A Few Questions
I'm brand new to sourdough and after reading through various materials and experiencing two failed attempts at getting a starter going, I'd like to ask a couple of questions please.
How critical is a steady temperature to getting a starter to take off? I live in a drafty cabin that we heat with a non-airtight woodstove, so we experience no such thing as a "constant temperature" - much less one of 70-80 degrees.
What's the longest amount of time one could expect a starter to take to become ready for use? I let my first attempt go for about two weeks before getting cold feet and tossing it. The second batch I kept in my oven with the pilot light on, thinking that it may provide a more draft-free, constant temperature. I thought it was doing slightly better than the first batch and after about a week it appeared to be ready, but I didn't have good results with it so I tossed it too.
I've read over some of the information on this site and now feel inspired to try for attempt number three using a slightly different tactic. I'm going to start with whole wheat instead of all purpose since I've learned that the whole wheat contains more wild yeast. And that leads me to my third question, is it okay to alternate the types of flour I feed the starter with?
If and when I ever get a starter truly started, I’ll probably have a few more questions but thanks in advance to any who care to offer insight or suggestions on these! :)