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Need starter suggestions, please

Phillip's picture
Phillip

Need starter suggestions, please

Greetings!

My last attempt to make a starter was in JAN 2018.  The bread bug has bitten me once again, so I have jumped through the starter hoops once again, but was shocked to see that water has settled out of the mix and is above the flour mix.  My original starter mix was just the opposite, the water was below the flour mix.  See the following images:

The above image is of my latest starter.  This starter is only about 24 hours old.

 

This image is of my 2018 starter.

If someone can tell me why the water has separated differently I would be very grateful.

To be clear, I could never get the 2018 starter to rise after feeding so I just gave up after a month or so of trying.  That is my best recollection anyway.  

My starter mix/procedure was the same in both cases:  half-fill a small contain with lukewarm water and and add flour - 50% whole wheat + 50% white flour - and mix until a heavy batter mixture is formed.  Set aside in a cool shady area for 2-3 days.

Thank you,

Phillip

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

looks better than the old one.  The new starter looks very wet too, more wet than a heavy batter, doesn't have to be, and flour has separated to the bottom.  This is normal. That you set aside in a cool room or shade begs the question of where are you located and what temperatures you have.  The mehthod seems hap-hazard and not quite complete.  What do you do after 3 days?  

I suggest that this young mixture get stirred several times a day. 

The 2018 starter looks nasty bacterial action.  Do you remember how it smelled?

Phillip's picture
Phillip

Thank you for your comments.

My room temp is 76 degrees.  I am trying to follow the starter directions from the Tartine Bread book.  The author says that if all goes well I should begin to see some fermentation after three days or sooner.

I stirred the mix as you suggested.

As far as the 2018 starter goes, I do not recall it smelling bad at all.  I was surprised that it overflowed as it did.

Thanks again for your help.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Phillip, the wide and low sided vessel makes evaluating the rise more difficult. If you switch to a narrow and high sided clear vessel it will be easier to estimate the percentage of rise.

I realize this doesn’t address your question,  but thought it might be helpful.

Danny

Phillip's picture
Phillip

A little voice in my head told me this nice little bowl was not going to be a good idea.  Thanks!  I will switch back to a taller starter container. 

Thanks for that astute advice.

Phillip's picture
Phillip

Danny, 

I did some shopping and found a better starter jar.  

The tape is my marker.  My cool, shady spot temp is 73º F.

Thanks again for your help,

Phillip

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Try looking for a spot above 75°F it does make a difference.  Temperatures are very important.

wow! Nice jar.  

Phillip's picture
Phillip

Thanks for your comments.

Yes, indeed, this jar is superior to my previous bowl.

I forgot to answer a question you asked of me earlier:  we live in Southern New Mexico, but our home is well insulated so I may have to use our sun room which is warmer than the interior of our home.

Thanks again for your help.