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Sheri
5 Posts
Sheri
Bishop CA
USA

Posted - Apr 11 2018 :  1:47:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi, I'm Sheri from Bishop, CA. I started my counter mother last week and had great success the first few days, then she lost her bubbles and had a watery layer on top that continued to form even after stirring. I tried warming her up gently with a heating pad, and put her in the oven overnight with the oven light on, but she didn't recover. (I gave her several days, continued feeding, etc before I called it quits.) I am on my second attempt, but the odd thing is that my mom, who lives 7 hours away, had a very similar experience when her counter mother reached Day 4 (today). We are both using Kamut berries that we are grinding at home. Any thoughts on what we may be doing wrong?

Ashley
288 Posts
Ashley
MOSCOW Idaho
USA

Posted - Apr 11 2018 :  2:02:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Sheri, and welcome to the chatroom! Are you feeding your mother 2 times a day? A little water on the top of your mother is normal and should be stirred back in, as long as your mother smells pleasantly sour and doesn't have any questionable growths. I wouldn't be concerned about the water forming on the top, but the absence of bubbles is puzzling. When your mother reached this stage, did it smell overly alcoholic?

Ashley Ogle
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Sheri
5 Posts
Sheri
Bishop CA
USA

Posted - Apr 11 2018 :  6:36:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Ashley, thanks so much for your response to my post. No, she didn't smell alcoholic, but she didn't really smell pleasant, either. I am feeding her twice a day, and I'm using purified water instead of tap water. I believe my mom is using well water. My counter mother just sort of seemed to not be active at all anymore. I'm trying to keep my new mother at a consistent temperature - she is on my stove top during the day, under the light, and at night I'm putting her in the oven with the light on, as our home cools off a good bit overnight. I did this with my original mother, too. Is this procedure ok?

Sheri
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MaryJane
122 Posts
MaryJane
MOSCOW Idaho
USA

Posted - Apr 11 2018 :  8:35:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Welcome Sheri! Are your Kamut berries organic to ensure they haven't been treated with fumigants or anything like that because some of the critters needed to create a mother come from the surface of the berries. Also, I have a little device called an Acurite that sits on my counter giving me a current temperature as well as a high and low each day. It's available on Amazon and costs $8.50. If it were me, I'd want to make sure mother isn't getting too hot or too cold. That is why we like the proofer. It eliminates temperature problems.

MaryJane Butters, author of Wild Bread ~ for we were all one family then ~
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Sheri
5 Posts
Sheri
Bishop CA
USA

Posted - Apr 11 2018 :  9:17:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Mary Jane, thank you so much for your reply. Yes, the Kamut berries are organic. Thanks for the suggestion of the Acurite - I'll definitely check it out. My new counter mother has just had her fourth feeding (end of Day 2) and she has a few bubbles and she smells fresh and pleasant. I am paying much more attention to the temperature swings in my kitchen, and I'm hopeful that this will make me a better mama for my mother :) I'll hopefully be updating you with good news in a couple of days. Can't wait to taste that first freshly baked bite of wild bread!

Sheri

Edited by - Sheri on Apr 11 2018 9:19:33 PM
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MaryJane
122 Posts
MaryJane
MOSCOW Idaho
USA

Posted - Apr 12 2018 :  05:36:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good morning Sheri. I hope more temperature control does the trick for you.

In the last couple of years, we've always purchased the Kamut flour without any problems, but there was a time many years ago I used to purchased the Kamut berries. Next time we put in an order, I'll add some berries and then mill them here to see what happens when we use the milled flour to start a mother.

Sure hope you're successful this time around. We made 100% Kamut bread last week. Turned out beautiful! And oh so tasty.

MaryJane Butters, author of Wild Bread ~ for we were all one family then ~
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Ashley
288 Posts
Ashley
MOSCOW Idaho
USA

Posted - Apr 12 2018 :  10:58:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Itís good that your mother is starting to form bubbles and has a pleasant smell. Hopefully she continues to bubble up! It could be a temperature issue. In the first few days when youíre trying to establish fermentation, the mother can be a little finicky. I did think of another question...are you using a strong-smelling laundry detergent for the towels you use to cover your mother?

Also, Iíve actually been milling Kamut berries at the farm and using the flour to maintain our refrigerator mothers and bake bread, MaryJane just didnít know that. During the book writing/recipe testing phase we were ordering just the flour from http://www.montanaflour.com/, which is where the Kamut berries that Iíve been milling came from as well.

Ashley Ogle
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Sheri
5 Posts
Sheri
Bishop CA
USA

Posted - Apr 12 2018 :  12:20:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you both so much for your encouragement. She is making a few bubbles this morning, and I have been making granola this morning so my kitchen is warm. I ordered the Acurite thermometer last night...should be here early next week. I'm using Dr. Bonner's citrus pure Castille soap to wash my towels and I'm drying them outside on the clothesline. I'm washing the towels after about three days because they get a little residue in the center - nothing gooey, just a golden brown stain. It washes right out. Is that normal? Thanks also for the additional source for the Kamut berries!

Sheri
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Ashley
288 Posts
Ashley
MOSCOW Idaho
USA

Posted - Apr 12 2018 :  1:20:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's good that you're swapping the towels out regularly, and the brown stain is normal. I brought up the laundry soap thinking about how chemicals can wreak havoc on a mother, but since you're using castile soap, I don't think that's the problem.

I love the Kamut flour and berries we get from Montana Flour. They ship fast, and the flour is always fresh.

Ashley Ogle
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Sheri
5 Posts
Sheri
Bishop CA
USA

Posted - Apr 12 2018 :  2:39:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good to know. Thank you, Ashley.

Sheri
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