July 11, 2009 - 3:43pm

## will you help me with some bakers math please?

I don't know why this is giving me so much trouble....I finally understand converting to 67% hydration.....but if I want to convert my 100% white bf starter to 63% hydration, I don't seem to be able to figure out how much flour to add.

I need 71 gms of whole wheat starter, but the book says I can use white, but it should be fairly stiff at about 63%.

ex: if I were using 100gms of starter, it's 50 gms each of flour and water. (at 63%, that would be 63 gms of flour and 37 gms of water) Please help from there.....my mind is confusing itself. Esp if I only need 71 or 75gms to make it easier.

*****Do I use 37 gms of my 100% starter (because that is equal to the water) and add 27 gms of flour to it to equal the 63? Then how do I maintain it?

If you used 100 g of starter and it consisted of 50 g water and 50 g flour, it would be 100% hydration.

You divide the amount of flour by the amount of water to figure out the level of hydration.

If you want 63% hydration, you would use 50 g water and 79 g flour.

--Pamela

but is the 50 and 79 gms in addition to the original 100gms? I had saved someone elses comments about hydration before which is how I was coming up with the numbers up above....

So I understand your first two comments, but in the math, it's 63% over 100% for hydration, right? and the 50% is the water, and x is the flour?

I'm sorry I appear to be really dense, but I did take algebra a long time ago.....and who said "we'll never use this in real life?????" I did!

You've got it right. It doesn't really matter how much of your original starter you add (OK if you really want to get technical it matters, but it isn't necessary). Just put in about 25 grams of starter, 50 grams of water and 79 grams of flour. I assume you are going to let it sit out on the counter and feed it every 12 hours.

Every 12 hours, start over with 25 g of the new starter to maintain.

--Pamela

it's almost time for a feeding soon. and I'll just take out 25 gms for now. Thanks again.

This is why I use a 67% hydration. It is so easy: 1 oz. starter, 2 oz. water, 3 oz. flour. No math needed at night after I've had some wine and want to go to bed.

--Pamela

Pamela, I am changing the subject a bit here and maybe I should take this to a new tread but I want to get your input. The starter I have be using has been a 100 percent hydration for sometime and I have be rebuilding it always as half starter and half new.

I note that besides going to a 67 percent hydration that you use only 1 part "old" starter to 5 parts of new. Does this produce a much lower sourness in the breads? My starter makes good bread but it is excessively sour for my taste. Would going to your type of build help me lower the sourness?

Dave

From what I understand, stiff starters tend to be more sour than liquid ones.

The amount of starter you put in when refreshing your starter can vary depending upon how active your starter is. I generally use the 1:2:3 ratio, but if my starter is sluggish, I might add a little more than 1. I don't think of my ratio as 1 part starter to 5 parts of new. When I make a liquid starter, I use 1/2 starter to 1 water to 1 flour. The amount of starter I put in is designed to get fed for 12 hours. That's what I'm after: a 12 hour on the counter period of growth toward ripeness.

I don't understand the process any better than I've explained. I asked Dan DiMuzio about this in the post on liquid vs stiff levains. What I've learned about the process comes mostly from that post.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/11746/liquid-levain-vs-stiff-levain

--Pamela

Debbie Wink could help you make your starter less sour. Send her a message.

--Pamela

but how much different is 4% anyway???? Could I have just gotten away with 67%? I wonder.

I think you could have gotten away with the 67% no questions asked.

--Pamela

Hi Photojess,

I do a lot of doughs with odd amounts of levain. This isn't exactly your situation, but you might find this program helpful in the future sometime. It computes what you need to add to get to a given hydration of final dough. I find it very straigh-forward and useful.

http://members.shaw.ca/breadsimple/

:-Paul

I doubt I will need to keep this hydration percentage anyway. Tomorrow am, after feeding, I'll probably take what I need, then convert it back to 100% and put it in the fridge. 63 % is stiff.....haven't felt what 50 is like yet!