3 SD starters-observation on different attributes
I have 3 different SD starters that I equally neglect but still use successfully when I do bake. That is less often these days but still much enjoyed when I do. I have noticed some interesting things about these starters that definitely make them different from each other. Let me introduce you,first.
JACK is from an original San Fran SD Jack tourist packet from about the 1960's. I am not the original owner.I found -the dried packet at a flea market in Wisconsin still in it's original baled cheese jar out in the hot sun and bought it for a quarter. Dusty and dirty but the inside was pristine and the packet was intact and clean. I had just started into SD and sought guidance here on TFL but still waited until I felt more confident. Well, when rehydrated, Jack almost JUMPED out of the jar but he smelled of rancid flour.After a number of "baths" he got really happy. and remains so t this day (almost 10 yrs later, I think).
GRAPE is originally a fruit water yeast I made from grapes picked in my daughters yard. Great,fruity aroma even now 8 yrs later.
KNOTT I was gifted from a co-worker who stated it is descended from her families original SD starter that came to Wisconsin in a covered wagon. She never fed it and was appalled when I asked how she fed it. The only time it was refreshed was when she made bread. A measured amount was taken from the jar and the remainder discarded. The measured amount was fed once and the amount for the loaf was taken out of the risen starter. The remainder was then replaced in the clean jar and back in the refrigerator. This was whether she baked weekly,monthly or even less often. It had a lovely,silken texture when I got about a pint of it. It had not been used for sevral months at that point.I feed it more conventionally now but it still can go a while between feedings.
So,here I have 3 different starters from 3 different sources. They smell different and have different activities when used in bread or even when they are revived after a prolonged refrigerator sleep.
Jack wakes up immediately-he is always raring to go. He works great for long fermentations, WW and lean breads.
Knott is more sedate but definitely ready to work on 2nd refresh and also works well without fizzling out.
Grape takes it's time-yawning and stretching but slowly but surely awakening. She is definitely a better choice for sweeter,richer loaves.
I am preparing them for travel to my summer house. I take some as a wet sample and some as a dry. Works great as long as I build them up before I dry them. Since I do this twice a year, it turns out to be a good way to maintain their general health. Between times, they spend their days in a pint jar in the refrigerator bathed in AP flour and spring water in a nice nap and refreshed periodically-no special schedule.
So there are many ways to maintain and use a starter and they all can have different characteristics.