Warning: Wicked Boring Entry: Starter [Lot No. 1025]

What's with this lot no., what am I, a quality control freak?
This blog is more than just exhibitionist cooking. Given how cheap hosting and disk space are these days, I've decided to keep my little cooking notes here. To bore you all. Blog entries satisfy my scientific habits of documentation. I can pull the entry back whenever I want and continue adding data.

The lot numbers? The only problem with a spot on the blog archives is it gets labeled with this ridiculously long url. I noticed the other day, I can create a symbolic link to a blog entry to look it up fast. For instance, davesbeer.com/1024 is the link for the fermenting batch of wine (currently gurgling away in my basement). So, when I give a bottle away, I plan to label the bottle with a lot number (the url). This way, when the recipient ends up in the emergency room, the doc can quickly go to his laptop, plug in the easy-to-remember url and find the details of the poison in his patient - directly from my site! Cool huh?

Today's entry is another fermentation project. Inspired by Deb's amazing artisan loaves a la Silverton's La Brea book, I'm going to begin a starter. And, since I have a lifelong problem with authority, I've decided to create the starter the way I believe it should be done. Here's the beginning of my effort. I'll pull this out again as I update it. This entry will have a link corresponding to davesbeer.com/1025.

03/15/04: Unbleached white flour, 400 g; Rye/Wheat (1:1, w/w), 100g; water, 250 g; 9 red globe grapes (I ate the 10th), mushed in the mixture. It was left to sit at room temperature (rt).
03/17/04: The mush was a seething, smelly, disgusting slop that was full of tiny gaseous pores. Excellent. Something was happening. I removed the grapes (and seeds) and discarded most of the mixture. I then added about 100 g unbleached white flour to the remaining batter and mixed it with a spoon to a slightly more stiff batter and let it sit overnight. It looked to be quite active by the morning. Tonight I'll dump out most of it and start a daily regimen of feeding with 100 g flour and 100 g water.
03/18/04: A smelly seething porridge indeed. It's very active. I discarded all but ca. 50 g and mixed in 120 g unbleached white flour (ubw) and 120 grams water. The next morning it had fermented nicely. Volume increase and very porous. I'll be repeating the procedure of discarding all but 50-100 grams and charging approximately 100 g flour and water nightly until my first use. I'll probably maintain it by feeding it every other night. I don't like refrigeration of starters. Too much time to do temp adjustments. I'm considering doing the first loaf on Sunday.

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