The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Starter not rising consistently

smithc6's picture
smithc6

Starter not rising consistently

Hi all,

I know that this topic has been covered at length, but I have been unable to find any solutions that fit my situation. I created a starter last week using this feeding schedule. On days 2-4, my starter more than doubled in volume each day. The past few days, it has been bubbling, but not rising noticeably. I've kept it in the same location and there haven't been any major temperature/humidity changes, so I'm looking to see if anyone knows why it isn't growing anymore and if this is indicative of an issue in how I'm caring for it.

Thanks for reading!

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Could one of the TFL regulars, who is also an IT expert, check that file for trojans/virus, please?

 

smithc6's picture
smithc6

I got the schedule from Joshua Weissman's YouTube channel. You can find the schedule in his video on starters.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

File appears fine, Dave.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

of the goop?   How does it smell?  Did you contact the author?

This looks typical of a starter that takes more time to go thru the chain of bacterial events when beginning a starter. Telling us more about temp and aromas to better advise.  

smithc6's picture
smithc6

It smells... well... sour. The first few days it had a more "grassy" smell, like how the rye flour smells. It's been kept in a room that stays in the low 70s, which I know is below the optimal range, but it's the warmest room I have. In fact, the days it did double, the room was a bit colder than usual.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

at this temperature, can easily skip a daily feeding.  Getting over 75°F helps a lot. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Smith if you are following Joshua’s formula and method closely, your timing is way off. Since Josh is fermenting at 85F and you are in the low 70’s his timing schedule won’t work.

Can you post images. That could be a great help.

Don’t toss the starter, it is , in all probabilities still very viable.

Dan

Thought - if you have a heating pad you may be able to rig something up. Maybe put the heating pad in an ice chest off to one side and set to low. Put the starter on the opposite. You may have to crack the lid if the heat climbs too high.  If you can get the temp up to 80-85F the process will speed up dramatically. Make sure you check the temp from time to time. If the starter gets too hot it will die. You can always play it safe and divide your original starter in two and keep one as before.

placebo's picture
placebo

The instructions say to add water that's 85 degrees F. It doesn't say to keep the starter itself at that temperature, so the timeline probably isn't that far off.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I did go back review the YouTube video and you are right, he never specifically mentions ambient temperature. But he does say that he is in Texas and the temperatures are very warm. Wished he would have stated the room temp. But my best guess (I live in Louisiana) is around 78F, but that could be off. At any rate the low 70’s is very cool for a new starter. A few degrees can make a huge difference in fermentation times. It definitely can be done but it is not ideal.

HERE is an example of how warmth can affect a new starter.

Thanks for the correction.
By the way - the image of Joshua’s starter is one of the best I’ve seen. I actually reviewed his video in the last week.

Dan

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Smith, HERE are some great videos  concerning building a new starter. Teresa mentions that she is fermenting her’s at 70F.

I hope you find them useful.

Dan

smithc6's picture
smithc6

Thank you everyone. I'm going to try the heat pad + cooler method and see what that does for me.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Smith, make sure you keep an eye on the temp of the actual starter. Stay below~84f