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Thread: New sourdough starter help?

  1. #1
    Corey Richardson Guest

    Default New sourdough starter help?

    I'm a learner when it comes to sourdough starters, but I'm currently
    giving it a try and would appreciate your help and suggestions.

    I started this with ordinary white flour (I now know that was wrong)
    and it's around 2 weeks old now. It smells very beer or wine like, has
    a browny coloured 'hooch' and has signs of life. The problem is that
    when I feed it, it doesn't double in volume and just continues gently
    bubbling.

    Do you think my starter is too thin, or just still immature?

    Many thanks for your help.

    --
    Corey Richardson

  2. #2
    ribitt Guest

    Default Re: New sourdough starter help?

    On Jul 15, 7:40*am, Corey Richardson <coreyrchr...@googlemail.com>
    wrote:
    > I'm a learner when it comes to sourdough starters, but I'm currently
    > giving it a try and would appreciate your help and suggestions.
    >
    > I started this with ordinary white flour (I now know that was wrong)
    > and it's around 2 weeks old now. It smells very beer or wine like, has
    > a browny coloured 'hooch' and has signs of life. The problem is that
    > when I feed it, it doesn't double in volume and just continues gently
    > bubbling.
    >
    > Do you think my starter is too thin, or just still immature?
    >
    > Many thanks for your help.
    >
    > --
    > Corey Richardson




    I used an excellent sourdough starter from carlsfriends.org.

    The price is reasonable. Either a SASE business envelope, or $1.

    They have recipes etc available as well.

    Ribitt

  3. #3
    Boron Elgar Guest

    Default Re: New sourdough starter help?

    On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 12:40:22 +0100, Corey Richardson
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I'm a learner when it comes to sourdough starters, but I'm currently
    >giving it a try and would appreciate your help and suggestions.
    >
    >I started this with ordinary white flour (I now know that was wrong)
    >and it's around 2 weeks old now. It smells very beer or wine like, has
    >a browny coloured 'hooch' and has signs of life. The problem is that
    >when I feed it, it doesn't double in volume and just continues gently
    >bubbling.
    >
    >Do you think my starter is too thin, or just still immature?
    >
    >Many thanks for your help.


    It isn't wrong to use white flour. You can get a decent starter with
    white flour.

    How often do you refresh this starter, what proportions of flour to
    water are you using, how much old starter are you keeping in the
    refreshment and how is it all stored in between refreshments?

    Boron


  4. #4
    Corey Richardson Guest

    Default Re: New sourdough starter help?

    On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 10:21:20 -0400, Boron Elgar
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 12:40:22 +0100, Corey Richardson
    ><[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>I'm a learner when it comes to sourdough starters, but I'm currently
    >>giving it a try and would appreciate your help and suggestions.
    >>
    >>I started this with ordinary white flour (I now know that was wrong)
    >>and it's around 2 weeks old now. It smells very beer or wine like, has
    >>a browny coloured 'hooch' and has signs of life. The problem is that
    >>when I feed it, it doesn't double in volume and just continues gently
    >>bubbling.
    >>
    >>Do you think my starter is too thin, or just still immature?
    >>
    >>Many thanks for your help.

    >
    >It isn't wrong to use white flour. You can get a decent starter with
    >white flour.
    >
    >How often do you refresh this starter, what proportions of flour to
    >water are you using, how much old starter are you keeping in the
    >refreshment and how is it all stored in between refreshments?
    >
    >Boron


    I'm refreshing around every 2 days, keeping half the starter and using
    a 50:50 flour/water feed. It's kept in a plastic tub at around 20C
    (68F).

    Thanks for your help.

    --
    Corey Richardson

  5. #5
    Corey Richardson Guest

    Default Re: New sourdough starter help?

    On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 06:41:40 -0700 (PDT), ribitt <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >On Jul 15, 7:40*am, Corey Richardson <coreyrchr...@googlemail.com>
    >wrote:
    >> I'm a learner when it comes to sourdough starters, but I'm currently
    >> giving it a try and would appreciate your help and suggestions.
    >>
    >> I started this with ordinary white flour (I now know that was wrong)
    >> and it's around 2 weeks old now. It smells very beer or wine like, has
    >> a browny coloured 'hooch' and has signs of life. The problem is that
    >> when I feed it, it doesn't double in volume and just continues gently
    >> bubbling.
    >>
    >> Do you think my starter is too thin, or just still immature?
    >>
    >> Many thanks for your help.
    >>
    >> --
    >> Corey Richardson

    >
    >
    >
    >I used an excellent sourdough starter from carlsfriends.org.
    >
    >The price is reasonable. Either a SASE business envelope, or $1.
    >
    >They have recipes etc available as well.
    >
    >Ribitt


    Thanks for that. I will contact him if my starter fails.

    --
    Corey Richardson

  6. #6
    Corey Richardson Guest

    Default Re: New sourdough starter help?

    On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 15:28:12 +0100, Corey Richardson
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 06:41:40 -0700 (PDT), ribitt <[email protected]>
    >wrote:
    >>
    >>I used an excellent sourdough starter from carlsfriends.org.
    >>
    >>The price is reasonable. Either a SASE business envelope, or $1.
    >>
    >>They have recipes etc available as well.
    >>
    >>Ribitt

    >
    >Thanks for that. I will contact him if my starter fails.


    I wonder if there's a volunteer in the UK for this?

    --
    Corey Richardson <[email protected]>

  7. #7
    Boron Elgar Guest

    Default Re: New sourdough starter help?

    On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 15:27:15 +0100, Corey Richardson
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 10:21:20 -0400, Boron Elgar
    ><[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 12:40:22 +0100, Corey Richardson
    >><[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >>>I'm a learner when it comes to sourdough starters, but I'm currently
    >>>giving it a try and would appreciate your help and suggestions.
    >>>
    >>>I started this with ordinary white flour (I now know that was wrong)
    >>>and it's around 2 weeks old now. It smells very beer or wine like, has
    >>>a browny coloured 'hooch' and has signs of life. The problem is that
    >>>when I feed it, it doesn't double in volume and just continues gently
    >>>bubbling.
    >>>
    >>>Do you think my starter is too thin, or just still immature?
    >>>
    >>>Many thanks for your help.

    >>
    >>It isn't wrong to use white flour. You can get a decent starter with
    >>white flour.
    >>
    >>How often do you refresh this starter, what proportions of flour to
    >>water are you using, how much old starter are you keeping in the
    >>refreshment and how is it all stored in between refreshments?
    >>
    >>Boron

    >
    >I'm refreshing around every 2 days, keeping half the starter and using
    >a 50:50 flour/water feed. It's kept in a plastic tub at around 20C
    >(68F).
    >
    >Thanks for your help.


    Those nice little buggies are starving.

    Try upping your refreshment to twice a day, tossing all but the dregs
    of the container and refreshing with only 2-3 tablespoons of flour and
    the same of water each time. I am betting that you'll be all
    bubbly-wubbly in a day or two. Then let it stabilize for a few more
    days, and you can go ahead and try it.

    Oh..keep the tub covered. Fruit flies LOVE this stuff.

    Once you have your starter firmly established -i.e., it is rising
    properly in the container and functioning well in dough/bread, then
    you needn't refresh often unless you are going to use it. Refresh it,
    then put it in the fridge, taking it out to refresh once or twice
    before use, or refreshing it once and week and returning it to the
    fridge to store for the next time.

    Boron

  8. #8
    graham Guest

    Default Re: New sourdough starter help?


    "Boron Elgar" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]..
    > On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 15:27:15 +0100, Corey Richardson
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 10:21:20 -0400, Boron Elgar
    >><[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >>>On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 12:40:22 +0100, Corey Richardson
    >>><[email protected]> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>I'm a learner when it comes to sourdough starters, but I'm currently
    >>>>giving it a try and would appreciate your help and suggestions.
    >>>>
    >>>>I started this with ordinary white flour (I now know that was wrong)
    >>>>and it's around 2 weeks old now. It smells very beer or wine like, has
    >>>>a browny coloured 'hooch' and has signs of life. The problem is that
    >>>>when I feed it, it doesn't double in volume and just continues gently
    >>>>bubbling.
    >>>>
    >>>>Do you think my starter is too thin, or just still immature?
    >>>>
    >>>>Many thanks for your help.
    >>>
    >>>It isn't wrong to use white flour. You can get a decent starter with
    >>>white flour.
    >>>
    >>>How often do you refresh this starter, what proportions of flour to
    >>>water are you using, how much old starter are you keeping in the
    >>>refreshment and how is it all stored in between refreshments?
    >>>
    >>>Boron

    >>
    >>I'm refreshing around every 2 days, keeping half the starter and using
    >>a 50:50 flour/water feed. It's kept in a plastic tub at around 20C
    >>(68F).
    >>
    >>Thanks for your help.

    >
    > Those nice little buggies are starving.
    >
    > Try upping your refreshment to twice a day, tossing all but the dregs
    > of the container and refreshing with only 2-3 tablespoons of flour and
    > the same of water each time. I am betting that you'll be all
    > bubbly-wubbly in a day or two. Then let it stabilize for a few more
    > days, and you can go ahead and try it.
    >
    > Oh..keep the tub covered. Fruit flies LOVE this stuff.
    >
    > Once you have your starter firmly established -i.e., it is rising
    > properly in the container and functioning well in dough/bread, then
    > you needn't refresh often unless you are going to use it. Refresh it,
    > then put it in the fridge, taking it out to refresh once or twice
    > before use, or refreshing it once and week and returning it to the
    > fridge to store for the next time.
    >
    > Boron


    Further to Boron: add a teaspoon of rye meal and also use wholewheat/meal
    flour (preferably organic) for a couple of refreshments before weaning it
    back to white. In fact, you could start a fresh one this way - it might be
    quicker.



  9. #9
    Paul M. Cook Guest

    Default Re: New sourdough starter help?


    "Corey Richardson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]..
    > I'm a learner when it comes to sourdough starters, but I'm currently
    > giving it a try and would appreciate your help and suggestions.
    >
    > I started this with ordinary white flour (I now know that was wrong)
    > and it's around 2 weeks old now. It smells very beer or wine like, has
    > a browny coloured 'hooch' and has signs of life. The problem is that
    > when I feed it, it doesn't double in volume and just continues gently
    > bubbling.
    >
    > Do you think my starter is too thin, or just still immature?


    It's immature. You don't usually get a lot of volume increase because there
    is no gluten really to hold it up. When you start using it and set aside
    the sponge you'll notice a big change in the way it behaves. I did SD
    cooking way back when and I read up on all the stories about how starters
    were coveted by their owners and how some were literally a hundred years old
    and passed down from generation to generation. There is a bakery in NYC I
    believe that has a starter that was brought over from Italy back in the
    early 19th century.

    Sourdough is really cool stuff.

    Paul



  10. #10
    Janet Bostwick Guest

    Default Re: New sourdough starter help?


    "Corey Richardson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]..
    > On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 15:28:12 +0100, Corey Richardson
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 06:41:40 -0700 (PDT), ribitt <[email protected]>
    >>wrote:
    >>>
    >>>I used an excellent sourdough starter from carlsfriends.org.
    >>>
    >>>The price is reasonable. Either a SASE business envelope, or $1.
    >>>
    >>>They have recipes etc available as well.
    >>>
    >>>Ribitt

    >>
    >>Thanks for that. I will contact him if my starter fails.

    >
    > I wonder if there's a volunteer in the UK for this?
    >
    > --
    > Corey Richardson <[email protected]>


    Ask this question at alt.bread.recipes. We used to have someone in the UK
    that expedited this. For sure we have UK posters. Someone is sure to
    remember, I just can't recall who it was. Your alternative is to ask at
    rec.food.sourdough. The some of the folks there are the keepers of the
    starter.
    Janet



  11. #11
    Ophelia Guest

    Default Re: New sourdough starter help?


    "Janet Bostwick" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected] m...
    > Ask this question at alt.bread.recipes. We used to have someone in the UK
    > that expedited this. For sure we have UK posters. Someone is sure to
    > remember, I just can't recall who it was. Your alternative is to ask at
    > rec.food.sourdough. The some of the folks there are the keepers of the
    > starter.


    Hi Janet,

    I used to be the keeper of Carl's starter in UK but had to stop when I
    became very ill and I simply was not able to continue.

    Corey has caused a lot of trouble in the UK group with his attitude and
    cross posting. I prepared a response to Corey but when I
    saw his crossposting I deleted it.




  12. #12
    Corey Richardson Guest

    Default Re: New sourdough starter help?

    On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 20:34:15 +0100, "Ophelia" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >
    >"Janet Bostwick" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected] om...
    >> Ask this question at alt.bread.recipes. We used to have someone in the UK
    >> that expedited this. For sure we have UK posters. Someone is sure to
    >> remember, I just can't recall who it was. Your alternative is to ask at
    >> rec.food.sourdough. The some of the folks there are the keepers of the
    >> starter.

    >
    >Hi Janet,
    >
    >I used to be the keeper of Carl's starter in UK but had to stop when I
    >became very ill and I simply was not able to continue.
    >
    >Corey has caused a lot of trouble in the UK group with his attitude and
    >cross posting.


    I beg your pardon? Which attitude and what trouble would that be?
    Please direct me to this supposed trouble.

    > I prepared a response to Corey but when Isaw his crossposting I deleted it.


    Oh well. If you don't wish to reply to an on-topic post that was
    crossposted (just like you're doing right now) to three totally
    relevant groups, that's your choice.

    How very strange.

    --
    Corey Richardson

  13. #13
    Corey Richardson Guest

    Default Re: New sourdough starter help?

    On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 13:09:36 -0600, "Janet Bostwick"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >"Corey Richardson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]. .
    >> On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 15:28:12 +0100, Corey Richardson
    >> <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >>>On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 06:41:40 -0700 (PDT), ribitt <[email protected]>
    >>>wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>I used an excellent sourdough starter from carlsfriends.org.
    >>>>
    >>>>The price is reasonable. Either a SASE business envelope, or $1.
    >>>>
    >>>>They have recipes etc available as well.
    >>>>
    >>>>Ribitt
    >>>
    >>>Thanks for that. I will contact him if my starter fails.

    >>
    >> I wonder if there's a volunteer in the UK for this?
    >>
    >> --
    >> Corey Richardson <[email protected]>

    >
    >Ask this question at alt.bread.recipes. We used to have someone in the UK
    >that expedited this. For sure we have UK posters. Someone is sure to
    >remember, I just can't recall who it was. Your alternative is to ask at
    >rec.food.sourdough. The some of the folks there are the keepers of the
    >starter.
    >Janet


    Many thanks for the reply, Janet. I've done as you've suggested.

    --
    Corey Richardson


  14. #14
    Corey Richardson Guest

    Default Re: New sourdough starter help?

    On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 11:48:37 -0400, Boron Elgar
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 15:27:15 +0100, Corey Richardson
    ><[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 10:21:20 -0400, Boron Elgar
    >><[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >>>On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 12:40:22 +0100, Corey Richardson
    >>><[email protected]> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>I'm a learner when it comes to sourdough starters, but I'm currently
    >>>>giving it a try and would appreciate your help and suggestions.
    >>>>
    >>>>I started this with ordinary white flour (I now know that was wrong)
    >>>>and it's around 2 weeks old now. It smells very beer or wine like, has
    >>>>a browny coloured 'hooch' and has signs of life. The problem is that
    >>>>when I feed it, it doesn't double in volume and just continues gently
    >>>>bubbling.
    >>>>
    >>>>Do you think my starter is too thin, or just still immature?
    >>>>
    >>>>Many thanks for your help.
    >>>
    >>>It isn't wrong to use white flour. You can get a decent starter with
    >>>white flour.
    >>>
    >>>How often do you refresh this starter, what proportions of flour to
    >>>water are you using, how much old starter are you keeping in the
    >>>refreshment and how is it all stored in between refreshments?
    >>>
    >>>Boron

    >>
    >>I'm refreshing around every 2 days, keeping half the starter and using
    >>a 50:50 flour/water feed. It's kept in a plastic tub at around 20C
    >>(68F).
    >>
    >>Thanks for your help.

    >
    >Those nice little buggies are starving.
    >
    >Try upping your refreshment to twice a day, tossing all but the dregs
    >of the container and refreshing with only 2-3 tablespoons of flour and
    >the same of water each time. I am betting that you'll be all
    >bubbly-wubbly in a day or two. Then let it stabilize for a few more
    >days, and you can go ahead and try it.
    >
    >Oh..keep the tub covered. Fruit flies LOVE this stuff.
    >
    >Once you have your starter firmly established -i.e., it is rising
    >properly in the container and functioning well in dough/bread, then
    >you needn't refresh often unless you are going to use it. Refresh it,
    >then put it in the fridge, taking it out to refresh once or twice
    >before use, or refreshing it once and week and returning it to the
    >fridge to store for the next time.
    >
    >Boron


    Thanks for taking the time to give me some advice, Boron.

    --
    Corey Richardson

  15. #15
    Corey Richardson Guest

    Default Re: New sourdough starter help?

    On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 10:53:54 -0700, "Paul M. Cook" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >
    >"Corey Richardson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]. .
    >> I'm a learner when it comes to sourdough starters, but I'm currently
    >> giving it a try and would appreciate your help and suggestions.
    >>
    >> I started this with ordinary white flour (I now know that was wrong)
    >> and it's around 2 weeks old now. It smells very beer or wine like, has
    >> a browny coloured 'hooch' and has signs of life. The problem is that
    >> when I feed it, it doesn't double in volume and just continues gently
    >> bubbling.
    >>
    >> Do you think my starter is too thin, or just still immature?

    >
    >It's immature. You don't usually get a lot of volume increase because there
    >is no gluten really to hold it up.


    Thanks. I'll make a few adjustments, as suggested, and wait a while
    longer.

    --
    Corey Richardson

  16. #16
    Joe Watson Guest

    Default Re: New sourdough starter help?

    On Jul 15, 11:40 am, Corey Richardson <coreyrchr...@googlemail.com>
    wrote:
    > I'm a learner when it comes to sourdough starters, but I'm currently
    > giving it a try and would appreciate your help and suggestions.
    >
    > I started this with ordinary white flour (I now know that was wrong)
    > and it's around 2 weeks old now. It smells very beer or wine like, has
    > a browny coloured 'hooch' and has signs of life. The problem is that
    > when I feed it, it doesn't double in volume and just continues gently
    > bubbling.
    >
    > Do you think my starter is too thin, or just still immature?
    >
    > Many thanks for your help.
    >
    > --
    > Corey Richardson


    Bread flour works better but any flour will make a starter if you
    leave it long enough. Three or four days should do it. The smell
    should tell you if it's ready.

    Joe

  17. #17
    Janet Bostwick Guest

    Default Re: New sourdough starter help?


    "Ophelia" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:h3lbbb$kom$[email protected]..
    >
    > "Janet Bostwick" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected] m...
    >> Ask this question at alt.bread.recipes. We used to have someone in the
    >> UK
    >> that expedited this. For sure we have UK posters. Someone is sure to
    >> remember, I just can't recall who it was. Your alternative is to ask at
    >> rec.food.sourdough. The some of the folks there are the keepers of the
    >> starter.

    >
    > Hi Janet,
    >
    > I used to be the keeper of Carl's starter in UK but had to stop when I
    > became very ill and I simply was not able to continue.
    >
    > Corey has caused a lot of trouble in the UK group with his attitude and
    > cross posting. I prepared a response to Corey but when I
    > saw his crossposting I deleted it.
    >

    Hi Ophelia, I thought it was you that kept the starter, but wasn't sure.
    I'm sorry to hear about your health. I sincerely hope that things are
    getting better. Sorry I didn't catch the cross post in rec.food.cooking. I
    did catch it in alt.bread.recipes.
    Janet



  18. #18
    Brian Mailman Guest

    Default Re: New sourdough starter help?

    *followup set*

    Joe Watson wrote:
    > On Jul 15, 11:40 am, Corey Richardson <coreyrchr...@googlemail.com>
    > wrote:


    >> I started this with ordinary white flour (I now know that was wrong)
    >> and it's around 2 weeks old now....


    > Bread flour works better but any flour will make a starter if you
    > leave it long enough.


    Well, the latter is true. I'm not sure about the former, gluten
    development isn't dependent on the gluten in the starter. While the
    latter is true, whole-grain flours seem to do best for beginning a
    starter, because it's widely believed that the lactobacillic component
    comes from there.

    B/

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