Not yet. It may be tempting to start using the starter now, but for now, keep doing the daily routine of discarding and feeding. A functional starter is dominated by lactobacillus bacteria (which produce acid) and acid tolerant yeast. Before the bacteria start producing acid, other microbes are competing with the yeasts. These microbes, often […]
Have you found any Bacillus thuringiensis growing in there? I hear it likes to grow in grain silos and dirt of course.
We are still investigating all of the microbial species we have found in sourdough starters. Stay-tuned, as we expect to publish these results in a scientific journal within the year.
Do we need to record the diameter of the jar, as well as the height of the starter’s rise? Will a wider jar not cause the starter to react differently, to a starter in a narrow jar, as there will be more exposure to the air?
Indeed, one of the questions in the data entry portal will ask you for the diameter of the jar. Ultimately, we want to calculate the total volume rise. As long as we know the diameter, starting height, and ending height, we can get a sense of the leavening. As for whether the diameter […]
I would like to make a sourdough that is not too sour. Is there a way to start with this goal? (Question from Jennifer Van Vickle)
Your best bet here would be fermenting your loaf at a cooler temperature for part of the process, or refrigerating your starter for some time in between re-feedings (i.e. feeding your starter at 6am, letting it rest at room temperature until 6pm, refrigerating in overnight, and then taking it out of the fridge […]
RRD: Our lab is closed now (as are all the labs we depend on). Once they re-open we will be sequencing a subset of starters from this new phase of the project and a handful of old starters from around the world that help us fill in some gaps in the Global Sourdough […]
How much does the composition of a starter evolve over the course of years – is a starter this year the same as it was three years ago?
EAL: This is something that we’re interested in understanding better. We have good evidence that starters can remain relatively stable over time in terms of the species of yeast and bacteria that are present, but we haven’t measured how individual species are evolving genetically.
AAM: We have a number of research projects underway. Some of the findings are published, some are available in a preliminary form, and some are still being investigated. Stay connected with our social media sites and newsletters to hear more as we continue to share our findings. In the interim, we suggest reading […]
EAM: Sourdough starters (especially those made with whole grain flours) contain minerals including potassium, phosphate, magnesium, and zinc. However, phytase and other plant compounds in flour bind these nutrients, preventing us from digesting them. The microbial digestive enzymes and low pH in sourdough starters both work to degrade phytic acid, releasing those micronutrients […]