I've started my first starter and I wanted to make sure I was on the right track. I started simple: one cup unbleached King Arthur bread flour and filtered well water. The mixture looks like pancake batter. Its in a plastic container covered with a damp paper towel (with a small hole ripped in the center).
There were bubbles in less than 12 hours. Within three days it was frothy. However, after four days, there is no more froth. Also, all along there hasn't seemed to be any expansion/contraction going on. Maybe I'm missing it, but the sides of the container don't show any evidence of streaking.
During this time, I've fed it every 24 hours and kept it in an area that is always approx. 75 degrees with no direct sunlight. The smell is pleasantly "beery" and the liquid (hooch?) separates daily.
I guess the crux of my question is does the frothing stop at some point and does the expansion/contraction necessarily take place if the ratio of flour to water is equal?