Using a food dehydrator to dry starter, feeding schedule for "sour"
I'm slowly going through the forum topics and I've seen directions for drying starter, but if I use my dehydrator on its lowest setting (which is low enough to not kill enzymes in fruits according to the raw food vegans) would that be okay? Has anyone tried this? Or should I just test it myself and then tell y'all the results when my starter is strong enough to store? (Might be a month or so.)
Also, I've read here that less frequent feedings can encourage sourness. My starter is about a month old and will double in size during feedings in about four to six hours (100% hydration). Yet, my "sour" isn't there in the final product and I've not gotten a good rise out of my bread. Next step is to decrease hydration (I'll try 80% first), but if this doesn't encourage what I like, would every other week for feeding a refrigerated starter be enough to keep the culture alive? I currently feed every week with a 1:1:1 ratio. I use stone ground whole wheat for my feeding, and I have a lovely yeasty/tangy scent to my starter. Do I simply need to use more than 15% of starter in my loaf? My loaves are 50/50 wholewheat/KA bread.
If your dehydrator is a typical machine that starts at 85 degrees or so you should be ok temperature-wise. Can the bacteria tolerate rapid dehydration? That's an entirely different question. I guess you will have to find it out yourself.
Hmm. It starts at 95° F. Well, I guess in a few weeks I'll have a fun experiment!