The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Feeding when Falling vs. On a Schedule

mathandbread's picture
mathandbread

Feeding when Falling vs. On a Schedule

Hi Everyone!

Are there ill effects to feeding a room-temperature starter every 12 hours, even if this means that the starter has begun to fall for 1-3 hours (depending on temperature) before a scheduled feeding? I've found that if I carefully watch for the peak, and feed then regardless of time, that feedings can be needed at very inconvenient hours! But if the starter has begun to fall, it sometimes has begun to develop a less-than-fresh smell by the time of the scheduled every-12-hours feeding. Thanks for any help with this!

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

It is preferred to feed soon after receding. But starters are resilient and it should fare well.

Reply with your feed ratio and estimated Room Temp. We can make adjustments to stretch the feed cycle to 12 hr, is you wish. My starter used to peak in 8 or 9 hr.. Didn’t want to feed 3 times a day. A little tweaking and it run cycles in 12.

phaz's picture
phaz

You're good. That won't hurt anything - if it was 6hrs or more - different story.

You can stir or and see it if rises again. If it does, no worries, if not, you might want to increase food ratio a little to make sure it has food to make it 12 hrs. I would also do this if in the midst of a prolonged temp change. A few degrees can make a noticeable difference. Enjoy!

mathandbread's picture
mathandbread

Thanks so much for the advice everyone. I am feeding at a 1:1:1 ratio, and the room fluctuates between about 74 F and 80 F depending on the time of day. It will just short of double in about 9-10 hours, then begin falling. This is a 100% all-purpose starter, 5 days old, which I created from a 100% whole wheat starter (the latter is about 2 weeks old, and recently transferred to fridge... that one tripled in about 8 hours!)

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

As far as my experience has taught me, a healthy starter will not last 12 hr @ 74-80F.

Try this. Take 10 grams of your matured starter and mix 30 grams of water and 50 grams of flour. You will need to knead this dough by hand a bit to form some gluten. Keep your original starter for safe keeping and let us know how the new mix works.

These suggestions assume you want your starter to take 12 hr to reach maturity.

Danny

mathandbread's picture
mathandbread

I tried your suggestion! After the first feeding at the 1:3:5 ratio, it took 24 hours to peak, but after the second, it took 10 hours. Perhaps my apartment's temperature just fluctuates too much, and I need to find a way to control that with a proofing box or the like. Has anyone heard of a heating AND cooling box on the market, or would I need to design one with a fridge + heating pad + thermostat, perhaps?  Anyways, I really like the "stiff" starter, so thanks for the suggestion!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Keep with the feed ratio a few more times and see if things don’t stabilize.

Idea, if your temps fluctuate wildly to can opt to mix one ration during the day and another for the night. Assuming daytime is the warmest you would decrease the amount of starter compared to the evening feed.

Lets us know what you think...

No, I’ve searched for a cold and warm single solution and found none for the home baker.

mathandbread's picture
mathandbread

Will do, I'll update in a bit and let you all know what worked. Appreciate it!