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I think my sourdough starter died! :( - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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I think my sourdough starter died! :(

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  • I think my sourdough starter died! :(

    I gave Yorrick to my mother-in-law while we were away this summer, and told her exactly what to do with it, feeding patterns etc... and when it came back it smelt like yoghurt.

    So I thought I'd feed it a couple of times and it'd soon be back to normal, then put it in the fridge and ignored it, which is exactly what I usually do. But now it smells of cheese. No way I'm going to put that in my bread!

    So can anyone tell me what went wrong? The only thing I can think of is that her fridge is probably way colder than ours, so it would have needed more time at room temperature after feeding. But I hoped it would spring back again...
    "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

  • #2
    Re: I think my sourdough starter died!

    Don't give up! You still have some good yeast and bacteria in there and they will almost certainly win out. Feed on an 8 to 12 hour schedule for a few days and keep it at room temp (preferably 70-80 degrees F) and it should come to life in a couple of days!

    Good Luck!
    Jay

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    • #3
      Re: I think my sourdough starter died!

      Oh I was wondering what you did with him! I wonder if a good idea would be to feed and then give some to a sitter (or two) and then leave some on a container at home.

      Mine went the whole summer unused (too hot), but feed from time to time. A few feedings and it seems to be back.

      I home you recover!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: I think my sourdough starter died!

        Oh thank you guys!

        Next time (if we ever go on holiday for that amount of time again, which seems unlikley ) I'll try deepfreezing my yeast - that should work, shouldn't it? Or leaving parts with different people, thats a geat idea.

        Ah, I really should have waited for your advice... Yorrick started to smell sooo bad, I threw it on the compost yesterday. Which is very sad, I've been baking bread with it for quite a while now. But I started a new culture, and with any luck it'll be up and running in a couple of weeks/months...

        But for future reference... what treatment would start making it smell like yoghurt?
        "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: I think my sourdough starter died!

          Alas poor Yorrick...... well someone had too say it......
          The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.

          My Build.

          Books.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: I think my sourdough starter died!

            Hi Frances!

            You have inoculated your kitchen with yeast and bacteria so you will get going quickly. You should have a usable starter in two weeks. It is not a bad idea for all of us to freeze a small piece of starter (only need a teaspoon or two) every couple of months just in case our familiar friend should meet an untimely end!

            A good strategy for Yorrick would have been to "wash the starter". Take its volume and add an equal volume of water, stir, and take about half, and repeat about three times so you have a highly diluted starter. Gets the acid down and dilutes all the bacteria and yeast so the starter creation process can get going again. But too late for that!

            Good Luck!
            Jay

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: I think my sourdough starter died!

              Originally posted by brickie in oz View Post
              Alas poor Yorrick...... well someone had too say it......
              Yeah, asking for trouble really, giving it that name - I think I'll call the next one Mehusalem or something.

              Uh... while developing a new sourdough culture, its feed it and stir it once a day, isn't it?
              "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: I think my sourdough starter died!

                The most productive way seems to be to start with pineapple juice instead of water (the acid stops the bad bacteria that typically lead to a "false" starter on day 3 or so. You can feed daily or every other day until the dead period is over (after the first bad bacteria flurry). When it starts actually rising due to yeast you should move to twice a day.(You can tell by the smell!)

                Good Luck!
                Jay

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: I think my sourdough starter died!

                  I now have several packages of dried starter in my freezer, since my starter died a while back. Some lovely people from this board sent me dried starter to replace mine, and it worked great! It was also interesting to see the different tastes that you get with starters from different places. Neither starter tasted like mine or like each other at first, but after a while, each turned from the original and began tasting like what I had to start with. Not sure why, but it must have to do with the yeasties in the air at my house....

                  Yorrick will live again....
                  Elizabeth

                  http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/e...html#post41545

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: I think my sourdough starter died!

                    Yes, Elizabeth, the ghost of Yorrick is alive and well and almost certainly returning to the Yorrick of old (although is seems impossible that the reestablishment could have been this fast!)

                    Yorrick Lives!
                    Jay

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: I think my sourdough starter died!

                      Yes, Yorrick lives! That is such a comforting thought - it is the same yeasties doing the work after all.

                      Here it is, back again (on the second try - the first landed in the bin again), but not too bad considering its still developing its full strength.

                      I really missed Yorrick! Turns out I only really fire up the oven for bread baking, and then add the pizza as an afterthought. And it turns out that apparently for me "proper" bread is made with a sourdough starter - not any concoction made with commercial yeast. So until Yorrick recovered my family got no pizza and no home baked bread... pretty tough, huh?
                      Attached Files
                      "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

                      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
                      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: I think my sourdough starter died!

                        Hooray!

                        Glad to see Yorrick is back in your family!

                        Bake On!
                        Jay

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