volunteer culture failure

Epic fail. Thing wot I made then didn't eat. Bleh.

epic_fail_volunteer_bread.jpg

You know what they say: if you fall of your horse then pick yourself up, dust yourself off, shoot that stupid-ass horse in the head and get yourself another one. Or something. I was never any good at axioms.

For the life of me, I do not understand why this culture rejected so thoroughly the refined white flour. That's the point where it all went downhill, and this confounds me greatly. I have suffered a crushing defeat, and you know what this demands don't you? More experiments, that's what.

This culture worked astonishingly well starting off with the assistance of added heat, which assisted only to the point of a regular hot summer day, or perhaps a regular day on the Serengeti or maybe Death Valley, and nothing beyond. 95℉ / 35℃ max, and that's hardly very hot. It even did surprisingly well at the next stage at room temperature, which here right now averages 75℉ / 24℃. It grew to three times it's starting height as observed through the jar at a much faster pace than ordinary cultures at that lower temperature, although more slowly than with the added heat. But then, when the refined white flour was added, which should have made things even easier, faster, and more mind-blowingly virile, the whole thing went flat. Flat as clay and just as dead. Nothing, and I mean nothing could coax the sponge to activity, and that was most depressing. It smelled bad. It felt wrong. I didn't like it, and it didn't like me.

So I'm back to square one.

Actually, I'm back to square 1, square 1.b and square 1.B. I started three new trials simultaneously, we obsessed types are like that. Plus there's nobody around here to yell at me.

Experiment square 1 is starting over with flour from the same grain as before except milled the ordinary way instead of using the coffee grinder like before, and assisting the first stage with additional heat to 95℉ / 35℃ exactly as before.

Experiment 1.b is the exact same culture that was reserved from the first batch before it was fed refined flour and subsequently failed. This culture was chilled, as usual, and it was taken out and fed again at room temperature with more of the same whole wheat flour and water, and it did rejuvenate but not very well. It' is now being assisted with additional heat, just like before this all went so terribly bad.

Experiment 1.B is flour from the same grain, with water, activating at room temperature without the benefit of any assisting heat. I read in a book to do this and to give it 24 hours, so I thought, "eh, what the heck." It is activating, but it's doing so extremely slowly and unenthusiastically. So far, I'm not impressed.

So that's two trials with heat and one without assisting heat.

I'm not keeping precise records on these trials because I'm a careless and rather dull scientist and I doubt anybody else is interested in those details. And besides, if climatologists can get away with careless crap science with so much at stake then so can I.


To review, these were the steps that led to this disastrous waste, from grinding the grain to start the culture in the coffee grinder through additional feeding at room temperature with flour from that same grain milled the customary way, to final feeding with refined white flour that led to collapse. Not shown, the fermented sponge worked into loaves and final rising, to tell the truth, there wasn't much to show except enervated lifeless sponge that could hardly be termed dough and wasn't worth the garbage bag it was put in.

volunteer_starter_series.jpg

volunteer_series_2.jpg


volunteer_series_final.jpg





1 comment:

Carl said...

Sorry to hear your culture didn't panned out for you. My culture is a bit sluggish and not at its peak performance.

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