South African Sourdough Starter - Day 1
Hi. I am a bit frustrated here. I bought 3 sourdough starters from sourdo.com, Ischia, Camaldoli and South African. I tried the Ischia for 7 days and then the Camaldoli for 7 days but neither would start. So 2 weeks later and after a lot of wasted flour I am trying the South African Sourdough starter which is for whole wheat. I have been doing everything exactly by the book (reading the instructions a 100 times and checking and double checking).
I started the South African Sourdough this morning at 90F for 24 hours. After about 5 hours it had about 1/4" of hooch on the top. Now 12 hours later it has about 1/4" of hooch about 1/2" up from the bottom, none at the top any more, but it does not smell really foul - just kind of like beer I guess. None of the other starters that didn't start ever had hooch on the bottom. The instructions say that if it has hooch on the bottom AND it smells bad that the starter has been contaminated and must be 'washed', but I guess one only does this after the first 24 hours. But my question is if it seems to smell ok (I think!) but the hooch is on the bottom it does not satisfy both tests, so is it contaminated or not?
I guess the other problem is maybe I don't know how bad it is supposed to smell to be contaminated and I have no reference to go by really.
Any advice? I've been emailing Ed Wood who I bought these starters from but he just keeps asking the same questions over and over (ie if I have followed the instructions) and now won't respond for 4 days.