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landhoney

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I know, more sour stuff. :rolleyes: Don't pigeonhole me!:D

I listened to this:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/basicbrewing/bbr01-10-08sourdough.mp3
and made my starter today, or rather called SWMBO from work and asked her to do it.
From a quick search I see in a few older threads that people are doing this(Yooper?) but I thought I'd start a new one. I'm not gaga for sourdough, but I do like it, and I think its cool to keep the starter around for years and years. It should be a few days before its going and ready to bake with. I've been reading a bunch online, but anybody have some tips or tricks they like?
 

Melana

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My suggestion is to give it ample time to rise... Sourdough seems to take a lot longer than traditional bread yeast. I think it's worth it...
Keep us posted!
 

Zymurgrafi

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landhoney said:
I know, more sour stuff. :rolleyes: Don't pigeonhole me!:D

I listened to this:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/basicbrewing/bbr01-10-08sourdough.mp3
and made my starter today, or rather called SWMBO from work and asked her to do it.
From a quick search I see in a few older threads that people are doing this(Yooper?) but I thought I'd start a new one. I'm not gaga for sourdough, but I do like it, and I think its cool to keep the starter around for years and years. It should be a few days before its going and ready to bake with. I've been reading a bunch online, but anybody have some tips or tricks they like?
I did not listen to the link, sorry, but I do have some tips. First though, could you briefly describe your process for making the starter? That would give me a better idea of where you are at.

I will say, it takes more than a few days to get a starter to the point of really being ready. It takes months of continous feeding and care to get it to the stage where it will lend any sourness at all to the bread. That said, it will leaven the bread sooner. It just takes time to culture the flavors. Did you make a natural starter or did you use some commericial yeast to get it started? Is it a white (unbleached) or Whole wheat, or rye starter? If you use some (or all) whole wheat or rye it will develop sourness faster. The method I used for making my starter if you are interested is as follows:

Take some organic raisins and soak in water for a few days. Organic is important because any pesticides, fungicides etc. and you won't have any of the necessary yeasts, bacterias that would be naturally present on the grapes. You will seem some slight effervesence on the surface of the water after a few days. Drain off and reserve the liquid. Discard the raisins (unless you want to make a raisin bread starter, which can be good!) I weigh ingredients and use bakers percentages for formulating. Whatever amount of flour you will use will be 100%. I suggest 66% water for a firmer starter, which also helps to develop sourness. So however much water you have weighed divide it by .66. So for instance, if you have 132 grams of raisin water / .66 = 200 grams of flour. The reason I suggest a firmer starter is that acetic bacteria prefer a firmer dryer starter while lactic bacteria prefer a wetter starter. More acetic, more sour. You can play with this once you have it developed and decide what works best for you. Firmer is harder to mix/manage sometimes.

To maintain, feed it every few days if you bake weekly. If not, you can store it in the fridge with minimal care. Once it is built up fairly well give it one last feeding and then put it into the fridge. When you plan on baking take it out a week in advance and start the feeding process again.

Hope that helps. Again, sorry I did not listen to the link. Perhaps all my info is redundant. Good luck and enjoy. Oh, and a couple of final suggestions. Something to do with the extra starter you discard when feeding. Try Sourdough pancakes! Or these (shameless plug)
 

david_42

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I'm not doing sourdough at this point, but I found that building the starter up, then splitting it worked better than splitting it and saving part. I used a quart jar and would feed it the night before I planned on baking. That way, the sponge would just take off and minimize the delays.
 

Revvy

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landhoney said:
I know, more sour stuff. :rolleyes: Don't pigeonhole me!:D

I listened to this:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/basicbrewing/bbr01-10-08sourdough.mp3
and made my starter today, or rather called SWMBO from work and asked her to do it.
From a quick search I see in a few older threads that people are doing this(Yooper?) but I thought I'd start a new one. I'm not gaga for sourdough, but I do like it, and I think its cool to keep the starter around for years and years. It should be a few days before its going and ready to bake with. I've been reading a bunch online, but anybody have some tips or tricks they like?
I too listened to Jame's podcast the other day and added it to my fermentable "to do" list. Which grows the more I get into this obsession and the more I hang out on this board...

Let's see, the list so far...

Make a sourdough starter (I make bread and have a variety of flours including rye and whole wheat, so I might as well.)

Make a mozzarella cheese from a gallon of milk (again from one of the basic brewing videos).

Yooper's Fat Tire Clone

Ed's Apflewine

Stash a batch of mead aside for at least a year, preferably the ancient orange recipe I dug up on here...

Make a big batch o barleywine to stick away and give as Christmas Presents for next year.

Make a couple of ales that I don't want to sit on for a long time so that when friends who know I've taken up this hobby don't get dissapointed when they ask to try something of mine and I tell them that I'm letting them sit for several months.

So I've covered the 4 foodgroups of fermentation, Bread, Cheese, Beer and Wine....Hopefully there's no other hobby fermentables that I discover soon...I would like to have a life outside of my kitchen :D

Oh wait, what's this, a podcast showing how to make sake!?! :;)

*Heads off to take a re-listen to the sourdough podcast*
 
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landhoney

landhoney

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zero said:
I will say, it takes more than a few days to get a starter to the point of really being ready. It takes months of continous feeding and care to get it to the stage where it will lend any sourness at all to the bread. Did you make a natural starter or did you use some commericial yeast to get it started? Is it a white (unbleached) or Whole wheat, or rye starter? If you use some (or all) whole wheat or rye it will develop sourness faster. The method I used for making my starter if you are interested is as follows:
Take some organic raisins and soak in water for a few days...
Good/interesting info, thank you. I am using unbleached AP flour now, but I will be using whole grain or rye in it soon. I just wanted to get it going, so I wouldn't put it off and not do it. I am not adding any yeast or anything, I want it to be 'natural'. I have been using an equal amount of water to flour by weight. Also, I read this in regard to adding fruit/etc:

"Some people suggest using fruit, such as grapes; vegetables, such as cabbage; or even commercial bakers yeast to help start a culture. That's not necessary. In fact, it slows things down. You see, the yeast on grapes or cabbage are the ones that thrive there, rather than the yeast that thrive in wheat or rye flour."

I'm not advocating either process(fruit vs. no fruit), but that info is interesting and seems fairly logical. The podcast I linked above said that ~two weeks would be the necessary time to get the starter going, that is more than a 'few days' so I mispoke. I am not sure how sour I want the bread. Maybe I'll make it drier later on and see how it changes? I'm definitely in this for the long haul, especially with the ease at which the starter can be kept for long periods in the fridge.
 

Yooper

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I've been doing sourdough for about 7-8 years. The good thing for me was that a friend gave me some of hers, and claims it has been going for 200 years. Well, I don't know about that- how would you go about fact finding on that claim- but I do know that it has been a great starter for me. I make sourdough rye in the bread machine and it's everybody's favorite bread! Sourdough biscuits are super easy- and we have them often. I'll be glad to dig out those recipes if/when you want them.

One thing I read somewhere is to keep an eye on the color- gray, etc, is ok, but any hint of pink means to get rid of it. I feed it once in a while when I'm not using it just to keep it going, but otherwise I forget about it for long periods of time. I think it's great to use wild yeasts and turn it in to something great. I do tend to use white flour for feeding- but almost all of my breads are whole wheat, rye, barley, oat, etc.
 

Revvy

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YooperBrew said:
I've been doing sourdough for about 7-8 years. The good thing for me was that a friend gave me some of hers, and claims it has been going for 200 years. Well, I don't know about that- how would you go about fact finding on that claim- but I do know that it has been a great starter for me. I make sourdough rye in the bread machine and it's everybody's favorite bread! Sourdough biscuits are super easy- and we have them often. I'll be glad to dig out those recipes if/when you want them.

One thing I read somewhere is to keep an eye on the color- gray, etc, is ok, but any hint of pink means to get rid of it. I feed it once in a while when I'm not using it just to keep it going, but otherwise I forget about it for long periods of time. I think it's great to use wild yeasts and turn it in to something great. I do tend to use white flour for feeding- but almost all of my breads are whole wheat, rye, barley, oat, etc.

So what kinda house (container) do you keep your 200+ year old friend in?
 

Nurmey

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It is possible that a starter is 200 years old. In 1959 my family moved to Alaska and an old gold miner (called a Sourdough up there) gave my mom a starter that had been around for 50 years. She kept it in a really heavy crock and made our bread, biscuits, and pancakes with it. The sad news is that it was lost in an earthquake when it flew off the shelf and she was never able to get it going again. She was also never able to duplicate the great bread and biscuits either. :(

Landhoney, when I saw your post my first thought was that is was so apropos that it was YOU making sourdough. :p
 
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landhoney

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Day two and the starter has doubled in size already! This morning I discarded half and added fresh flour/water. Came back home tonight, and see that it has doubled in size and is threatening to overflow the quart jar its in. Wow, I was not expecting this so soon.

Yoop's your warning against pink reminded me of a bad incident in which SWMBO left mashed potaoes in the pot covered over a vacation weekend. We came home and I went to use the pot, opened it, saw all this pink stuff(what did we cook that was pink?!?) and was confused.....then the smell hit me!!!!:eek:
 

Zymurgrafi

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I suppose it depends on your location. I tried a starter of just flour and water first but it did not take off. There are wild yeast everywhere yes, but some places are more concentrated than others. Some local strains are also stronger than others. Sounds like yours is doing well. Of course based on all your wild brews you most likely have an abundance of funky flora and fauna where you live.

The gray color I believe is an excess of alcohol accumulating and is called... Hooch :D
Stir it back in or pour it off and re-feed. Yes pink=bad

Happy baking!
 

Orfy

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I've always added bakers yeast to my bread but I'm going to give the starter thing a go.

I'd doing two.
A traditional one with no added yeast and one by adding a little idli mix
Is this a good or bad idea?

  • What size starter do you suggest keeping?
  • What size container do you use?
  • Any pictures of your starter?
 

zoebisch01

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I ran a starter all last year. It was pure Rye. The natural one at my house doesn't even get anything near sour. Basically, you make a sponge the day before baking and rely on the colony to rise your dough. I have heard that the most coveted starters are the mild ones, but I wouldn't be able to make a San Francisco style Sourdough here. The main key points are:

Use good flour (Organic is best imo)
Use fresh clean water, nothing chlorinated
Make a thick paste. It should be thick, like really thick.
Remove half every week (discard :( or make a sponge) and replace with the same weight of flour + water.
Back into the fridge

It will go as long as you feed it. And you can push it well past the 1 week mark, but you do run the risk of it petering out.
 

Orfy

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Well I ,ade one.

A wholemeal flour and I made it thick.
Left it for a week and it started smelling yeast the top dried and crusted.
I spotted a spot of mould so scraped the top off it and left it another week. It developed bubbles but never increased in size.

3 weeks in I've added half a glass of water and flour to start feeding it.

Does this look and sound right?

 
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