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Rob_grill_apprentice

Using spreadsheets for sourdough starter conversions

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I finally have setup one spread sheet for sourdough starters, it includes maintenance for 125% starter , and to be able to change to a different hydration.   I tested it and numbers are correct.   Tested changing from 100% to 125% then changing to 60% and back to 125%.   Baker’s math is correct.     All I have to enter is current hydration % of starter to be used, desired % hydration for starter, what percentage Original starter to be in final desired starter, lastly how much starter to be made.     I did this because once I am done  with the recipes using yeasted pre-ferments In 16 weeks, I will be doing the levain (sourdough) breads followed by sourdough rye bread.


I really like using spreadsheets because it makes doing the calculations much easier. 
 

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    The best sourdough I ever made was bread I made in the mountains of Montana as a caretaker at a guest ranch........ it began with ordinary baker's yeast, which I used or waffles............ I neglected it after a few months ( I was in the mountains for 9 months), and in the spring I was snowed in for 21 days with over 3' of heavy wet snow.    Running short of supplies, I made sourdough bread from my "dead" starter...... a sediment under several inches of liquid.   Rise time was close to 24 hours at 80+F temp, and I cooked it in a wood cookstove.  The product was to die for!!!   Lovely sour flavor, nice texture.  I didn't use spreadsheets, I just added flour and water until I got the correct product.

    Don't make it complicated....... it's simple.......... it's not rocket science!!!   I use kefir (home made culture) these days for sourdough.  Yeast, and Lactobacillus.  The key is SLOW.  If it rises fast, the yeast is too strong, and you won't get the desired sour tang.

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My background is process chemistry manufacturing where most inputs were weighed and some metered in.    I do my bread making the same way as that was how I was trained.  The reason I prefer to weigh everything so that if something works well with bread recipe and I like it, I then can scale it up to larger amount etc.  

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