The Fresh Loaf

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Finally starting a starter.

idaveindy's picture

Finally starting a starter.

After at least two years of using sourdough, I'm finally starting my own starter.   I half-heartedly tried once before, but I used a firm-starter/biga method and gave up after about 3 days.  That was way before I found TFL.

So yesterday...

Thursday, PM, I started two would-be cultures:  one using home-milled Kamut, and one using home-milled Hard Red Winter Wheat that had been hermetically sealed for about 12 years.

The Kamut was purchased in Oct 2018, so I suppose it could have been 2017 or 2018 harvest.  The HRWW was 2008 harvest, if my notes on the mylar pouch are correct. 

The liquid used is bottled spring water, with a few drops of orange juice in each glass, maybe 150% hydration.

Friday PM, 24 hours in, was the first addition of more water/flour, feeding with the same wheat, to compare side-by-side.

Saturday, PM, 48 hours since first mix. Fed Red the red wheat flour. Fed Kamut the Kamut flour.  Red has a funky bacterial smell. Kamut barely has  a flour-y wheat-y smell.  No rise.  Maybe, _maybe_ some bubbles, but those could be artifacts of mixng.

Sunday, AM:  66 hours (2-3/4 days) since first mix. We have lift-off !  (Could have been earlier, as I was late getting out of bed.)  Both at least doubled.   Looked even between the two.  

So...., it was mixing flour/water/OJ, plus two feedings, and Voi-la!  Rise amount was identical between the two.  Red still smells more funky.  Kamut went from plain flour-y wheat-y smell to a more "microbial" smell, but not as "funky" as Red.

I'm going to keep this small, so I discarded all but about 11 grams each, and fed 1 : 1 : 1.  


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

sounds like you are challenging or daring a wild starter to start up?  Old grain/flour (instead of recent) a few drops of orange juice (why not pure OJ.) You gave up before, why make it more difficult than it has to be?  

idaveindy's picture

I used water before I remembered the pineapple juice thing.  And just had/have whole oranges, and no juicer, so just squeezed a little by hand.

The Kamut and Red were already flour, recently ground.  (The ages given were the berries' age, not the flour's age.) I have White berries on hand, but was not ready to mill a batch yet.   I'll do a starter with the White (hard white spring whest, Prairie Gold) when I get that batch milled.

I'll look for Bob's Red Mill rye at the grocery next trip. But didn't see any last time.  

It does look (or smell, rather) like the Red is progressing faster than the Kamut,