Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bread Starter Update

This morning (8.13.09) at 5:00 I checked the bread starter samples and took a bunch of photos. Unfortunately, I cannot post the pictures because the camera's battery fizzled out before I could download them to my computer (When is someone going to build a high quality camera that can do direct uploads?). So until the battery is recharged words will have to suffice.

Here is the skinny
  • After 35 hours of incubation, all of the samples are showing signs of fermentation.
  • No one sample appears to be any gassier than any other. Even the control (flour and water only, no cabbage) is fermenting
  • None of the samples stink, which I take as an indication that although there is probably leuconostoc bacteria in all of the samples with cabbage, the bacteria, which is naturally present on cabbage and is responsible for sauerkraut fermentation requires anaerobic conditions to grow well, is not thriving in the open sample glasses.
While it is too early in the game to draw any conclusions, I think that it is pretty obvious that the cabbage is not introducing large numbers of yeast cells into the starter. If the cabbage was adding yeast, the samples with cabbage should be fermenting more rapidly.

I think that if from hereon, we see any increase in the rate of fermentation in the samples with cabbage it is likely that it will be caused by the breakdown of the leaves into sugars to be consumed by the yeast and bacteria. Or it is the partial result of wild yeast introduced by the cabbage undergoing a growth spurt following a reduction in pH (many types of yeast require acidic conditions for optimum growth).

3 comments:

Carri said...

Good Morning, Bob! I just formed the loaves of bread made from the starter I brewed up the night before using broccoli leaves that were covered in that white film.(that's 36 hours from leaf to bread!) The starter is in great shape, lots of bubbles. The control batch of just flour and water I started at mid-morning yesterday is very lackluster but does have some action and after another feeding might just perk right up. So in my book, the washing of the leaf in the water seemed to accelerate the process. Now, I think that the difference in what we are doing here is you were trying to ferment the cabbage...by not feeding it you were starving the yeast, therefore, it took a long time to get a reaction of any kind. Whereas, I, by feeding it regularly, created a warm happy environment (cause that's the kind of girl I am) for the yeast to grow and expand much quicker.

Bob del Grosso said...

Carri
I don't think that is what is happening here.
If the yeast had consumed all of the available sugar, there would have been signs of fermentation earlier on. But there was no obvious signs of yeast or bacterial growth until this morning. In other words, there is still plenty of food for the yeast and any bacteria and there is no need, in my case, to feed the samples.
Also, I'm not trying to ferment the cabbage -although given enough time that will happen- I'm looking for evidence that the flour water mixture is fermenting. Soory, if I did not make that clear.

tyronebcookin said...

Hey Bob, thanks for setting this up...its real interesting to me and I am glad to see your posting the results. I wonder why the others are getting the results they do...any chance of it being something like the properties of the cabbage being able to 'attract' more wild yeast out of the air, like a magnet per se?

Of course i am no scientist. Just askin'