Discarding to prevent acidity buil up?

I am in the process of starting with my San Francisco Sourdough starter from  Sourdough inc.

 Stage 4 of their instructions say after feeding, disgard all but a little over one cup of culture or the jars will overflow.  ( I am not worried about this )Then in italics it says " Discgarding dilutes rhe culture and reduces acid build up".

I don't understand how this could possibly dilute the mixture as the portion thrown away is exactly like the portion kept.    If it was divided before the feeding and then fed, would not the same mixture be made if the thick pancake like mixture was reproduced?

Also it says after several of these 12 hour feedings I should see a 2 to 3 inch rise in my starter indicating it was reading to be used. How many 12 hour mixtures am I to expect plus or minus a few?

 

Thanks, I am really looking forward to the end result, and am enjoying the science along the way.

Bones

3 comments

Hello Bones,

You don't have a TV series named for you do you? /;-{)}

If you discard (say half) and replace, you have one part acid in two parts culture.  If you don't discard, you end up with two parts acid in three parts culture which is a higher concentration of acid.

Given that you are starting with what is presumably a live culture, I would imagine that only four or five might be required although I have no experience of this procedure.  If it takes any more than that you would almost be better off starting from scratch.

Hope this helps.

Farinam

[quote=BonesD]

I am in the process of starting with my San Francisco Sourdough starter from  Sourdough inc.

 Stage 4 of their instructions say after feeding, disgard all but a little over one cup of culture or the jars will overflow.  ( I am not worried about this )Then in italics it says " Discgarding dilutes rhe culture and reduces acid build up".

I don't understand how this could possibly dilute the mixture as the portion thrown away is exactly like the portion kept.    If it was divided before the feeding and then fed, would not the same mixture be made if the thick pancake like mixture was reproduced?

Also it says after several of these 12 hour feedings I should see a 2 to 3 inch rise in my starter indicating it was reading to be used. How many 12 hour mixtures am I to expect plus or minus a few?

 

Thanks, I am really looking forward to the end result, and am enjoying the science along the way.

Bones

[/quote]

 

You discard first, then feed....

From my experience, if you want to dilute the acid content of your starter, you have to discard alot of of the starter before you start your feeding cycle.... I'm talking like 60% to 80% of the starter.  At that point, after 2 or 3 CONSECUTIVE feedings you will end up with a less acidic starter. 

 

The worst acidity, again from my experience with my starter, is when you forget to feed it and it goes limp for more than  5 hours, or you store it in the refrigerator for a week.  After a week in the fridge, I've never had a starter work all that well.  You have to dump like 70% of it, and feed it at least 3 times before it becomes really active again.  You kill two birds with one stone... you end up with a less acidic and more active starter.

 

I also find that too much acid in my starter somehow messes up the gluten in my wheat flour... but that's another story.  The dough just doesn't knead all that well. 

 

And finally.... I don't discard my starter at all.... it's wasteful.  I use it in pancakes, muffins, or crepes. 

Brian

 

 

 

 

 

Forgot to add..... every starter behaves slightly different... and depends on the humidity in your house... depends on your water quality.... quality of your flour, nutrients, etc..... your altitude above sea level....

 

In a 500ml yogurt container, my starter doubles in volume in just 6 to 8 hours.... that was over a year ago.

 

Now it doubles in volume in just 2 to 4 hours..... that's a big mystery to me.