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Wild Yeast Starter: it's cold and 7500 ft. elevation - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Wild Yeast Starter: it's cold and 7500 ft. elevation

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  • Wild Yeast Starter: it's cold and 7500 ft. elevation

    When I lived in Seattle, making a WYS was not difficult. I now live in Santa Fe, NM where it's been very cold (single digits), and my house is at 7500'. My starter, after 5 days, is showing zero signs of life. I just moved it from the pantry (where it was a bit warmer than the kitchen) to the mechanical room, where the temperature is around 70 degrees. I'm hoping that might help.

    - So, do Wild Yeast Starters need a certain ambient temperature to get going?
    - are there any adjustments needed when making a starter at high elevations?

  • #2
    Re: Wild Yeast Starter: it's cold and 7500 ft. elevation

    Hi RJ!

    My personal sourdough is all I can speak for with authority, but it is very unhappy when it is below about 68. It slows down rapidly below that. You will probably find using a proofing box/warming drawer/warmed "cooler" advantageous. The elevation is also a problem for water boils in ABQ at about 198.5 F. That is low enough that getting a great crust and crumb are a bit troublesome. I have no experience at elevation but I am sure you can find locals to give you advice.

    Good luck!
    Jay

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    • #3
      Re: Wild Yeast Starter: it's cold and 7500 ft. elevation

      You could also perhaps try giving it a boost by tossing in some organic fruit that has that yeasty film on it. Just a thought.
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      • #4
        Re: Wild Yeast Starter: it's cold and 7500 ft. elevation

        You're starting from scratch scratch with this?
        The temps in my house are typically 65-67 ish. After a couple of failed attempts at growing out a starter from just flour and water, I made one that included a raisin. That got it going right away.
        I guess my logic would be that ultimately, what ends up growing will be something that finds your ambient temps hospitable. If you want to try warmer incubation, turning on the light in your oven and putting it in there might work.

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