Super Active Starter

Hi Guys,
Been reading through your forums and following the excellent beginners guide on the front page... 
I've now got myself a starter that I've been using 35% Ecological Wholemeal Rye and 65% Spelt that is WELL more than doubling its volume in under 3 hours. It seems to also reach its peak and start dropping some time after about 6. (Not to sure exactly how long).
Either way, I'm wondering if I should be overly excited, or worried that the starter is 'too quick'.
Thanks for your replies in advance,
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LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2009 September 24

How many days old is your starter?  If you have had it for more than 2 weeks I would say you have a starter that is ready to use.
Techinica 2009 September 24
The starter is in its 9th day since creation... I decided earlier today that I'd try a loaf with it anyway... it's proving now and has been for about the last 3 hours. Its so far well more than double its size. Probably another two hours and it'll be at the top of my tin.

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2009 September 24

You've got yourself a sprightly one. This 3 plus (2) this the 1st proof (bulk fermentation) or the final proving? Careful...don't overprove or you'll miss the spring in the oven. Give it the poke test. If the indentation springs back immediately, there's still room for further proving, but, if you catch it coming up slowly, it's time to bake.

We want pics!

BTW, welcome to the forum!

p.s. Looking at the posting times, I think I'm a bit late...

Bern 2009 December 8

Similar to the OP, I kinda followed the recipe on this site for a sourdough starter, though I just used plain white flour (Defiance baker's flour), as I didn't have any rye or other flours handy and was keen to get a starter underway.

Except...  I only mixed it up yesterday afternoon (50g water, 50g white flour).  I was shocked, on getting home tonight, to see it had doubled in volume!  It had a slightly fruity aroma - certainly didn't smell bad, just smelt yeasty.  So I fed it as per the instructions for day 2 - 50g flour & 50g water.  That was at 7pm, and 4 hours later, at 11pm, it's near-enough doubled in volume again!

I used a clean jar (even washed it & the spoon with boiling water, as per the instructions), but it's way more active than I would have expected.  I left it sitting on the kitchen bench (south-facing window, so no direct sun), but it was 30C from ~9am to 4pm here today.


So I'm wondering whether it'll be any good, or if I should turf it and start again.  Maybe I'll put it in the fridge tomorrow, see if that slows it down.  Any advice would be appreciated.

Postal grunt 2009 December 8

Congratulations on your starter. It sounds like a good one. Putting it in the fridge will slow it down but so would the addition of a very minute amount of salt. You should also consider drying some of your discard as a backup and source for further experimentation with different types of starters.

Bern 2009 December 8

Ok, I might put it in the fridge today, rather than leave it out in the warmth (it's predicted to hit 34-35 degrees here in Brisbane today).  It went close to doubling in volume overnight, with lots of bubbles - there was a thin layer of sediment (less than 1cm thick), about 5mm of liquid visible, then about 10cm of foam/froth over the top, which dropped a few cm when I shook the jar a bit (lots of gas!).  Last night around midnight there were a lot of small bubbles visible throughout the mix.

I gave it it's third feed this morning (50g water / 50g flour), and tomorrow I'll discard most of it and give it a bigger feed as per the day 4 instructions.  I know the example given took 7-8 days to get going, but I think that was at ~20deg rather than 30...  Looking forward to trying a loaf on the weekend - shall have to read up on how to make the bread now.  I thought I'd have a couple of weeks to do that, but apparently not!

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