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#312476 02/12/09 08:38 PM
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Has anybody here harvested wild yeast for sourdough?

I want to maintain a starter in my kitchen but I want to harvest the yeast locally. I have read how to feed the culture mix the flour and water, cut it in half and add more, but I was wondering if I could kick start the process with a little yogurt. And over time I imagine that the strains I began with would be replaced by local strains, so that I would have successfully harvested wild yeast.

I make yogurt at home and have a few potent cultures. Since the wild yeast, I hear, is a lactic acid bacteria (hence the sour), I have to wonder if the process would be helped with some whey.

Any thoughts?


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Originally Posted by Terry Bohannon
Has anybody here harvested wild yeast for sourdough?

I want to maintain a starter in my kitchen but I want to harvest the yeast locally. I have read how to feed the culture mix the flour and water, cut it in half and add more, but I was wondering if I could kick start the process with a little yogurt. And over time I imagine that the strains I began with would be replaced by local strains, so that I would have successfully harvested wild yeast.

I make yogurt at home and have a few potent cultures. Since the wild yeast, I hear, is a lactic acid bacteria (hence the sour), I have to wonder if the process would be helped with some whey.

Any thoughts?

Yeah, I think I will just read the thread and learn something. biggrin I love to bake bread, though I don't do it like I use too. Just never could wrap my mind around sourdough and I have no idea of why. So yeah, I will watch and learn biggrin

Pani Rose #312531 02/13/09 01:22 PM
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Right now I have a 1:1 flour/water mixture, and I'm going to half it when I get home tonight and add another 1:1 flour/water mix to feed the starter. A culture needs to be fed when the wild yeast are harvested if it isn't, the bacteria will consume all the nutrients it needs and they will end up dying in the lactic acid they produce.

I didn't add any yogurt because I don't have fresh whey on hand.

One set of instructions I saw said to throw away the mass after you've split it off. That seems wasteful, I'd rather see how they do as tortillas.

Last edited by Terry Bohannon; 02/13/09 01:30 PM.
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The batch started bubbling. =)

I'm going to feed it again tonight. I don't know what kind of aroma will develop, they say that the characteristics of wild yeast are regionally unique.

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Don't you just love pollution and the special flavor it gives ...

eli #312782 02/16/09 05:31 PM
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I don't know if I've harvested wild yeast yet since it hasn't been rising. Some lacto-bacteria have definitely seeded in the batch. Its smell comes at you when you walk in the door of the house. At the moment, I have no complaints from the wife.

When I was incorporating flour and water to feed it, I had been stirring with a silicone spoon. I would recommend using hands. The water kept separating on top and I didn't know why until I felt around. I had left clumps of flour in the starter.

I hope the batch turns out in spite of me. It smells "good" still, the part I used for tortillas was tasty.

Once it rises I'll use it as I will and freeze a portion to use as a starter for another day.

Terry

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Terry a suggestion about hands. DON'T! Use your hands as little as possible, because the heat from your hands activates the yeast. But then, I guess that is what you want to do here. biggrin

Pani Rose #312787 02/16/09 05:57 PM
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Should I incorporate the feed of flour and water in a separate bowl and let it get to room temperature?

This is new to me.

The starter, of a pancake consistency, formed fairly good strings of gluten chains (if that's what it is) yesterday.

After I'm done with it I put a cheesecloth on top with a rubber band.

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Terry I have no idea biggrin I am just watching your adventure.

Terry I did a search and found this site, it looks pretty good on how to's.

How to [baking911.com]

questions on how to [baking911.com]

Bread Baking [baking911.com]

Pani Rose #313128 02/20/09 12:52 PM
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I may have caught some wild yeast...I saw a few bubbles in the batch this morning. But I may have to go to a local baker and ask for a starter.

Terry

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just remember: that yeast is wild. it could bite. it is not a tame yeast.
Much Love,
Jonn

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I have to eat my words, because I noticed on Friday night that the smell changed. I am fairly certain that I've captured wild yeast. It smells yeasty, and it was even more intense this morning after I halfed it again last night. I'll see if it rises dough.

Terry

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Careful, there. The season is almost over smile


I've always wanted to do sourdough, but harboring wild yeast would not be good for my homemade beer & wine . . .

hawk

dochawk #313513 02/24/09 12:33 PM
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I can always freeze a starter of it. No leavened bread during Lent?

I can't wait to smell it with a bread.

Terry


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