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So I picked up some Ischia Island ( Italian ) Yeast from Sourdough International.

Activated it by Sourdo.com instructions!! http://www.sourdo.com/home/activation-i ... s-english/

90 degree water bath: Day 1 24 hrs

1 pk of yeast Ischia Island

225 g of Mountain Spring Water .. close to 1 C

105 g of Guisto OO Flour


So after 24 hrs in a 90 degree water bath:

I seperated the culture into two containers, as said

I feed both containers with :

140 g of the " 00 '' Flour and 170g of spring water

after the morning feeding of Day 2 3-4 hrs later I had this!!


So it looks activated ?

I'm making pizza dough today.. How do I take care of this stuff, now? Can I leave it on the counter, for weeks? Or should I refrigerate it till using it next week? Little help please and any pizza dough weight recipe?

Edited by Paul Bacino (log)

Its good to have Morels

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Leave it on the counter but you need to feed it with a little flour every couple of days or feed it & refrigerate it till next week but take it out the night before you want to use it, so it can get active again.

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For best results, stir the liquid and the settled out part together, feed it and when it starts bubbling again, use it to make the dough. At present it looks inactive. If you want to refrigerate it, it will keep for at least a couple weeks after you feed it. I have best results if I take it out of the refrigerator and let it set overnight, then feed it and use it. Feed the left over and refrigerate it again. Leave it out on the counter if you plan to feed and use it every couple of days.

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Usually when the starter and the alcohol separate out, that means the yeast is resting. I supposed the bubbles were left over from when it was active.

p.s. 90 degrees is the upper limit of what the yeast should be when it is growing. If it develops too quickly, it might acquire some stronger-than-wanted off flavors..

Edited by Norm Matthews (log)
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Ok.. so I separated and re-fed < made another container.. I gave the 2 seperation away > ( day 3 ) using the same portions on day 2. On the web it said it would take 3-5 days but could be sooner.

I'm not seeing that seperation your saying now

Ahh I think I'm seeing what your saying!! Norm

" Activation: Mix well all of the dried culture with 105 grams of flour (¾ cup) and 225 grams of warm water (1 cup). The proof (fermentation) is started at close to 32oC (90oF). This temperature stimulates the lactobacilli to rapidly acidify the culture which prevents contamination by non-sourdough organisms found in almost all flours. At the end of the first 24 hours a few bubbles may appear as the first sign of growth and activity. Subsequent feedings should be140 grams of flour (1 cup) and 170 grams water (¾ cup) at approximately 12 hour intervals with the temperature reduced to around 21oC (70oF) which favors the growth and activity of the wild yeast. Each feeding will require discarding some of the mixture or the jar will overflow. This is an opportunity to start a second jar to serve as a backup if required. Activation is complete when the foam and bubbles of the mixture increase the volume in the small jar by 2 to 3 inches within 2 to 4 hours of the last feeding. Now the culture is ready for baking or it can be refrigerated until needed. During refrigeration a clear light brown liquid (hooch) forms a layer on the surface. This is normal and is stirred back in when the culture is used. " from Sourdough International.

if i'm going in the wrong direction.. let me know

Edited by Paul Bacino (log)

Its good to have Morels

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I got a couple of varieties from Sourdough Int'l. I used the Ischia for awhile. It was a fairly weak strain compared, say, to the classic San Francisco. I'm not surprised you are having some trouble seeing it being activated. Comparatively, it produced smaller bubbles and smaller quantities of them. As I recall, I got the best results when I fed it every 8 hours at room temperature for at least a day.

I do a 50-50 mix by weight of water and AP flour for feeding, and add as much total as I have starter.

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I have come to that conclusion about the Ishcia strain being a little weaker ( note below ), I think my starter is active. Now I just need to know how to maintain it..

I'll be making most of my pies on the weekend ( I'm staring with pizza pies.. never baked bread yet.. ), SO can I leave it on the counter ( for a week ) till then w/o feeding it, just shaking it occasionally? Or should I refrigerate it, each week and then warm it and feed it ( before/after ?).. seems like a lot of flour waste in this?

Can I feed it different flours ?

For the first pizza pie my recipe was as follows

220g Guisto 00

120g H20

1T honey

2T Culture

1t Salt

I do a cold raise in the cellar, for a night.. then I brought it out the next day at lunch,, I had at least a triple rise in the dough within 4-5 hrs, but wasn't over whelmed by sour dough smell ( note ) when I open the container.

Edited by Paul Bacino (log)

Its good to have Morels

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I doubt very much the culture could be left on the counter for a week.

Here's what I know about culture growth. The yeast is alive from freezing to 105F. The rate of growth approximately doubles every 10 degrees. I've repeatedly heard keeping the culture in the fridge is certainly safe for a week, and possibly 2. So, if a culture is fine for 7 days at 40F (average fridge temperature) it should be healthy for 3.5 days at 50, 1.75 at 60, and .88 or 21 hours at 70.

My actual experience has matched this pretty well. After 10 days in the fridge, it often takes 2 feedings 6 hours apart to get a nice frothy mass going. After 18 hours sitting at room temperature, the culture appears dormant.

Of course, it depends on how much flour is available to the yeast.

You don't have to keep much starter in the fridge. Just a couple of ounces. When you want to bake with it, just add a few more hours to get a larger mass going.

Yes, you can feed it different flours. I use mostly AP, as it makes a good starting point for various breads. I fed my culture whole wheat once, and every loaf for weeks had traces of that.

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The feeding regime (and living conditions) will influence (evolve) the culture.

Reducing the daily feed quantity (say halving it) is fine as long as you are similarly reducing the quantity of culture you are retaining (in this example halving it) - so that the proportion of fresh food to culture isn't being changed.

One sensible arrangement for regular baking is to make the food quantity equal to the amount that you routinely remove to bake with ...

(ADDED: and from that, work out how much you should be storing.

You can of course, build up the quantity from store by not dumping, and increasing the feed quantity to keep the fresh and sour in the same proportion.)

If your feeding rhythm is irregular, your bread will be inconsistent.

You can keep a culture alive for a surprisingly long time in the back of the fridge, but the longer its stored, the longer the feeding rhythm must be maintained (after coming out of storage) before its back to itself again.

A 100% hydration (equal flour and water weights) does simplify calculation for those whose breadmaking is NOT routine. If you are baking the same stock every day, you don't have to think about calculation. But if you are making different hydration doughs, in different quantities, you have some numbers to do, and its much simpler if you use 100% hydration starter (and think in grams!)

But if you change the hydration (or feeding interval, or storage temperature, or whatever) you will in some way be favouring a different population balance in your little ecosystem, which will evolve to suit.

Perhaps it doesn't need to be said, but the only way to measure (with any accuracy) the quantity of frothy starter for baking with is to weigh it.

A volume measure is going to have a variable amount of bubbles, and thus a variable amount of active starter, flour and water.

Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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once well-established, a culture can be surprisingly resilient. If you're not feeding it every day, then the culture should definitely be refrigerated. But the feeding schedule is determined, in part, by the sort of bread you're baking. I routinely use a starter fed 7 to 10 days prior when building the leaven for Tartine bread. It doesn't matter that the starter isn't freshly fed, I've learned, because of the 1)small proportion of starter (1 T) used in the leaven, and 2)the leaven's 8-12 hours rest at room temperature. The dough itself goes for 8 hours at room temp, so the wee yeasties have plenty of time of grow. On the other hand, if I'm baking a "faster" loaf, the starter needs to be refreshed much closer to the time of use.

Below: Tartine loaf whose leaven step was made with a starter that hadn't been fed in 2 weeks, and a photo of the open crumb.


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I hate to be pedantic, but after a small number of refreshments (say 20*) its no longer the original culture, but now dominated by local species of yeast and lactobacteria present in the flour and water you have been feeding the culture, and even in the air, as no kitchen is aseptic. They will adapt to your feeding regime, ans so it becomes your particular starter.

A mature culture is tough stuff, and will withstand a lot of abuse. I keep my mother culture in the fridge - I am an occasional home baker. At fridge temperatures it is effectively dormant. When I want to bake I take out a tablespoon or so, and culture it for 12-24 hours with 100g water and 200g flour to make a preferment (sponge), maybe refreshed once, When the pot in the fridge is looking a bit empty, maybe once every 8-12 weeks, I make a double volume of preferment, and put half back in the cleaned jar. When you do refresh the mother culture its important to culture up from a comparatively small quantity - say 5%, as not only are you providing more food, but you are also diluting and getting rid of the byproducts, such as alcohols that poison the culture (and provide much of the flavour profile.

Of course for a restaurant or production bakery, where larger volumes of starter are needed, keeping the mother culture growing at a defined temperature (bucket in a warm room) with regular refreshments is more practical, and you can even get slowly stirred temperature controlled holding tanks designed for bakery use. In very large operations a continuous flow line can be used.

*Biological fundamentals of yeast and lactobcilli fermentation in bread dough, Peter Stolz in "Handboook of Dough Fermentations",edited by Karel Kulp and Klaus Lorenz, Dekker 2003 ISBN 0-8247-4264-8

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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