So I have been wanting to break into the artisan side of bread making for a while. I have also been wanting to make a sourdough starter for a while so I decided to just dive into it all at once! I thought, "Hell, I have a house strain of brewing yeast, why not see if I can make it a house bread strain as well?"
So the following is my experimental attempt at making a sourdough starter using Pacman yeast!
I started by boiling up a small 2 cup starter.
As it cooled I decanted the 1/2 pint of washed pacman yeast, then set it out to cool to room temp.
Once the small starter fermented out, I boiled up another 1 liter of wort. The boil consisted of a quart of water, 1.5 cups DME, a half cup table sugar and a small handful of raisins. Once boiled for 20 minutes, I let it cool over night then poured it all into the flask to mix with the original starter (except the raisins).
I put the flask on a stirplate this time for 5 days.
It took a while to chew through the starter, but it made it. I put it in the fridge for 2 days to help pull the yeast down out of suspension.
My original plan was to just build up a massive yeast cake at the bottom of my flask, then use a pipette to pull pure yeast out. Once I figured out an easy sourdough starter recipe, I changed my mind.
I just decanted most of the spent wort on the starter, shook up the flask, pitched all but enough to just cover the stirbar into a batch of beer. Then the flask went back into the fridge until today.
This morning I finally decided to go for it. I chose a simple recipe for a sour dough starter that called for 2 cups bread flour 2 cups water and a package of baking yeast.
I shook up my flask once again, poured it into a measuring cup and it came out to exactly 1.5 cups. I topped it up with a half cup of warm water. I mixed up the yeast slurry and flour to get my dough starter.
I covered it with a towel, and now I am going to let it sit in the oven with only the light on to raise the temp a few degrees above ambient. I plan to leave it like this for the duration of my camping trip this weekend.
But I couldn't resist and had to check the progress 6 hours later:
So I am pretty excited...will it make bread? Most likely. Will it make a good loaf of sourdough? Who knows! But it has been a fun experiment and would be awesome if it works in the end!