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ElsieD

Establishing and Working with Homegrown Sourdough Starter

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On 4/26/2017 at 9:44 AM, lindag said:

Could the odor have come from the container?

I never did find out as I pitched both starters and started again, this time with great success. The smell of nail polish has not returned to any starter I have on the go now. I have two: a whole wheat starter and an AP starter both of which I have successfully baked from.

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On 3/14/2017 at 5:47 AM, Soupcon said:

Updates? Sure. I am glad you asked.

The one on the counter smelled of nail polish remover. I can't for the life of me figure out what would cause so it must be some strange bacteria from somewhere.... either in the flour or picked up in the house. I have just pitched it as I can's seem to get the smell to go away even after a few refreshments.

The one in the fridge is still in hibernation. I am not sure what to do with that one. Any suggestions?

 

I would not throw it out. It happens to my starter as well, if left out of the fridge for a few days without a refresh of flour. 

 

The root cause is Ethyl Acetate. I think, but not 100% sure, it's caused by the yeast running out of food and being left at ambient temperatures.

 

I follow Ken Forkish's method for Sourdough starter, so when this happens (normally caused by lazyness or forgetting to put into the fridge after a bake), I simply remove all but 50g of starter, refresh with new flour and water, let it sit for a day at ambient temperature, and then pop back into the fridge.

 

Cheers

Luke

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Hi all

My second starter (the really active one from which I have had some good bakes with AP flour and 1 bake using whole wheat) is now acting quite strange. I confess I left it out on the bench for 2 days without refreshing and when I remembered it, it had of course completely run out of food but there was no hooch at all. So I continued as usual. Next the starter decided to act really sluggish and took 24 hours to double or more so I increased the number of feeds to speed it up and it did oblige for a while and then slowed right down again. So I switched flours to a commercial brand (Robin Hood AP non bleached for those Canadians following this thread) and it again went into overdrive to the point where my ratios are 1:4:4. At 1:2:2 the starter more than doubled in 8 and appeared to be trending down to 7 or 6 hours consistently. So I increased the ration to 1:4:4. Now the starter takes 9 hours one refreshment to more than double and 15 to 18 hours the next refreshment. Huh? This has continued for the past 4 days. What on earth is happening and can it be fixed?

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