Rye Starter Acetone Smell: When is it ok, and when is it bad?
I've just tried starting my first sourdough starter! I'm using a recipe that requires just a small amount of rye flour and water, and started it last Monday night, on a 24 hour feeding schedule. The last time I fed it (increments of 30ml of water to 30g of rye flour, discarding 1/3 each time) was last night at 7pm. Today is day 7. The starter is doubled by the time I wake up in the morning, and just kind of hangs out until I feed it again in the evening. It only falls a little bit, stays full of bubbles and develops no hooch. There's no mold in it. Color looks fine. The consistency is that of thick oatmeal - not too wet, but easy to stir.
But the smell...I can't tell whether it's bad or good.
I don't usually stick my nose in it until it's time for its next feeding. By that time, I definitely smell some alcohol, like the nail polish remover acetone thing lots of people talk about, but I also smell yeast and even some deep, dark, fermented fruity scent down there, like wine. The smell is not overpowering, vomit inducing, or even filling up the house (I keep the starter on a dark shelf, room temperature, which hovers around 25C-27C this past week), but I definitely get a strong noseful when I first open it up.
Once I stir in the new flour and water, the smell just kind of goes back to the smell of wet rye flour and a little ferment. Not strong.
I've been searching all over the internet, and am increasingly frustrated to see some people say that the second it smells like nail polish remover to dump it immediately and start over, while others say it just means the starter is active, hungry, and to feed it again. Still others say that a young, week old starter will be full of all kinds of smells, and to just keep on as it is and let it develop for another week or longer. Another place said that it's the rye flour that creates that kind of smell, compared to other flours.
Is the acetone smell ok in moderation? When does an acetone smell start meaning your starter needs to be discarded? I'm really confused and wondering how to proceed. My gut tells me that it's the hungry starter acetone smell, but I really need your opinions, too. I've got 10 hours to wait til the next feeding, and I can smell the acetone, alcohol, deep dark fruity fermenty yeast combination clearly now, in my puffed up, bubbly starter. Does this sound ok to you?