The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sour Dough Starter

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Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

Sour Dough Starter

Hi all - I just started some new SD starters last week-end. Two are looking and doing great including SD Lady's starter. One smells like Acetone - fingernail polish remover - is this normal or shall I dump it and start over?

Thanks All

Trish

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

I have heard several other people say that their starters have smelled that way in the early stages. Just continue on with your feedings and it should go away. What are the ingredients in this starter?

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

I've been adding 2 oz. organic rye, 2oz. organic whole wheat and 2 oz of water. Now this recipe doesn't say anything about throwing some out before adding fresh ingredients - maybe I should try that or more feedings as suggested below. It can't hurt to experiment ... Thanks for the reply.

 Trish

mij.mac's picture
mij.mac

Acetone, is a byproduct of fermentation when things aren't going well. It is a sure sign that you haven't fed the starter enough and to make things worse I'm told that if your starter 'learns' this trick of survival it will readily flip to this mode of fermentation whenever it isn't getting quite as much food as it wants. Most websites recommend a type of feeding that just isn't sufficient for healthy starter growth. You have two options, feed your starter lots and never starve it from now on, or dump it and start again. A friend of mine makes beer and tells me that his is common if you ferment at to high a temperature, which could be the same as not having enough food to satisfy needs for that temperature range.

mac

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

I am going to try and bring it back around in fact I'm going in to work on all my starters in a few minutes. I'll let everyone know how it goes.