So I set myself a challenge this week. Create a new starter and bake bread within a week. The bread I have in mind is a Hamelman recipe and he always uses (or often uses, atleast) a high hydration Levain of 125% hydration. So my new starter will be the same. I also think that logically it would be faster as a higher hydration starter ferments quicker. I also don't wish for cross contamination so I'm one step ahead and use new containers. Cutlery washed thoroughly a few times since I've last used them for baking. A clean slate, as it were. So here is the timescale so far...
Sunday early evening : mix together 50g boiled water (cooled) and 40g bread flour. Left on radiator for a few hours then into a cupboard overnight. Don't keep my radiator on through the night or when I'm at work.
Monday morning : the beginnings of activity are present with small bubbles on top. I leave it for now.
Monday evening : risen and smelling a bit funky. Leuconostoc. Add another 50g water and 40g bread flour. Back in top of heater for a few hours then into the cupbard. Fully expecting the quiet period now.
Tuesday morning : risen again! and still smelling funky. Take off 90g and feed again 50g water and 40g bread flour. Into the cuoboard it goes. Tell myself it's just a continuation of the leuconostoc stage and it'll be quiet when I get home.
Tuesday night (tonight) : risen again and bubbling. Smell is still a bit funky but not as bad. Mixture is separating somewhat with water on the bottom. Get rid of most of it and feed 100g water and 80g flour. Mix. Smells more like yoghurt now. Better! Back on the heater it goes. Within 2 hours it's bubbling again and separating with top blown. Give it a good stir and could actually hear it fizz. Back on the heater. An hour later more bubbling and separating. Decided to discard most of it again! and just top up with flour to thicken it up. 45min later it has risen once again. Two big discards and feeds within 2 hours. No slowing down. Beginning to smell nicer too.
What have I done right (or wrong!)? I'm almost thinking I've screwed up something and wondering if I've created a starter or something not as friendly. I shall keep at it but the beast is hungry.