There are two main reasons that you may want to create your own batch of dried starter.
1. You go on a long vacation or something, and your starter dies.
2. You want to pass the starter on to family or friends.
Regardless… as with a computer system… it is good to have a backup.
Here is my method first, followed by the method extracted from Carl’s Brochure.
Drying your own starter
Cover a dish or a pan with plastic wrap or waxed paper to prevent sticking. After you have fed your starter and let it get active, pour some onto the covered dish. The thicker the layer the longer it will take to dry. I use a broiler pan and pour it 1/4 inch deep as I use a lot of it. This takes nearly a week to harden.
Set aside at room temperature till it gets brittle – may be a few days. Break into small pieces and grind in a blender, coffee grinder or food processor. There you are! It will keep a long time. The yeast has sporulated and will stay that way for years. At one time it was used to “chink” the walls in log cabins and some of that stuff has been reactivated.
If you have hard water in your area (hardness is graded from 1 to 14 with 7 being neutral and 14 the hardest), add 1/2 c of cider vinegar per 2 cups of water used in the sponge. This will cause it to rise better as it reacts with the soda. It is well to add 1 T of vinegar to your starter pot about once a month as it likes the acid environment.
If the water is too soft (less than 6) it may be well to add 1/2 t baking soda as a reading of 6 to 7 is best.
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