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Old 02-21-2010, 03:23 PM   #51
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Ok.. so after all this time with feeding and discarding it just won't even hardly bubble. I had evidence of about 3 bubbles this morning. Ugh.

So...

I started a new seed with whole wheat and distilled water, then thought I would experiment so I have whole wheat and tap water and AP flour and tap. Let's see what happens.

I have also switched from Pillsbury bread flour to King Aurthur.. I am not sure if the Pillsbury is bleached or not but the KA says unbleached.

And away we go...
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Old 02-21-2010, 04:54 PM   #52
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Can't wait to hear how it works out.
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:25 PM   #53
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Update time:

Starter #1 (Wheat flour and distilled water) is showing bubbles but isn't increasing in volume as much as I would like yet, but it is still early. A light yogurt type smell under the wet wheat flour smell. This has had its first discard and second feeding.

Starter #2 (Wheat flour and tap water) No real bubbles and smells like wet flour. This is about 24 hours younger than #1. I fed it but have not discarded yet.

Starter #3 (White all purpose flour and tap water) Showing some bubbles and some volume increase. Has a slightly more distinct yogurt type smell than #1. This one was started at the same time as #2 and has had the same care.

I think the kitchen might be a tad cool so it might take longer to mature the starter. Will keep updating all three starters for a while to see how we end up. If #2 shows no action in a few days it will be tossed, but it is too early to give up on it as of yet.

Will be feeding everyone again tonight and #2 and #3 will get their first discards I suspect.
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:11 AM   #54
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Just did maintenance:

#1 - Smelling more yogurt like. Definitely showed signs of volume increase, though not quite as much as I would like. But it does seem happy and on its way. Tomorrow it gets white flour.

#2 - This one is about in the same place as #1 at the same point in time. It will get wheat again tomorrow. I did a discard out of it tonight.

#3 - More distinct yogurt smell than #1. That could be the lack of the wheat smell that #1 has to help mask. Pretty bubbly and had increased its volume nicely. Seems happy and moving in the right direction. I did a discard on it as well.

Some things I am taking away from this:

1) The water doesn't seem to be an issue for me. Tap or distilled doesn't seem to matter.
2) Starting with wheat flour may not have given these as much of a head start as one might expect. It could be hard to say as they weren't all started together so kitchen temperature might have played a part.

The kitchen was warmer today than yesterday as I baked some bread. I also moved the starter to the living room for a while (let it watch some TV) as it was warmer in there until I fired up the oven.

Will post more updates as they become available, film at 11.
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:33 AM   #55
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What did you let it watch? Clearly my starter died of boredom as it was confined to the space behind my coffee maker and never allowed to watch TV.
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:38 AM   #56
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Mighta been some of the Olympics coverage. Mighta been something else, I wasn't paying attention and made sure it couldn't order movies (not old enough for that yet).
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:01 AM   #57
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So here I am giving #1 and #2 their first white flour feed. I completely misweigh the bin (oh yeah, yer supposed to use the tare weight) and I end up with 19g of #1 and dump 50g of water in before I say to myself "gee, that doesn't really look like enough gooey mess in the bottom"

#1 is now officially down the drain and out of our lives.
#2 has been fed white flour and I left #3 alone (did a discard and feed this morning) although I gave it a stir.

I hope they don't miss their friend too much.

I have also moved them to a warmer spot in the kitchen.

Now it is time to see if they want to go some work or just sit about blipping little bubbles.
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:34 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix View Post
What did you let it watch? Clearly my starter died of boredom as it was confined to the space behind my coffee maker and never allowed to watch TV.
Ah, discovery!!! The perfect place for my starter would be near my coffee maker. It's a Buun that has it's reservior of hot water and puts out plenty of warmth to keep it happy. Thank-you, thank-you and it can watch TV from there, too!
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:14 AM   #59
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So I am not happy with the progress.

#2 and #3 both have bubbles and the smell seems good to me, but they aren't actually rising. They puff a tad, but they aren't gonna make bread. I will give them more time as I have enough invested already.

I started two new ones last night. This time I am trying rye flour. So we have #4 and #5. I am following two different approaches.

I have also moved the starters to a new, undisclosed, location. Ok.. I took em upstairs and put them on my server in the computer room. Warmest place I have found that I can set things without it being too hot.
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Old 02-25-2010, 12:13 PM   #60
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Keep in mind that wild yeast is a terribly local creature! A particular strain can be localized to just a couple of dozen square miles or so, or as large as a small state. Some wild yeast is better than others, not only in taste, but it will behave differently as well. And there's no way of predicting it in advance. I happen to live in an area that has a very productive wild strain of yeast. It grows at a very fast rate... but it doesn't have a particularly attractive taste. It's very plain, and not pleasantly sour. In short, it's a crap shoot as to whether you can produce an attractive sour dough starter. This is a secret that no one wants to talk about, but serious sour dough/bread bakers all know.

For myself, I have searched for and now purchase yeast that works best for me and gives me a flavor I'm pleased with. (And it's not Red Star or Fleischmann's.) Just as with wines, there are regional brands that you may even have fun trying. I use the arrival of a new yeast as a reason to make my favorite breads and then share them with friends and family. Or if you want to dish out big bucks, order your sour dough yeast from San Francisco and be guaranteed an excellent flavor. Just don't think that you'll be able to keep that culture growing long term for yourself, because you won't! Your local wild yeast will invade it, take it over, and you'll end up with a distasteful mess. That effect is precisely what keeps them in business selling their particular strain of yeast.
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