This is probably a case of “too many cooks spoiling the broth”. In articles and recipes I have come across contradictory definitions of inoculation rate and I hope to settle it once and for all with the aid of the experts on this forum.
What exactly is the inoculation rate?
To make my examples clear, I will refer to a hypothetical situation where 500g of flour is inoculated with 100g of starter with 100% hydration.
Which of the following (A, B, C, or D) are correct?
A: The inoculation is 10% because there is 50g of fermented flour to 500g of unfermented flour. This is what I always assumed was correct.
B: The inoculation is 9.09% because there is 50g of fermented flour to 550g of toral flour.
The following two definitions sound bonkers to me, Bu I’ve seen these definitions peddled as truth so I include them anyway:
C: The inoculation is 20% because there is 100g of starter to 500g of unfermented flour. This is a highly risky definition because if readers have starters that are NOT 100% hydrated, they will achieve different results. Two bakers with a 75% and 150% hydration rate in their starters will produce different doughs than a baker with 100% hydration if using this definition.
D: The inoculation is 18.18% because there is 100g of starter to 550g of total flour. This, to me, sounds equality crazy than definition C, for the same reasons.
Id be greatful if someone could help settle this. Is it A, like I suspect, or am I wrong?