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05/23/08 04:28 AM  
Sourdough bread Question
Gday guys

Sorry to start a thread that may be a little off topic for beer, but I am trying to start a sourdough bread starter, and I figured you would be the guys to ask this question - is sourdough bread the same kind of sour as a sourmash? Should I put a handful of grain in there, as it is covered in lactobacillus, or is it a little more complex than that? Its been a while since I have been on here, but am about to bottle my Wy berliner yeasted beer, and will post my thoughts on the taste (after checking to see if there is already a thread for that of course!)

Thanks in advance for any input, I will be back after the weekend, and then be visitng here alot more regularly.

All the best


05/23/08 06:48 AM  
Re: Sourdough bread Question
Hi, this is Steve's wife Anne.

Sourdough bread is a lot like a sour mash. A sourdough starter is generally made with local yeasts from the air. Take 1 cup of flour, mix with 1 cup of water, and let sit in an open container for at least 24 hours. The tricky part can be telling whether the starter is "good".

More complete directions can be found online at www.sourdoughhome.com

Mike T
05/23/08 08:52 AM  
Re: Sourdough bread Question
To get this back on topic, Iím brewing a rye beer this weekend that will be fermented with a beer starter made from a San Francisco sourdough starter.

I got it from http://fermentedtreasures.com/sourdough.html along with some ginger beer plant. I understand that it will slowly be taken over by my local flora, but I figure the $8 was worth the easy start.

Seanywonton (Sean White)
05/23/08 12:38 PM  
Re: Sourdough bread Question
Uhh...Good luck with the beer man. I hope you get some nice bugs out of the sourdough starter and not too many funky ones.

As far as bread goes, a sourdough starter can be made from ambient yeast and bacteria, but it will take a while. It will start slowly. As it speeds up you will need to feed it more regularly and it might be ready in 2 weeks, but i would not use it sooner. The longer you keep it going, the stronger it will be.

05/28/08 07:22 PM  
Re: Sourdough bread Question
Thanks for the replies, guys and gals. FWIW, I put some crushed malt (about 1/4oz) into 4oz of wheat flour, and added that to my sourdough starter on day 3 as it looked like nothing was really happening. It took off very well after that, and I made my first loaf with it a few days ago - very happy, though a little nervous as I bottle all my beer in the kitchen, not a worry for bug beers, but a little bit of a worry for normal beers!

The bread wasnt as sour as I had hoped at one week of starter, as you pointed out Sean, but I will keep it going until 2 weeks before making more bread.

Good luck with the sourdough beer, Mike, I hope that it turns out great.

All the best


PS Thanks for the link, Anne, I also found a breadmaking forum that deals alot with sourdoughs, and it was started by a guy that wrote a chapter in The Cooks Book, Dan Lepard, that really improved my breadmaking. The forum is at danlepard.com for future reference.

I'll try and keep all my posts from now on beer related. T.

05/29/08 01:27 PM  
Re: Sourdough bread Question
I made a sourdough starter a couple of years ago using a method similar to that described by Anne above, originally gleaned from the book "World Sourdoughs from Antiquity," by Ed Wood. I performed the collection in the summertime, and the fermentation took off within 24 hours (this is on the North American west coast), making a fine bread that has improved with each batch; I am still using the original starter culture, but plan to take another this summer to compare results.

Last year I brewed a beer using this culture, from a turbid mash of 33% unmalted winter wheat and 66% Dingeman's pilsner malt (a lambic mash), and just tasted it a few days ago: at a year old, it is very much like a berliner weisse in character, and probably ready to keg or bottle as is. I am definitely going to try this again asap, maybe using more of a berliner weisse mash this time around.

Does anyone know how long berliners are typically left to ferment?

05/29/08 02:49 PM  
Re: Sourdough bread Question
Ron Pattinson's blog has a ridiculous amount of accurate (primary source) information on Berliner Wiesse.
05/29/08 03:10 PM  
Re: Sourdough bread Question
Wow, I'd say so -- thanks for the tip.
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