The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Avice on my Starter

Andres's picture
Andres

Avice on my Starter

Hi Everyone! This is my first post here. I'm totally new to sourdough and  I'm growing my first starter. I'd like some advise on it. My starter it's 12 days old and takes about 10 to 12 hours to double its size. It doesn't float at all. It's 100% organic whole wheat flour, and the feeding ratio is 1:1:1. I'm in Buenos Aires so by this time of the year temperature varies from 7º C to 15º C. During the day I put it near the stove to keep it warm. 

These are some pics from today:


 

So this is how it looks like after 10 to 12 hours



And this is how it looks like texture-wise, it seems a bit grainy to me, but I don't know.

Maybe I should change the feeding ratio? Or mix some more refined flour to it?

 

 

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

That looks fine for whole wheat. WW can’t keep bubbles to float but certainly making gas no problem. You can switch to something like a 50/50 whole wheat/white flour mix and do a 2/5/5 ratio to go to a daily feeding. My whole rye looks very similar and it’s a very good culture. 

Andres's picture
Andres

Great to hear that! I was worried about sinking. So i shouldn't expect it to float at all since being made of WW? Also, your reply encouraged me to change the ratio and it doubled way faster than before! It took 8 hours this time instead of 12. Thanks a lot!

clazar123's picture
clazar123

It looks fine but seems slow. It should double in 2-4 hours. To me that means a low yeast population.

Try and keep it a more consistent temp around 25-28C. Usually in a microwave or oven with just the light on  ,on top of a refrigerator (the heat from the coils rise), in a utility closet with a hot water heater or even on a heating pad wrapped in a towel and set on low. My comments are based on my environment in the US. I don't know what things you normally have in BA.

As the yeast population grows, you might notice hootch formation and additional feeding may be required.

Andres's picture
Andres

Great! After posting last night i took more care than usual to keep it warm overnight. Put the starter on a double Ziploc bag and then I kept that on a thermos with warm water. Then in the morning changed the feeding ratio a little bit and things got way faster than the previous days! 

dbazuin's picture
dbazuin

If you keep it in the oven be carefully to not warming the oven without removing the starter. 

Andres's picture
Andres

I was trying to avoid this method because of that haha I'm afraid i forgot to remove it 

Mr Immortal's picture
Mr Immortal

The other thing to watch out for with keeping it in the oven with the light on, is that sometimes that little lightbulb can generate more heat than you want.  At some point, put your thermometer probe in there and leave the light on, just to get an idea of how hot it gets in there after 6 or 8 hours.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I did that a few times!