May 23, 2020 - 10:36am
1:10:10 vs. 1:1:1. What's the difference?
If I feed my levain 1:10:10 vs. 1:1:1, is the only difference (besides the final amount of levain) the time the yeast will take to peak in activity?
Does the amount I feed it affect the amount of yeast?
Does the amount I feed it affect the flavor?
How do other people build their levains for their dough? When do you change it up and why?
Feeding your starter regular 1:5:5 wil make it stronger read it got more yeast.
From that you build your levain. I usally do that 1:2:2 or 1:3:3 depending how long I can wait for it to be ready.
Overfeeding can dilute your starter culture too much and make it vulnerable to being colonized by undesirable organisms.
Starters need to be fed at the correct ratio for the 'strength' (organism density) of the starter. A weak starter with a low concentration of yeast and lactic acid bacteria should be fed a small amount of flour, like 2:1:1. As the starter matures, you change to feeding at 1:1:1, and then 1:2:2. Once you're feeding at 1:2:2 and getting a strong, fast rise in your starter, you can refrigerate between feedings and hold it at 1:2:2. If you keep it out on the counter you will need to either feed more often or increase the feed ratio as your starter continues to develop 'strength' (become more densely populated).
Think of it like a pen of tiny bears that are reproducing and breeding more and more bears. You either need to feed them more and remove waste more often, or you need to make them hibernate!
Another effect of a low ratio feedings is the accumulation of acids. When you feed only 1:1:1 the concentration of pre-existing acids from the starter is going to be much higher than the 1:10:10 feeding. Over time especially if you leave your starter in the fridge for a week at a time like I do, your starter can build up quite a bit of acid that result is greater breakdown of protein and poorer dough structure in the bread you bake with it.