The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

new to sourdough

shericyng's picture

new to sourdough

my starter never seems to triple in 8 hrs.  Refreshing or when I first sterted it. I've still used it and seemed OK but my crumb wasn't as big and airy as it should be! I have a firm starter that is out of Artisan Baking......any words of advise

Soundman's picture

Hello  shericyng,

I am relatively new to the sourdough adventure also, but I have a ripping good starter. It triples or quadruples every time I feed it. Some questions: How did you start your starter? What flour did you use and how did you hydrate it? I used the 'pineapple juice solution', which I have seen elsewhere on this site substituting orange juice for pineapple. The acid in the juice provides a good medium for the wild yeast, and protects against other bacteria forming than the lactobacillus we want. After three days my starter was very bubbly and I switched from the juice to water, and from organic whole wheat to bread flour. The organic whole wheat is important too: it has a lot of natural wild yeast in it to start with, no pun intended.

But, oh yeah, you already have a starter. How often do you feed your starter? What temperature do you keep it at? What level of hydration are you using? If I were trying to punch up a weak starter I think I would feed it twice a day and stir it 2 more times in between. I would also keep it between 72 and 78 degrees. The stirring brings oxygen into the mixture, which helps the yeast do their job, just as a slightly warmer than room temp promotes yeast activity. Also, use organic flour, which will have more wild yeast than flour made from wheat treated with chemicals. And I would keep the hydration at 100 to 125 percent of the flour. A wetter medium will help kick those yeast into action faster.

That's all I can think of now. Good luck!