas. And after on 44 hours the raisins are floating. Is it possible all of the sugars are already depleted, requiring more?

See THIS LINK for the image discussed.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Is that if the raisins are still floating there is life in it. I can't imagine it would mature in under two days then go kaput straight away. If the raisins are floating and the mixture is bubbling it's got active yeasts. And even when the raisins begin to sink that's when you need to refresh with fresh raisins and water plus a tablespoon of yeast water as a nudge in the right direction. The yeast water should be good for a few days or refrigerate it to last much longer.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Abe you wrote, “If the raisins are floating and the mixture is bubbling it's got active yeasts. And even when the raisins begin to sink that's when you need to refresh with fresh raisins and water plus a tablespoon of yeast water as a nudge in the right direction.”

It is my understanding the when the raisins float they are exhausted. When the raisins are first put in the water they sink. It think that the floating/sinking is different for different fruit. I think some types of fruit are exhausted when they float and other when they sink. Is that correct?

Below is an image of 3 exhausted YW.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

I thought the opposite. Floating means yeasts are active. Plenty of sugars left in the raisins. When the raisins sink I would think that's when the yeasts are running out of food and are exhausted. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

These raisins have always worked for me. I am not sure if the raisins make the difference, but I am posting a link to the ones I always use. By-the-way. I’ve made 4 YW with them. If kept warm they rae read in 3-4 days.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00L1GRDEI/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1

The image below shows my latest YW, which is being made now. All air was purged out of the glove. So much so, the glove was sucked slightly into the water.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Zoom in and notice the tiny fermentation bubbles.

The Yeast Water (YW) in this video was made 2 1/2 days ago. It is 60 hours old and was started using organic raisins and filtered water. The YW was kept in a proofer that maintained 84F. Notice the tiny fermentation bubbles that are constantly rising in the video. I used a latex glove to cover the jar. That way excess fermentation gas can expand the glove while keeping the liquid covered. In this case the jar was purged last night and when it was checked this morning to glove had blown off the top. I consider this YW ready to begin the levain building process. As a matter of fact, a levain was stared right after this video and will be used make Hamelman’s Swiss Farmhouse Bread.

syros's picture
syros

Just started YW today with Sunkist Raisins. Checked the ingredients, only raisins, so will keep an update. Just wondering if I should keep the jar outside where it is very warm. I have a small cabana that I can keep it in.

Sharon

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

so here is my latest bake of this lovely bread.

Sunday 12:15 pm Build 1 - refreshed YW day before so it bubbling and fizzing away.  Here it is just mixed

 

and here it is at 7pm

7pm Build 2 - water and flour added, left overnight and here it is at 9:15 am Monday morning.  It was cold overnight so I warmed it up for a couple of hours in microwave with door cracked open. 

9:15 am added final water to 2nd build then slowly worked flour in.  After 100 SLAFs I added salt then did another 120 SLAFs.  Rested dough for 15 minutes the stretched dough out thinly and added chopped pecan nuts  and a few macadamia nuts (I had not quite enough pecans) and the raisins, rolling it up then resting for 30 minutes.  I then did 2 sets of S & F an hour apart. The dough bulk fermented for about 3 hours then preshaped.

I planned a 30 minute rest but a visitor meant it actually went for a bit longer. 

Final shaping was at 4 pm. At 5:45 pm I decided it was ready so popped it in preheated DO, scored, spritzed loaf and baked at 235°C  fan for 15 mins then removed lid for another 16 minutes.

Smells and looks great!

and of course the crumb shot

Just love this bread.  This was my first bake in a while, really happy that YW survived its month long sleep in the fridge and is still active and strong. 

Leslie

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Glad to hear you are home and safe. Hope you had a great time!

The bread looks perfect. Did you find the dough was super resilient? Very strong?

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

I hadn’t actually thought about it like that. It was certainly not particularly easy to do the stretches, it was very gentle stretches for sure. Shaping was a breeze too. 

Thanks Danny

Leslie