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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1 month old barm and and I am looking for help on how to control it’s sourness. Right now it is refrigerated when not in use and refreshed every 3 days but it still is not where I want it to be. Any ideas? Thanks.
 

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What is the consistency? A dryer sourdough emphasizes different microbes than a wetter sourdough... which can have differing impacts on sourness.

It's still very young. I would not be refrigerating at that point.

This may help you. It talks about the microbiology and the two resulting acids. There are many other sources of such info but this looks like a good balance between detail and summary.

http://discovermagazine.com/2003/sep/featscienceof
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What is the consistency? A dryer sourdough emphasizes different microbes than a wetter sourdough... which can have differing impacts on sourness.

It's still very young. I would not be refrigerating at that point.

This may help you. It talks about the microbiology and the two resulting acids. There are many other sources of such info but this looks like a good balance between detail and summary.

http://discovermagazine.com/2003/sep/featscienceof
It is a wetter consistency. Is there an approximate time as to how long I should leave it out considering it is already developed? Or do I just leave it out and refresh it as usual until the desired taste and smell is reached?
 

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It is a wetter consistency. Is there an approximate time as to how long I should leave it out considering it is already developed? Or do I just leave it out and refresh it as usual until the desired taste and smell is reached?
Since the starter is active, you already have the yeasts to leaven, barely. The bacteria culture is what is going to give you your sour flavor. Assuming you are looking for a more sour flavor there a few options:

1. Refresh less frequently. give the good, flavor contributing bacteria time to develop.
2. Adjust your recipe to use more of the starter.
3. Adjust the hydration of your starter. A drier starter will promote more acetic acid while a wetter starter harbors lactic acid.
4. Add whole grain flour to your starter or dough. Acid producing bacteria love it!
5. Cold proof your loaves, typically overnight. The longer any dough proofs, the more flavor it develops.

For my sourdough I add whole wheat to the dough, long dough autolyse with the starter, and an overnight proof in the cooler.
 

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Good advice here.
I recently read an article from the professional baking world that recommends NOT holding a levain, or barm, or starter for more then a year. Someone did research and found some new information.
The natural yeasts are what gives the whole thing flavor, but after a while, the amount the mixture can except slowly degrades.

Interesting stuff.
 

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Good advice here.
I recently read an article from the professional baking world that recommends NOT holding a levain, or barm, or starter for more then a year. Someone did research and found some new information.
The natural yeasts are what gives the whole thing flavor, but after a while, the amount the mixture can except slowly degrades.

Interesting stuff.
If you don't mind, could you post a link to that article?
 

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I work at a bakery only using natural yeast as leveners. Controlling your sourness is done thru temperature and proof time control and percent of leaven.
When feeding your starter, only add about 10 to 15% levean.
Temp your water and dough after you mix and keep a log. Makes it easier to make educated judgments. Shoot for 27°C dough temp.
We always keep ours at room temp and feed every 12 hours. The final doughs only have up to 20% levains so our starters are not huge (maybe 2 gal for an entire wholesale production bakery) so there shouldn't be much waste when you do feeds. We toss maybe 2 tablespoons a day. Hope this helps.. v
 
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