Storing sourdough starter

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by Michael, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. Michael

    Michael Guest

    I have some starter in a plastic container and punched 3 or 4 small holes in
    the top of the lid.

    I just made it from storebought yeast a few days ago.

    I was wondering, if I feed it and stir it EVERY day and use 1/2 or so at
    least once a week, will it store alright at room temperature?

    Like I say, I have a tight lid on it with just enough small holes to let the
    gas out.

    I know you're "supposed" to store it in the refrig but?
     
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  2. Reg

    Reg Guest

    Michael wrote:

    > I have some starter in a plastic container and punched 3 or 4 small holes in
    > the top of the lid.
    >
    > I just made it from storebought yeast a few days ago.
    >
    > I was wondering, if I feed it and stir it EVERY day and use 1/2 or so at
    > least once a week, will it store alright at room temperature?
    >
    > Like I say, I have a tight lid on it with just enough small holes to let the
    > gas out.
    >
    > I know you're "supposed" to store it in the refrig but?
    >
    >


    Storing at room temp won't work, unless you feed it
    every day and use most of it up. The higher temp
    makes it grow at a really fast rate.

    The only time I've ever done this is when I was
    making a lot of sourdough, on the order of
    20 loaves a day.

    Another good place to ask is rec.food.sourdough

    --
    Reg email: RegForte (at) (that free MS email service) (dot) com
     
  3. wff_ng_7

    wff_ng_7 Guest

    "Michael" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >I have some starter in a plastic container and punched 3 or 4 small holes
    >in the top of the lid.
    >
    > I just made it from storebought yeast a few days ago.
    >
    > I was wondering, if I feed it and stir it EVERY day and use 1/2 or so at
    > least once a week, will it store alright at room temperature?
    >
    > Like I say, I have a tight lid on it with just enough small holes to let
    > the gas out.
    >
    > I know you're "supposed" to store it in the refrig but?


    I'm not sure what you mean by "feed it" every day. Do you refresh it every
    day, throwing half of it out? I don't think you can just keep adding to it
    ("feed it") every day without tossing or using part of it. Dividing it just
    once a week isn't going to do it, I don't think. Not out of the refrig, but
    who knows.

    I refresh the starter between once a week and once every three weeks, and
    store it in the refrigerator. It depends when I get around to it, and what I
    am doing with it. When I refresh mine, about a 1/4 cup goes into the
    refreshed starter, and the rest goes into a recipe. A common thing I do with
    the rest is put it in a very liquid mixture (poolish, biga, whatever?) of
    the starter, flour and water overnight to ferment as the base for the next
    day's bread baking. Or I use it early in the day to start a batch of pizza
    dough.

    I usually leave the refreshed starter out of the refrigerator and in various
    places depending on season and temperature and let it ferment for about a
    day, stirring it down a couple of times, until it looks right. Then I
    refrigerate it.

    I store my starter in a quart(?) stoneware crock with a wooden lid I made
    for it. The lid is loose enough to vent it. I started it about two years ago
    and it is still going strong in spite of the occassional three weeks between
    refreshing. When I make that that poolish overnight, it ends up being quite
    strong the next morning... if I stick my nose down in the bowl it is quite
    overpowering... in a nice way.

    The newsgroup rec.food.sourdough has quite a bit of information on the
    topic. There's a faq that is periodically posted, and can also be found at:

    http://www.faqs.org/faqs/food/sourdough/faq/preamble.html

    I think if you store it at room temperature and you neglect it for a little
    too long (which is inevitable), you will end up with a very interesting
    biology experiment on your kitchen counter. Shades of pink and such are not
    a good sign! ;-)

    --
    ( #wff_ng_7# at #verizon# period #net# )
     
  4. D.Currie

    D.Currie Guest

    "Michael" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >I have some starter in a plastic container and punched 3 or 4 small holes
    >in the top of the lid.
    >
    > I just made it from storebought yeast a few days ago.
    >
    > I was wondering, if I feed it and stir it EVERY day and use 1/2 or so at
    > least once a week, will it store alright at room temperature?
    >
    > Like I say, I have a tight lid on it with just enough small holes to let
    > the gas out.
    >
    > I know you're "supposed" to store it in the refrig but?
    >


    Store-bought yeast is not the same as sourdough yeast, if you bought
    something like Red Star or Fleishman's or whatever. For that to turn into
    sourdough, the original yeast will have to die off and be replaced by
    sourdough yeast. If you really want to grow sourdough, you would have been
    better off starting with just flour and water and no commercial yeast.

    If you meant that you bought some sort of sourdough starter, you should have
    gotten some sort of directions. But I can't say that I've ever seen
    sourdough starters at any store I've ever been to.

    As others have suggested, go to the sourdough newsgroup for more detailed
    information.
     
  5. GQ

    GQ Guest

    On Fri, 16 Dec 2005 16:49:00 -0500, "Michael" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >I have some starter in a plastic container and punched 3 or 4 small holes in
    >the top of the lid.
    >
    >I just made it from storebought yeast a few days ago.
    >
    >I was wondering, if I feed it and stir it EVERY day and use 1/2 or so at
    >least once a week, will it store alright at room temperature?
    >
    >Like I say, I have a tight lid on it with just enough small holes to let the
    >gas out.
    >
    >I know you're "supposed" to store it in the refrig but?
    >


    Put it into a jar with NO holes and keep it in your frig.
     
  6. Ophelia

    Ophelia Guest

    "Reg" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Michael wrote:
    >
    >> I have some starter in a plastic container and punched 3 or 4 small
    >> holes in the top of the lid.
    >>
    >> I just made it from storebought yeast a few days ago.
    >>
    >> I was wondering, if I feed it and stir it EVERY day and use 1/2 or so
    >> at least once a week, will it store alright at room temperature?
    >>
    >> Like I say, I have a tight lid on it with just enough small holes to
    >> let the gas out.
    >>
    >> I know you're "supposed" to store it in the refrig but?

    >
    > Storing at room temp won't work, unless you feed it
    > every day and use most of it up. The higher temp
    > makes it grow at a really fast rate.
    >
    > The only time I've ever done this is when I was
    > making a lot of sourdough, on the order of
    > 20 loaves a day.
    >
    > Another good place to ask is rec.food.sourdough
    >


    If you do, DON'T mention you made it with regular yeast:) They will
    have your socks off :))

    O
     
  7. Dee Randall

    Dee Randall Guest

    "Ophelia" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > "Reg" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >> Michael wrote:
    >>
    >>> I have some starter in a plastic container and punched 3 or 4 small
    >>> holes in the top of the lid.
    >>>
    >>> I just made it from storebought yeast a few days ago.
    >>>
    >>> I was wondering, if I feed it and stir it EVERY day and use 1/2 or so at
    >>> least once a week, will it store alright at room temperature?
    >>>
    >>> Like I say, I have a tight lid on it with just enough small holes to let
    >>> the gas out.
    >>>
    >>> I know you're "supposed" to store it in the refrig but?

    >>
    >> Storing at room temp won't work, unless you feed it
    >> every day and use most of it up. The higher temp
    >> makes it grow at a really fast rate.
    >>
    >> The only time I've ever done this is when I was
    >> making a lot of sourdough, on the order of
    >> 20 loaves a day.
    >>
    >> Another good place to ask is rec.food.sourdough
    >>

    >
    > If you do, DON'T mention you made it with regular yeast:) They will have
    > your socks off :))
    >
    > O


    Hee hee -- indeed!
    Dee Dee
     
  8. Bob Myers

    Bob Myers Guest

    "wff_ng_7" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I'm not sure what you mean by "feed it" every day. Do you refresh it every
    > day, throwing half of it out? I don't think you can just keep adding to it
    > ("feed it") every day without tossing or using part of it.


    Well, of course you CAN, with the downside being that in short
    order, you're going to wind up with the Starter That Ate Philadelphia...

    Keeping it in the fridge does at least two things for you - it slows
    down the action of the bacteria such that it doesn't go hog-wild
    and consume everything too quickly (you're aiming for a usable
    starter, not a giant mass of bacteria), and it also tends to inhibit
    the addition and growth of other beasties that otherwise might
    get into the mix (wild yeasts and such).

    Bob M.
     
  9. wff_ng_7

    wff_ng_7 Guest

    "Bob Myers" <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Well, of course you CAN, with the downside being that in short
    > order, you're going to wind up with the Starter That Ate Philadelphia...
    >
    > Keeping it in the fridge does at least two things for you - it slows
    > down the action of the bacteria such that it doesn't go hog-wild
    > and consume everything too quickly (you're aiming for a usable
    > starter, not a giant mass of bacteria), and it also tends to inhibit
    > the addition and growth of other beasties that otherwise might
    > get into the mix (wild yeasts and such).


    What I was thinking is if you don't divide it and only reuse a small
    portion, the beasties will take over at room temperature. I'm sure if you
    only reuse a small portion and feed that every day, you can keep it at room
    temperature indefinitely. But that's a tremendous waste, unless one has a
    use for the tossed portion.

    By the way, it doesn't take anywhere near as big to eat Philadelphia
    anymore... it's a much smaller city than it used to be.

    --
    ( #wff_ng_7# at #verizon# period #net# )
     
  10. Reg

    Reg Guest

    wff_ng_7 wrote:

    > What I was thinking is if you don't divide it and only reuse a small
    > portion, the beasties will take over at room temperature.


    What will happen is the fermentation will proceed at a fast
    rate increasing the acidity to the point where the organisms
    can't survive. At some point the starter "dies".

    > I'm sure if you
    > only reuse a small portion and feed that every day, you can keep it at room
    > temperature indefinitely.


    Here's the method I used when I was maintaining my starter at
    room temperature.

    - Refresh every 24 hours
    - 72 F ambient temp
    - 64 F water temp when refreshing

    Under these conditions, the refresh ratio held
    steady at 15:1.

    > But that's a tremendous waste, unless one has a
    > use for the tossed portion.


    Yes, that's the issue. There are some that advocate doing this
    for a few cycles in order to "strengthen" a weak starter, Nancy
    Silverton being one of them.

    --
    Reg email: RegForte (at) (that free MS email service) (dot) com
     
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