The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Over 2 weeks and still no yeast?

Pixelle's picture
Pixelle

Over 2 weeks and still no yeast?

Hello all! 

I've been browsing this site for advice and decided to make an account and post for some help :) 

I have a sourdough starter in the works, but I have yet to have any rise from it and there is definitely no yeast there.

She has a pleasant faint fermented smell and bubbles slightly every day, but I think I mis-read the original recipe and underfed it to start with. I have hooch on the surface daily and remove that, some of the starter and feed. I start on 60g - 60g on 100% hydration.

I've read tens of articles with information, some said to try dropping the hydration rate, others said skip a day. I skipped a feed yesterday despite some hooch gathering and woke up this morning to a layer on top of a thicker layer of the starter. I've dropped the hydration to about 80% for todays feed, but overall I have no idea what to do next! 

I'm based in the UK and my Kitchen is usually ambient in the 20's, sometimes a bit warmer when I'm cooking. I did pop it in the fridge for a few days while away after 8 days and my husband fed it once while I was away. 

Any advice would be great! TIA

phaz's picture
phaz

More info needed.

Flour, feed ratios and schedule etc etc.

Pixelle's picture
Pixelle

Hi, sorry :) 

Using all purpose flour and have been feeding 1-1-1 of 100g on an afternoon, just after lunch, hope that helps

Anon2's picture
Anon2 (not verified)

100g starter + 100g water + 100g flour? That's an awful lot! 

May I suggest you find yourself a jar. Clean it out and dry it thoroughly. Stir up your starter and transfer 30g into the jar. Then feed it 35g water (which has been boiled and cooled!) + 35g whole wheat flour. Mix it up into a paste giving it a good stir. Clean down the sides using the spoon and then place on the lid but don't screw it on too tight. Leave in a warm place and do not feed it again till you see some activity. 

Pixelle's picture
Pixelle

I will give that a try, thank you

phaz's picture
phaz

First, using this flour the process can take a few weeks, like 2-3, sometimes longer.

I would recommend a starter on the thick side (reasoning behind it comes later) - as in where it won't flow/pour - like a very wet dough. 

Keep a small (very) amount, feed it something like a 122 ratio (adjust water to keep the wet dough like consistency) and stir a couple times a day trying to keep the times consistent. And stir vigorously - you want to feel the gluten - usually takes a minute or so.

Report back with observations after a day. 

Went through almost the exact same scenario with another poster just a little while ago. Took a few days but we got it going strong. I will say, as I did with the other poster, you may be real close. With this flour, if done reasonably correctly, in about 10 days it could explode. Then again, with this flour, if nothing happens around week 3, it probably won't ever happen. No big deal. Enjoy!

 

Pixelle's picture
Pixelle

I did make it a bit thicker today with a lower water % and we're looking a bit more energetic in the jar. I'll put her somewhere warm tonight and see how she is in the morning! Thank you

phaz's picture
phaz

Yup - thicker always shows bubbles and the rise better. And as those 2 things are what you'll be looking at to help determine health and strength, it's good to see it clearly. There are other advantages, but too early to get into that - first things first as they say. Your rom temps, while not ideal, are close enough. It will slow things down a tad, but shouldn't hurt anything. Enjoy!

clazar123's picture
clazar123

If hootch is forming, the culture is hungry. But also, at 20C, the culture is much too cold to grow. Yeast and lactos need at least 26-28C to thrive. At 20C, they are hibernating. Find a warmer place and it will wake up.

Ideas:

**In either the oven and microwave with an incandescent (not LED) light on.

**On top of the refrigerator-the coils generate heat that usually rises behind the refrig.

**In a ziplock plastic bag next to your skin (old school gold prospectors used a leather pouch )

**On a heating pad in a box

**In a small, insulated lunchbox with a jar of hot water

 

Pixelle's picture
Pixelle

I did look into the temperature and have wrapped it in my tea towel, though I'll put it in my cupboard by the over tonight and see how we go :) Thank you