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Old 02-20-2013, 01:35 PM   #16
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Default Re: sourdough noob

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Originally Posted by UltraMother View Post
I'm following sourdough.com's rec that you establish it for a week at room temp before moving to the fridge stage. Is that not an absolute? I'm also wondering about the acetone smell. It's pretty persistent, but the texture is good.
You should establish it for at least a week at room temp, or longer if it can't double in size at that point.

Yes, feed it more. I've absolutely found that fresh-ground flour gets the acetone smell more quickly, especially as the yeast colonies develop. My established white flour starter can sit on the counter for two days without being fed () before it gets that smell, whole wheat for about a day, and any freshly-ground flour I need to feed two or three times if I'm leaving it out.
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:54 PM   #17
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Default Re: sourdough noob

So, I think the yeast developed quickly due to the warm temps and the fresh-ground wheat. It's been colder the last two days, and the starter has slowed way down. I've also converted it to just white flour so I don't keep introducing new yeast from the fresh ground stuff as per sourdough.com recs. I'm only establishing a small amount of starter (4T) until I reach the fridge stage, then I will up it to a full cup and refrigerate it. Does that sound right?
I've also named it Wentworth.

One more thing I've been wondering. I've read that temps above 95 degreesF will kill the wild yeast, but sourdough histories keep talking about Egyptian sourdoughs. Surely the ancient (and modern) sourdoughs of Egypt experience really high temps and survive?
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:09 PM   #18
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Default Re: sourdough noob

I was going to recommend going to white flour. You can always convert it back nearly entirely to spelt once it's established, if you want to. I've done that with whole wheat several times.

How long has your starter been culturing? Often around day 3-4 things slow down because the initital bubbles are bateria, not yeast (even though the OJ is supposed to prevent that somewhat). It could also be a heat thing. I like to keep mine in the oven with the light on in the winter, but make sure you keep checking that it's not too warm and burning through food.

Hmmm. About temperature. I've heard it about beer yeast but not bread yeast, and I've heard higher temperatures. (I've also wrapped jars of starter in heating pads to make things move along faster and they've survived. ) I think most bakers agree 80ish degrees is ideal. But you're right, people have been making bread forever in hot regions, I think these things survive.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:38 PM   #19
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Unless you're baking bread daily, keep your established starter in the fridge.

Unless you're REALLY bored or your house is really cold.

The VR Guide to Bread is fascinating, btw. I haven't tried any of the recipes, though, I haven't bought a copy yet.

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Old 02-21-2013, 07:08 PM   #20
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Default Re: sourdough noob

Here is a cool free sourdough starter. It took about 4 weeks for mine to arrive, so now I have two going. The 1847 is really mild (compared to my homemade one), and it has made very tasty waffles.
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