Compare 3 Starters, 1 w/sugar

Compare 3 Starters, 1 w/sugar

Benny started an interesting experiment that was right up my alley. He wanted to know the affect that sugar had on a SD starter. I am always looking to enhance the yeast in my starter. So here I go…

Images above and below show calibration before any readings were taken.

Image below shows pH reading of original starter after removal from fridge and warmed on counter for 2hr.

Below is pH of standard refreshed starter, mixed 1:1:1. NOTE – all feed flour was high protein white.

Below – No Sugar pH. Mixed 1:1.5:3 (~50% hydration)

Below – 33.3% sugar when calculated against the feed flour. Mixed 1:1.5:3:1 (starter:water:flour:sugar)

All 3 starter will be covered and placed in the proofer that is set to 80F.

Quadruple rise after 4hr on 1:1:1 – 100% hydration w/no sugar


pH at refresh was 4.52 – At maturity (image below) 4.19

1:1.5:3 matured in 6hr, ~4x rise

pH at refresh was 4.88 – At maturity (image below) 4.04 ~50% hydration w/no sugar

1:1.5:3:1 (starter:water:flour:sugar) ~3.25 rise after 7hr

pH at refresh was 4.84 – At maturity (image below) 4.51 ~50% hydration w/sugar

After the testing was complete, the probe was checked against a calibration solution of 4.01.

The original 1:1:1 lowered pH by 0.33
The stiffened starter 1:1.5:3 lowered pH by 0.84
The sugared starter 1:1.5:3:1 lowered pH by 0.33

NOTE – all 3 starters fermented @ 80F

Why is it others commonly report the pH of their refreshed starters higher than 5? And my refreshed starters are always in the high 4s?