The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

whole grain starter wake up time

metropical's picture
metropical

whole grain starter wake up time

my rye and ww starters take a couple days to wake.

I'm feeding 1:1:1 with water at 85ishº.
Is there anything I can do to get them to wake faster, or is that just the nature of the beast?

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Welcome back. LTNS.

Wake from what state or condition? fridge? frozen? dehydrated? How long since last fed?  What hydration was it at?

How frequently are you feeding it during this couple days waking process?

metropical's picture
metropical

gratzie.  I'm always looking in, but not always in dialog.

fridge.  perhaps a week in between.

100%.

1x/day in the am. Put in unlit oven that is ~ 75ºF

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

User Phaz seems to be TFL's foremost starter expert lately.

From what I've learned from him, just feed it once after taking out of fridge. Then stir it every 12 or so hours. Don't feed again until there is activity, otherwise you're just diluting it. 

How much activity to wait for (% rise), I forget.

metropical's picture
metropical

okey dokes.  I'll try that.

ShimonMor's picture
ShimonMor

What water are you using?  Is it tap?  Could it be chlorine in the water or something inhibiting the yeast?

How old is the stater?  Was it always problematic or just recently?

When I pull out my starter from the fridge and feed it 1:1:1 (50/50 bread flour/whole wheat flour) it usually doubles in about 5-6 hours and after the second feeding about 12 hours later it nearly triples.

You say "starters" (plural)...are we talking two different starters...one ww and other rye or one starter with a mix?

metropical's picture
metropical

water is filtered and boiled then chilled to ~85º with filtered cubes.

less than a year, I think.  No, seems they've always takin their sweet time.

regular AP starter is never an issue.

yes, 2 different whole grain starters.  WW is KAF and Rye is Arrowhead.

 

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

We used to store our starter in the fridge and use it about once a week. I urge you to compare and contrast (a) the pain of reviving a week old refrigerator starter to (b) feeding once a day at room temp.

I always found it to be a pain to spend 1, 2, or sometimes 3 days reviving a starter and I have a suspicion the starter even after being revived never was fully healthy because I always had troubles getting good rises. If you spend 1-3 days reviving a fridge starter once a week, are you really saving that much time in the long run?

One of the reasons we thought we had to keep our starter in the fridge, was because we didn't want to waste so much flour. But, back then we had huge starters that were totally unnecessary. I think we maintained a 1 cup starter (1/2 flour : 1/2 water).  And yes, with a starter that big, daily feedings produce too much waste. Now we maintain a 1/4 cup stater (1/8 flour : 1/8 water) and we have plenty of starter for daily 1 kg bakes. If we need a bigger bake, we do an overnight preferment.

Sorry for going a bit off topic. 

metropical's picture
metropical

I think that's quite on topic, actually.

my ww and rye are pretty small, no more than 1/2c.
Perhaps I'll try that method, though room temp in the winter is pretty cool, ~60º.

I hate the discard method as there simply aren't enough things that I feel like making with discard, unless I want to add pounds, annoy the MD, making pancakes and/or waffles every day.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

It is amazing how different bakers have such different experiences with starters and all things baking for that matter.

My refrigerated starter is feed weekly or bi-weekly at the longest. I often remove the starter from the fridge and build the levain with warm water. Ferment it at ~82F and it is ready to bake with in 5 or 6 hours.

You seem to be doing everything right, don't know what is going on. How cold is your fridge? You can place a glass of water in your fridge (locate it where your starter is kept). Leave it 6 or more hours then check the temp of the water. Let us know what you find.

Another thought -
Is it possible that your starter have exhausted the food before it is refrigerated?

Danny

texasbakerdad's picture
texasbakerdad

DanAyo, I am surprised you store your starter in the fridge considering you seem to bake almost daily. Is it because you keep multiple starters? I am just curious.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo
  1. For a 1-2 years or more my starter was fed twice daily. But refrigerating it is more convenient  and it is now fed a minimum of once weekly. It revives as if it was never retarded. 
 I am also working with Lievito Madre which keeps me occupied these days. 
metropical's picture
metropical

it is possible that the food is gone, certainly.

fridge is 36º ± 2º.
I'm gonna try the 12 hour stir instead of another feed, see what that gets me ...

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

MeTrop, are your starters 100% whole grain and whole rye? If they are, I wonder if adding 50% white flour might change things for the better.

...just a thought

metropical's picture
metropical

I'm sure adding some AP would change things, but that kind of defeats my porpoise.
The stir up did seem to help.  I'll feed again and stir after 12.

phaz's picture
phaz

As far as how you keep a starter goes, fridge, counter, whatever, all methods have advantages and drawbacks. It's up to you to decide which is least objectionable - the lesser of 2 evils you could say - and learn to deal with it - simple.

Now discard - I use to tell my nephew, if you don't make a mess you won't have to clean it up (never went over well but what can ya do). Same applies to discard - if ya don't make any, you don't have any to worry about.

I discard once, and that's when I'm making a loaf. Then I discard almost everything (only jar scrapings left) in the dough. I've no use for old starter, so I don't make any. I'm sure you can do the same. Enjoy!

metropical's picture
metropical

I try to just keep the scrapings with the rye and WW and have been moderately successful there.

But drying out is a concern if I miss a week of baking.

The AP starter I have been very unsuccessful with that.  I have way too much. I could make waffles every day for a couple weeks.... not that I'd object, but not exactly healthy.

Peacester's picture
Peacester

Are you freshly milling the flour? If so are you making sure the flour is cooled before adding?

When you feed and retard it into the fridge are you letting it rise before? I tend to put my fridge WW (I have 3 Starters) straight in the fridge because if I don't it will over-ferment.

Also as mentioned you can always keep a counter top starter. My counter top starter I use a 1:1:1 ratio around 25g then I will use the 1:5:5 the morning I plan on baking.

metropical's picture
metropical

not fresh milled.

after I take what I need, I put it back into the fridge.