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Starting a starter with vinegar?

RainingTacco's picture
RainingTacco

Starting a starter with vinegar?

I heard about pineapple method. Debra said it was hard to control pH with vinegar, so what i thought -i have ph meter and could use pipette to add vinegar just enough to lower feeding solution pH to 4,0-4,5. Is that viable? Or does vinegar have a specific slowing effect on yeast, that is not attributed to its low pH if added in uncontrolled quantities? 

mariana's picture
mariana

Yes, of course, you can acidify your first batch of spontaneously fermenting dough with anything edible. 

- vinegar (pure acetic acid solution) or pure lactic acid solution

- sour fruit juices (fresh apple juice, fresh grape juice), sometimes if form of grated apple or pounded grapes added to flour-water blend

- yeasted brews: beer, kvass, kefir, kombucha or a simple water brew (1 cup of water, 1 spoon of sugar, 1 tsp of yeast in 1 hr will give you acidic solution with low pH)

- water and pulp from soaking bread from commercial bakery ( bread can be yeasted or sourdough, it doesn't matter, it has low pH and is rich in organic acids)

- sour cream, commercial kefir w/o yeast, yogurt or sour whey drained from yogurt et al. as sources of lactic and acetic acid solution.

You can find recipes for sarters with all of those in literature and online; alone or in combinations. It's a general idea that matters: either acidify the first dough naturally with stinky bacteria from flour, or add something to the first dough to block, supress or kill  those stinkers right away.

Quick starters can be obtained both ways, with or without acidifiers.

Temperature and flour choice matters more than acidification though. But if you combine temperature control with acidification,  then you get yourself the most efficient way o developing great sourdough cultures from scratch.

Acid doesn't slow down yeast. Yeast doesn't care about acid until pH goes down below 2.0 which never happens in sourdough.

RainingTacco's picture
RainingTacco

Acid doesn't slow down yeast. Yeast doesn't care about acid until pH goes down below 2.0 which never happens in sourdough.

This is very reassuring. I have kinda slow starter, i think it might have too much leuconostoc[despite pleasant smell i still think the balance is off, and there's not much yeasts, maybe something else is producing gas?], so i might start again. This time it will be made by acidification method with vinegar. 

Also i will make sure that my starter is mature enough before refrigerating. I've made a mistake of refrigerating a seven day starter, probably the culture wasnt established enough, given the modern flour that has lots of leuconostoc. Also whole wheat seems to have highest yeast content, so thats what i will use next time, mixed with some rye flour for LAB growth.