Sourdough (rec.food.sourdough) Discussing the hobby or craft of baking with sourdough. We are not just a recipe group, Our charter is to discuss the care, feeding, and breeding of yeasts and lactobacilli that make up sourdough cultures.

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Old 06-10-2006, 01:11 AM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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Default Is my starter dead?

So I got my sourdough starter going about a month ago, and things were
going very well until this past Monday. Suddenly the starter no longer
rises after feedings and doesn't have a delicious and yeasty smell.
Instead it's smelling like pancake batter (nothing, basically), and
just barely gets a few bubbles after a day. However, this morning when
I woke up and checked on it, there was a thin layer of hooch on top.
Does anyone know what's going on with it? Do you think I need to start
over?

thanks,
ojuice


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Old 06-10-2006, 02:04 AM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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Default Is my starter dead?

Hey Juice,

If you mention "suddenly", it may need a closer look.

Sourdough does not change "suddenly" and not without a reason which
often remains mysterious.

All essential information you give is:

- starter was ok
- starter no longer ok
- starter shows hooch

That's normal behavior for a mistreated starter. You probably insulted
it and now it shows you the hooch (finger in starterland).

To give some more information could enlighten the issue which is
probably what you are looking for.

- where and how do you keep your starter
- at what temperature do you keep your starter
- what kind of a starter (or flour you use) is it
- how much do you feed it - ratios of flour in starter to flour addition
- what are the feeding intervals

If you disclose more information along those lines, the reason for the
insult can probably be found.

And note, it is probably not a good idea to insult your starter. They
can take revenge at the most unpleasant situations.

Samartha


ojuice wrote:
So I got my sourdough starter going about a month ago, and things were
going very well until this past Monday. Suddenly the starter no longer
rises after feedings and doesn't have a delicious and yeasty smell.
Instead it's smelling like pancake batter (nothing, basically), and
just barely gets a few bubbles after a day. However, this morning when
I woke up and checked on it, there was a thin layer of hooch on top.
Does anyone know what's going on with it? Do you think I need to start
over?

thanks,
ojuice

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http://www.mountainbitwarrior.com/ma...food.sourdough


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Old 06-10-2006, 02:13 AM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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Default Is my starter dead?

Samantha,

Thanks for responding so promptly!

- I've been keeping the starter on my counter in a 12 cup plastic
container.
- It stays at room temperature, which has been 50-75 as of late.
- I use King Arthur brand AP flour to feed it.
- I feed it once per day (usually around 3pm) with 1 cup of flour, 1
cup of Dasani water, per cup of starter.

Here's a couple photos I took of it a few days before the issues began:
http://ojuice.teamslack.net/bread/sdside.jpg
http://ojuice.teamslack.net/bread/sdtop.jpg

thanks,
ojuice


Samartha Deva wrote:
Hey Juice,

If you mention "suddenly", it may need a closer look.

Sourdough does not change "suddenly" and not without a reason which
often remains mysterious.

All essential information you give is:

- starter was ok
- starter no longer ok
- starter shows hooch

That's normal behavior for a mistreated starter. You probably insulted
it and now it shows you the hooch (finger in starterland).

To give some more information could enlighten the issue which is
probably what you are looking for.

- where and how do you keep your starter
- at what temperature do you keep your starter
- what kind of a starter (or flour you use) is it
- how much do you feed it - ratios of flour in starter to flour addition
- what are the feeding intervals

If you disclose more information along those lines, the reason for the
insult can probably be found.

And note, it is probably not a good idea to insult your starter. They
can take revenge at the most unpleasant situations.

Samartha


ojuice wrote:
So I got my sourdough starter going about a month ago, and things were
going very well until this past Monday. Suddenly the starter no longer
rises after feedings and doesn't have a delicious and yeasty smell.
Instead it's smelling like pancake batter (nothing, basically), and
just barely gets a few bubbles after a day. However, this morning when
I woke up and checked on it, there was a thin layer of hooch on top.
Does anyone know what's going on with it? Do you think I need to start
over?

thanks,
ojuice

_______________________________________________
Rec.food.sourdough mailing list

http://www.mountainbitwarrior.com/ma...food.sourdough


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Old 06-10-2006, 02:35 AM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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Posts: 133
Default Is my starter dead?

Assuming, you are not baking every day, the situation may look like this
(flour only):

day 1 - 1 + 1 cups, 100 % increase
day 2 - 2 + 1 cups, 50 % increase
day 3 - 3 + 1 cups, 33 % increase
day 4 - 4 + 1 cups, 25 % increase

The organisms double in a generation period, something like 1 - 2 hours
when they are happy.

You see what is happening?

If you feed them, adequate feeding is doubling and in much shorter
intervals - if you feed in that manner.

To prevent accumulation of unusable starter amounts, a functional fridge
can be used to slow down growth and delay feeding requirements.

To get your starer going again, you'll have to dilute a lot 1:10 and
then, when it starts again, feed some more and park it in the fridge
until you want to make bread again. Well, some time before since it
wants to be revived some time before to get active.

ojuice wrote:
Samantha,

SamaRtha

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Old 06-10-2006, 02:39 AM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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Posts: 3
Default Is my starter dead?

Oh sorry, I meant that I'm only keeping back one cup of starter, and
then adding 1 cup of flour and one cup of water to it.

- ojuice


Samartha Deva wrote:
Assuming, you are not baking every day, the situation may look like this
(flour only):

day 1 - 1 + 1 cups, 100 % increase
day 2 - 2 + 1 cups, 50 % increase
day 3 - 3 + 1 cups, 33 % increase
day 4 - 4 + 1 cups, 25 % increase

The organisms double in a generation period, something like 1 - 2 hours
when they are happy.

You see what is happening?

If you feed them, adequate feeding is doubling and in much shorter
intervals - if you feed in that manner.

To prevent accumulation of unusable starter amounts, a functional fridge
can be used to slow down growth and delay feeding requirements.

To get your starer going again, you'll have to dilute a lot 1:10 and
then, when it starts again, feed some more and park it in the fridge
until you want to make bread again. Well, some time before since it
wants to be revived some time before to get active.

ojuice wrote:
Samantha,

SamaRtha




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Old 06-10-2006, 04:28 AM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 133
Default Is my starter dead?

ojuice wrote:
Oh sorry, I meant that I'm only keeping back one cup of starter, and
then adding 1 cup of flour and one cup of water to it.

- ojuice

OK - so in essence you are tripling the flour at room temperature in 24
hours.

My thinking is that's still way insufficient.

If you look at my DM3 calculator:

http://samartha.net/cgi-bin/SD-Dtm-3-03.cgi

you find different stages, and under the Factor *) column are the flour
multiplication factors for every stage.

For the 15 - 24 hour stage you find 13 as multiplication factor.

That's with full grain rye and that is slower than white flour.

My feeling is that doubling may be good for 6 hours and then the next
feeding - again at least doubling needs to happen.

That depends a lot on the vitality (germ count) of your starter but it
should give you a better idea about the speed of this game.

If you don't feed enough and keep the same routine, you are running down
your starter and eventually it will stop.

That's probably what happened.

Samartha


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