The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starter feeding advice please

MarieAnn's picture
MarieAnn

Starter feeding advice please

Yesterday was day one for my Starter. I'm totally new at this.  
In the morning I started it with 70 grams of flour (a 3:1 mix of AP and Rye) and 70 grams of water.
I mixed ir, covered with cheesecloth, and set aside.
24 hours later (this morning) I stirred it and put it back on the counter. It had not changed much other than the texture was gooier.  I noticed, that throughout the day, it did not rise any. But tonight I looked in on it and it had more than doubled!!
So, should I go ahead and feed it now or wait until morning - completing the 24 rest? Or does it matter?

HansB's picture
HansB

Just feed it every 24 hours, in 7-10 days you'll have a good starter. 

MarieAnn's picture
MarieAnn

Thanks, I actually went ahead and fed it last night since I didn't see this post until now. It's seems to be doing ok.  Here's hoping!

Brotaniker's picture
Brotaniker

 

Firstly, rye is perfect for starters! 70g may be a bit high though, you end up with quite a lot of starter - and I do not like to through away food. Anyway, I do just wheat breads, but my starter is 100% rye. Here is how I started 3 month ago:

Day #1:

Mix 25g rye flour and 25g warm water, leave at (warm ~27°C) room temperature in a covered (not tight sealed glass) glass.

Day #2:

Add 25g rye flour and 25g warm water... same as day #1

Day #3:

Add 50g rye flour and 50g water... rest same as day #1 (should see goo activity now)

Day #4:

Ready. It can go in the fridge now.

MarieAnn's picture
MarieAnn

Thanks for this advice!

Anne Ng's picture
Anne Ng

Here is a post that helped me tremendously. The author explained in detail what you should be doing at each phase (notice I used phase here instead of days, since everyone's little yeasties behave very differently). If your room temperature is high, above 26C/79F, then you may consider feeding every 12 hrs. But for lower temperatures, 24hr is perfect. 

Another tip: if your starter become very active on day 2 and smells funny, it's not the yeasties. It won't raise a bread at this stage. But it's normal and these bacterias will set the environment for the yeasties and good bacterias. Just keep feeding it every 24hrs. Or wait even longer at a certain stage. It will grow and become sour and bubbly. Usually at day 7 you will have a very predictable, active starter! 

Happy baking! 

MarieAnn's picture
MarieAnn

Thanks for the link. Yes, today it did stink, but I've watched enough videos now, so I was expecting that. 

Archizoom's picture
Archizoom

From what I've gathered, you should feed your starter after it peaks and begins to deflate because that means there's no more sugar for the yeasts to feed on 

jey13's picture
jey13

Your advice to feed after a starter peaks is right for a mature, adult starter. But on the first 2 days, a starter has a different feeding schedule, usually that you feed it, leave it for 24 hours, stir it, and leave it unfed for another 24 *THEN* feed it on Day 3. This so that the bacteria and yeast that need to develop can do so, transforming that flour-and-water soup into infant starter.

It’s why everyone remarks that on Day 3/4 the starter smells bad. At that point, after its 2nd feeding, its been “born” and not quite in control of itself. After Day 3, the feedings become regular (once a day by Day 4/5 it smells better. It’s now child starter and learning how to be it’s new self. By day 5/6 it will start to go into its rise/fall mode, becoming teen starter. And it’s then when your advice comes into play—when you start to feed it according to when it needs to be fed (every 12 hours or every 6). 

And then, finally, by day 6/7 (or a few days after that if you want to be absolutely sure of your starter’s maturity) the starter will be an adult with regular habits, and ready to make bread. And you continue to feed that mature starter as you did teen starter—after it peaks. :-)

MarieAnn's picture
MarieAnn

Thanks for the advice!

MarieAnn's picture
MarieAnn

Thank you all for responding. This is a trip!

MarieAnn's picture
MarieAnn

Archizoom
That's what I was thinking, too. Last night, which was only 36 hours into the process, it had nearly tripled its volume, and it was bubbly, so I went ahead and fed it.  This morning after another 12 hours had passed, it had more than tripled again, so I fed it again.  Tonight is almost the end of day 3 and it has only doubled. The strange thing is, it has a thin layer of liquid on the bottom, not the top. I may feed it in an hour or so and see if I can pour the starter into a clean jar while pouring that liquid off. This is an adventure.

Anne Ng's picture
Anne Ng

Yes the liquid at the bottom is absolutely normal. I've been there too. That's a sign of it going through the Leuconostoc stage. It's okay just to stir it into the mixture. Nothing to worry about :)

One thing I may suggest is that let it sit there for 24hrs for once. Let the Leuc bacteria break down the nutrients and bring the pH down so that the lactobacilus (the probiotics) can start to strive. Feeding every 12 hrs may dilute the acidity of your starter and hinder the good organisms from blooming. 

Give it some time Marie, and you will be rewarded with endless delicious bread in the future XD

MarieAnn's picture
MarieAnn

Thanks Anne, I did let it sit the first 36 hours without feeding it. So the first feeding was at 36  hours and then I've fed it two more times, every 12 hours, because it was growing so much. It is reassuring to know you have seen the liquid, too. Ick!  

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

has now set you back to square one.  It will add a few days to getting a working starter but a great learning experience.

You can start up another along side this one but wait not 36 hours to add more flour but 48hrs.  Start with a heaping spoonful of flour and add just enough water to make a loose batter, cover loosely with a lid to keep out bugs and prevent it from drying out and just wait out the initial bacterial rise (it's not yeast) Then add to it without discarding, another spoon of flour and a little water and wait another 24 hours.  

Then perhaps discard the half and add in a spoonful of flour and water as needed to make a thick paste.  Compare this to the other starter both in aroma and color.  Compare the gas bubbles forming on the sides of the glass.  When it's fermenting with yeast, rye gets lighter, brighter at peaking time.

MarieAnn's picture
MarieAnn

Mini, I do appreciate your advice. Per your suggestion, I began another starter, but haven't yet discarded the first starter. I like weighing, so I started the new one with 38 g of flour (same 3:1 AP:Rye) and 38 g water. If I'm understanding you, I should wait 48 hours before feeding it the first time. I have a question here: Should I stir it after 24 hours even though I'm not feeding it?  

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

a day while you wait. It gives you the chance to check on how the aromas are changing and if the starting culture is drying out.  Add a little water if you need to.  No need to dump the first starter attempt, race the two of them and see which one advances forward with yeast first. The first one may be quiet for a few days while the pH drops. (acidity builds)

liamfnb's picture
liamfnb

First time starter for me from last weekend and I had the liquid thing yesterday (day 2). Happy now that I just stir it in and continue as before if I'm reading correctly.

MarieAnn's picture
MarieAnn
Benito's picture
Benito

Wow that is an incredible result for your new starter, you are obviously a skilled baker MarieAnn.

Benny

SourdoughSA's picture
SourdoughSA

MarieAnn      Wow !!    looks beautiful !!!!

MarieAnn's picture
MarieAnn

Thanks, Benito and SourdoughSA.  
This is the third loaf of SD bread I've ever made. All three came out great, thanks to Kristin's very clear instructions here: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlJEjW-QSnQ
Actually, I haven't even made bread with packaged yeast but 6 of 7 times.
I would post a picture of the crumb, but this picture came out so huge, it scared me. LOL.  I don't know how to make the pics smaller. I must learn.