Sluggish Starter (Tartine method)
I have been working on developing a starter based on the method in the Tartine Bread book over the past few weeks. My starter seems sluggish and is not doubling. Several posts have addressed similar sounding problems with relatively broad ranging solutions. As a novice, I don't have the intuition to decipher which is best for my situation, so I would appreciate any suggestions!
I have been feeding at 1:2:2 by weight with a flour mixture (equal parts bread and whole wheat flour) and bottled water. My kitchen was cold, so I have been storing the starter in a cabinet with a hot water bottle to maintain 70-75F for the last week. (This didn't appear to have any major impact on behavior.) The starter increases in volume by about 50-75% after feeding over the course of 12-14 hours and then begins to fall. Based on the forum discussions, I decided to test whether or not I was underfeeding, overfeeding, or not feeding with enough frequency by dividing my starter into 3 batches that I maintain separately. The starter fed 1:1:1 every 24 hours was far less active, but there is no obvious difference between the starters fed once and twice daily at 1:2:2.
Perhaps it is just a matter of waiting a little longer for the yeast to become better established. That said, it is not showing signs of maturing, so I wonder if I should tweak the conditions (e.g. change hydration, add rye or something acidic). I also am curious if the long rise time is a problem or if the starter will become more responsive as it matures. I am hoping to draw on your collective wisdom for my next steps. Thank you!