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How to dry and restart a culture from email@example.com (David Adams)
For long term culture storage, store your culture in dried powder form. Ed
Woods book doesn’t tell you how to do this right out, but I sort of
discovered it on my own. Actually I believe it is an old trick. Spread
a three foot long section of wax paper on the Table WAX SIDE UP. Smear one
tablespoon of fresh culture around evenly and thinly over the surface of
the wax paper. Let it dry overnight, and then scrape the dry flakes into
a bowl and crunch them (Mortal & pestle style) into small pieces. Put the
powder into a labeled zip lock bag and press the air out.
The culture forms spores when it starts to dry out. The culture will store
in a zip lock bag at normal temperatures like this for 6 months. It will
store even longer in the frezer.
I find that a zip-lock bag is very convenient way to carry a culture when
traveling or moving. Make sure the bag is labled and don’t flaunt those
little bags of white powder!
I find it convenient to do several sheets of wax paper at once. Then when
friends ask for a start I spoon two teaspoons into a new bag, and carry it
to work, or where ever I will see them next.
Another reason I find this convenient is that if you own several different
cultures, they don’t all have to occupy a bottle in the fridge at once.
And it is fairly easy to include a small zip-lock with a teaspoon or two of
start in a letter. An easy way to share starts.
Dr. Wood recomends the following steps for activating dried sourdough
Mix a couple of teaspoons of the dried powder with 1/2 cup of water at 95
to 100 deg F. Mix briefly and let stand for 15 min. Add 1/3 cup of white
bread flour, mix well and proof for 24 hours at 85 deg. F. (My start needs
12 hours.) “The jar lid should not be tightened. During the first 12 hours
the culture should be stirred once or twice as convenient.
“At the end of 24 hours the culture should start to bubble but the time
varies depending on which culture is to be activated. Regardless, add an
additional 1/2 cup of 85 deg. F. water and 1/2 cup of flour. Then stir
vigorously to whip some air into the mixture. Return it to your warm place
for 12 hours. When the culture has a layer of foamy bubbles on the
surface, it is ready to use.
Some of the cultures will fully activate in 24-48 hours, but some may
require 3 to 5 days. During this time, keep the culture at 85 deg. F., add
water and flour at about 12 hour intervals and stir briskly.” (Copied by
permission from information sheet sent with culture sample from Sourdoughs