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+++ Sourdough Build Stage 1: After 24 hours +++

with 12 comments

Starting a new rye sourdough:

German baking teacher Walter-Gerhard Sackl-Gutruf advises his students to start a new sourdough culture every 3-4 months, should they maintain one in their bakeries. Mine is about 2.5 years old at least.

Sourdough build. Stage 1: After 24 hours

The above shows a mixture of 40g rye flour, 10 rye meal and 50g water after 24 hours. Going to refresh it with 50g rye flour and 50g water later tonight.

Will the weakling culture gain strength and develop into … sourdough!?


…I’m not sure. Stay tuned.

Written by theinversecook

8 September 2009 at 22:25

Posted in Recipe, Uncategorized

12 Responses

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  1. I am taking German Breads at SFBI this week. The teacher, Thorsten Philippi, comes from Germany and he also recommends changing the rye sour every three months. He says it’s too difficult to guarantee consistent results if you keep it longer.


    9 September 2009 at 06:47

    • Hi MC, that’s good to hear, I wasn’t sure if it was a mere bakery-hygiene guideline or in fact something affecting the baking results. Perhaps all types of other wild yeast or fungi are being collected by the starter and that changes it. To the worse or better, that is the question…


      9 September 2009 at 14:28

  2. I never thought I’d live to see the day you’d plug a 4chan meme on this blog. Don’t know what to think. As for my rye starter, it’s only a couple weeks old (the old starter died during the process of moving) and so far I’ve been happy with the results


    9 September 2009 at 07:38

    • I’ve had the pondering dinosaur on my hd for a long time, so I didn’t track down its controversial place of birth. Thanks for letting me know :-)

      My starter is looking good. Has doubled after 36 hours, 12 hours after its last feeding. Didn’t think it would fermento so quickly literally overnight. Smells good but might be very weak.


      9 September 2009 at 14:26

  3. Hi Nils

    I find this a bit weird. I don’t set any great store by the age of a rye starter but my rye starter came from Andrew Whitley at the Village Bakery when I did a course there in 2000. He was supposed to have brought this back from a Russian bakery and the starter was supposed to be over a hundred years old. This might be a load of old cobblers but I have been maintaining it for nine years. I’ve been really getting into rye in the past several months and am just amazed by the way the starter performs. On the other hand, Paul Merry reckons that rye is so fecund that there is no point in keeping a starter at all – just knock one up 48 hours before you need it.

    Any thoughts?



    10 September 2009 at 01:04

    • Hi Mick,

      my old starter smells sweet without any noticable sharp acidity. Could be good, however I noticed that the rye breads gradually started to taste different over the last year, so I’m wondering if that’s normal or a sign of ‘infection’ with additional strains of fungi. I’ve been refreshing it once a week and it rises and is effectively doing its job.

      So I can positively say that keeping a functional starter alive for more than 2.5 years is possible in my fridge (quite amazingly with all the stuff that’s in there). Perhaps I will get an idea about how much the old starter has changed when I bake with the new one, so I am quite anxious to try it.



      10 September 2009 at 13:37

  4. Hi Nils,

    I am wondering what type of rye flour did you used to start your rye starter? In Germany there are many types of rye flour. For example, there are 997, 1150, 1180, and 1370, and 1740.


    11 September 2009 at 11:55

    • Hi Sven,
      thanks. I’ve used whole-rye flour. I’ve seen bakers using Type 1150 too, or still lighter.


      11 September 2009 at 15:00

  5. Thanks for the info, Nils. I wonder how this new rye sourdough will taste in comparison to the rye sourdough you have been using for 2.5 years. I guess we will all have to wait and see.


    11 September 2009 at 23:12

    • So far so good. I expect it to taste good but not drastically different from my old one. But I’ll use the new one over next couple of weeks to be sure.


      12 September 2009 at 11:19

  6. Hiya Nils

    I didn’t start a new starter but I might have genetically modified my old rye starter.

    Don’t know how you develop a second sense but I got up on Friday morning at 5.00 a.m. with alarm bells ringing and realised all my starter was in the dough of the Thanksgiving Bread that had been fermenting overnight in the fridge.

    So I picked out a piece of dough and pulled out as many bits of pecans and cranberries as I could and refreshed it.

    Seems fine. I’ve refreshed it again and sieved it and it’s bubbling happily.

    If it does anything less than take over the planet I’ll let you know.

    Best wishes,



    30 November 2009 at 02:14

    • Hi Mick,

      the planet, no less. Until it runs into my new starter, of course. Sourdough is forgiving it seems, but cranberries and pecans are not the worst company either.

      I’ve changed flours for feeding the starters a lot lately, and so far I haven’t gotten into trouble; the luxury of home-baking, mix, wait and see what happens, no need for consistenz results. Also tried some French flour, but the difference to German flour was not really drastic.



      30 November 2009 at 21:47

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