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 20-08-2008, 12:56 PM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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Default What's wrong with "mother"

I have been keeping & semi regularly feeding my sourdough mother.

The usual appearance was to have a little "hooch" on the top a
consitency like very thick cream slightly alchol smell and a few bubbles
on the surface. I have been keeping it in the fridge with trips out to
room temp.
I had to leave it out for an extended period and I now see what appears
to be a white "powder" floating on the surface (no it isn't extra
flour). the Hooch has almost disapeared - if I add more flour and water
it does bubble. If I stir everything back in the "powdery surface
reappears after a day or two.
Has Mother "gone bad"?
Is this a question of when in doubt throw it out?

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Old 20-08-2008, 03:22 PM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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Default What's wrong with "mother"


"John LaBella" wrote in message . ..
[ ... ]
Has Mother "gone bad"?
Is this a question of when in doubt throw it out?


Please read this:
ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet-by-gro...dough/starters

Please read it carefully, because there will be a test.

Or you could SASE in for Carl's:
www.carlsfriends.org
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Old 20-08-2008, 03:25 PM posted to rec.food.sourdough
Sam Sam is offline
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Default What's wrong with "mother"

John LaBella wrote:
[..]
Has Mother "gone bad"?

Well, your "Mother" got a hitch-hiker - some mold which can survive in
that environment (sour, alcohol and what other critter poop is there).
Happened to me once and I tried to get rid of it which did not work
despite trying several month of monthly refreshments.

Underlaying reason is starter-neglect. When you wrote that you "leave
it out" - was it covered or open? That could be a cause for something
"caught" from the air.

Is this a question of when in doubt throw it out?

Depends how strong your starter play drive is.

Sam

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Old 20-08-2008, 06:13 PM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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Default What's wrong with "mother"


"Sam" wrote in message news:[email protected] www.mountainbitwarrior.com...
[ ... ]
Well, your "Mother" got a hitch-hiker - some mold which can survive in
that environment (sour, alcohol and what other critter poop is there).


Or maybe *leuconostock*, not a mold but a kind of lactobacteria.

Whenever I get one that just sits there and stinks, I just "Hmmm, looks
like leukonostoc again!"

It is important to know the names of things, even if you don't know what
ya's talkin' about. When you get good enough at it, you might even
run for political office, maybe even President, or even Chairman of the
Federal Reserve.

Oh, Sam, would you kindly quit referring to microbiological metabolic
products as "poop"?!!

--
Dicky
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Old 21-08-2008, 05:19 AM posted to rec.food.sourdough
Sam Sam is offline
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Default What's wrong with "mother"

Dick Adams wrote:
Or maybe *leuconostock*, not a mold but a kind of lactobacteria.

Whenever I get one that just sits there and stinks, I just "Hmmm, looks
like leukonostoc again!"


Maybe in your case it stinks. In my case, the whitish, pinkish or gray
hairy stuff sitting or floating in case of hooch on top did not "stink".

S



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Old 21-08-2008, 09:05 AM posted to rec.food.sourdough
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Default What's wrong with "mother"

Hi John,

Not necessarily so.

'Hooch' or liquid does often sit on top, it indicates nothing more
certain than no or little activity. The main reason for little
activity is 1, no food, others: 2, the temp is too low for critter
activity and 3, too low a germ count to have an effect or 4, you have
so much liquid that the critters can't keep it stirred. Yours on the
counter has to be first 1, then because of that as the bacteria and
yeasts die of starvation, 3. This combination has then led to mould
on top.

The solution is simple, feed your starter until it's healthy again.
Then prevent this from happening again by proper feeding. What is
proper feeding? Well that subtly depends on your starter but grossly
speaking at 70F your starter will double in critter count every 2-ish
hours so will need twice the amount of food it needed two hours ago to
stay fit. That gives an indication how much food your starer needs
when left out on the counter. n x 2^ (to the) 12 every 24 hours. That
is if you want your starter to be healthy. Most want to starve it to
death because they like the taste of the microbiological metabolic
bi-products'.

Jim


On 20 Aug, 12:56, John LaBella wrote:
I have been keeping & semi regularly feeding my sourdough mother.

The usual appearance was to have a little "hooch" on the top ...
Has Mother "gone bad"?
Is this a question of when in doubt throw it out?




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