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Old 04-07-2012, 05:34 AM   #1
amanda1
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Default sourdough starter question

I've been following directions in my cookbook for the starter and it has a black liquid on it prior to me mixing it 3 x a day. Is that all right? It is kind of in the way on the countertop, and using one of my handiest bowls. How and where do you "keep" your starter mix? Should it have that black color to the liquid part? Shouldn't it still be bubbly? I feel like I'm doing something wrong.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: sourdough starter question

Did you use a pre-made starter?

I made my starter from water, flour, air and patience. It has never had a black liquid on it.

I store it in a large glass jar in the fridge unless I need it that day and then I feed it and leave it out for 8-12 hours.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: sourdough starter question

from my experience black liquid means dead yeast. If it is just a little bit then you can normally revive it but if there is lots I would start over.

Are you starting from scratch (water flour and patience) or did you start with a starter that you are trying to keep alive?

what hydration level are you keeping it at? How warm is your house?
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: sourdough starter question

The black liquid forms when I ignore my sourdough for a few days I just pour it off and add new water/flour. If you also add a little splash of (pasteurized) apple cider vinegar, that really gives your culture a jumpstart and makes them super happy. It's like medicine for sourdough beasties
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: sourdough starter question

I made it from a recipe in my cookbook using water, flour, yeast and sugar. It is starting to smell sour, but I don't know how to tell if the yeast is still alive. Can I add more yeast to what I have? What happens to the bread if the starter isn't good? My dd wanted to make it for Easter, but we didn't have time so it has been around 10 + days. I have added less than 1 ts sugar twice.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: sourdough starter question

Should be fine. It's working if you see bubbles. If it's not working and you try to make bread, it won't rise at all.

have you been feeding it flour & water?
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:24 AM   #7
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Default Re: sourdough starter question

You started it with commercial instant yeast? Hmm interesting. I don't know how long the yeast will stay alive and able to reproduce itself.

If you want to start a sourdough culture with wild yeast that are naturally compatible with bread flour and never needs sugar (commercial baking yeast actually comes from the brewing industry) then you'd enjoy poking around this website: http://www.sourdoughhome.com/starterprimer.html Everything you could possibly want to know about making and using your sourdough starter
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:27 AM   #8
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Default Re: sourdough starter question

That looks like an awesome site!
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: sourdough starter question

Yeah, I wouldn't use a commercial yeast for the best, healthiest results.

I second the site that Taedareth mention.
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: sourdough starter question

Well, I made the bread. It tasted fine, but wasn't as light and fluffy as I would have liked.

Please tell me what is wrong with commercial yeast? The more I learn, the more foods I find out aren't the best. It is SO hard to keep my family eating healthy!
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:24 AM   #11
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Default Re: sourdough starter question

Commercial yeast is made from hops used for making beer. Nothing inherently wrong with that. It speeds up the rising process so much that it doesn't allow the time needed to break down the grain into something more usable for our bodies. I just finished reading Vintage Remedies Guide to Bread. Jessie Hawkins does a great job explaining the process and results of both methods of bread making. And she gives you instructions for starting your own starter and for making all kinds of things with it.
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