The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Mold issue

ali_jhu's picture
ali_jhu

Mold issue

Hi - I'm just beginning my foray into baking bread. This is my second attempt at a sourdough starter (my first attempt was going well but alas accidentally ended up on the floor).

 

I'm using pineapple juice and white all-purpose flour and am about 48 hours in. It smells right and I'm starting to get some bubbles, but I noticed some mold forming. Is this harmless? Should I scrape it off? Should I ditch this attempt and start again?

BaniJP's picture
BaniJP

Try scooping a part out that isn't affected by mold yet and continue feeding. But if you wanna be on the safe side, start over.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Is the white stuff on the side walls mold too?

To get that much mold 48 hours in, something went very wrong.  Perhaps something was contaminated, or perhaps the container was left uncovered.  

Is it possible that the water and pineapple juice or the flour was contaminated?

Maybe the container was not cleaned enough?

Did you use fresh-made pineapple juice, or from a can of pineapple?

ali_jhu's picture
ali_jhu

Thanks for the feedback! The stuff on the sidewalls isn't mold. I had left the container uncovered outside in the garden for about an hour when I started - someone had told me that that will bring in additional helpful bacteria. Perhaps that's the source?  I'm going to try saving a portion and continuing, but mostly out of curiosity. I since began another batch - which will stay indoors at all times!

Mr Immortal's picture
Mr Immortal

It’s likely that being left uncovered outdoors is where your mold contamination came from.  Being only 48 hours in, I would start over, just to be on the safe side.  Make certain that everything is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized prior to starting.

 

Very few, if any at all, of the microorganisms that we are trying to encourage in our sourdough starters come from an external source.  Almost all of the wild yeasts and bacteria that we’re after live on practically every surface (including on the surface of grains like wheat and rye), just waiting for us to create an environment and ecosystem in which they can reanimate and thrive. 

Cee's picture
Cee

I have been reading here, there, and everywhere about the white "mold" on top of starter.  My starter is just over a week old (about 10 days old) made with fresh organic rye flour and filtered water only.  I made a loaf yesterday, that came out okay except the crumb inside was a little damp and condensed.  I left my starter in its jar last night, unfed (after removing what was needed for recipe).  The jar was clean (washed in dishwasher), and I did not use any utensils.  This morning, I looked at it, and there was a very active large bubbly white colonization of bubbles, and striated lines all over it.  It was literally bubbling as I looked into the jar.  The jar was left covered, with a clamp jar, but the lid was on but not clasped shut.  So I went online immediately and was reading about this.  Someone in another thread actually did a little research and said that this is normal when a feeding has been skipped, as was last night's feeding.  So I debated whether to throw the starter away (ironic, as it is a "no waste" starter recipe).  Instead, I thought after reading about the various yeasts that are produced in a starter, that I would just stir it back into my starter, and feed it. So I did, and it is back to normal, producing bubbles, but all that pillow soft white frothy "stuff" is now stirred back into my starter.  I live in Los Angeles, and keep my house open, it is rather warm.  

One commenter on that other thread said it is normal, a pseudo form of yeast, when nitrogen is missing.  I am so wanting to know if that is true mold or simply the process of starter production, when feeding was missing.  

I have also seen tiny amounts of white on the sides of my jars, but nothing like today's rather amazing performance.  

We are doing quarantine sourdough these days.  I just figure sourdough is an aged product.  Now if the stuff I saw was discolored, I would be more worried.  Thoughts anyone?  And sorry, I did not grab a picture.  I should have. 

Cee's picture
Cee

I have been reading here, there, and everywhere about the white "mold" on top of starter.  My starter is just over a week old (about 10 days old) made with fresh organic rye flour and filtered water only.  I made a loaf yesterday, that came out okay except the crumb inside was a little damp and condensed.  I left my starter in its jar last night, unfed (after removing what was needed for recipe).  The jar was clean (washed in dishwasher), and I did not use any utensils.  This morning, I looked at it, and there was a very active large bubbly white colonization of bubbles, and striated lines all over it.  It was literally bubbling as I looked into the jar.  The jar was left covered, with a clamp jar, but the lid was on but not clasped shut.  So I went online immediately and was reading about this.  Someone in another thread actually did a little research and said that this is normal when a feeding has been skipped, as was last night's feeding.  So I debated whether to throw the starter away (ironic, as it is a "no waste" starter recipe).  Instead, I thought after reading about the various yeasts that are produced in a starter, that I would just stir it back into my starter, and feed it. So I did, and it is back to normal, producing bubbles, but all that pillow soft white frothy "stuff" is now stirred back into my starter.  I live in Los Angeles, and keep my house open, it is rather warm.  

One commenter on that other thread said it is normal, a pseudo form of yeast, when nitrogen is missing.  I am so wanting to know if that is true mold or simply the process of starter production, when feeding was missing.  

I have also seen tiny amounts of white on the sides of my jars, but nothing like today's rather amazing performance.  

We are doing quarantine sourdough these days.  I just figure sourdough is an aged product.  Now if the stuff I saw was discolored, I would be more worried.  Thoughts anyone?  And sorry, I did not grab a picture.  I should have.