Weekend Mail Bag 3

A gentleman by the name of Carl wrote in to ask:

I read your recent blog entries about starters from your blog with great interest. One thing that puzzles me is that you did not mentioned anything at all about what the temperature should be when you start a starter. Should the temperature of the environment during the elaboration of a starter be important?

Indeed it is Carl, thanks for bringing it up. All of the instructions I’ve posted to date call for leaving the starter culture at room temperature, which for most of us in the Western world is between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Common yeast and lactic acid bacteria generally thrive in that temperature range, and will grow even faster at temperatures warmer than that. This is why many people put their starters outside (on say, a porch) to grow in the summer time. The only problem with that is that depending on what bacteria you attract, some of them might not do so well later on, say, in the winter time in you kitchen. This won’t affect the performance of the starter, though it may impact the flavor profile.

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