The Fresh Loaf

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starter smells like vinegar

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petebert's picture
petebert

starter smells like vinegar

I got some friendship starter around 7 months ago, decided to convert it to a flour/milk starter for the last 6 months. Its been producing a delicous beer smell. I needed a whole bunch of the starter for some pizza dough about 3-4 days ago, used almost everything in the bowl. Decided I'd add 1 cup flour 1 milk like normal and just see what happens.


Was surprised to see it bubbling within hours but it now smells like vinegar. Whats the deal? I keep it on my kitchen counter in a bowl with plastic wrap. Its whatever temp my house is, 68 for most of the winter but now with nice weather and windows open it can be anywhere from 60 to 80°.


 


 

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

Personally, I prefer to keep my main starter simple ...fed with plain water and unbleached white all-purpose flour.  If I want to experiment with alterations, i.e. rye or whole-wheat starter or a milk starter, then I will use the original start to start a second and play with that one ...never messing with the mother load so to speak.  By changing what you feed it, you are changing the nutrition for the micro-critters and you will cause them to go down a different metabolic pathway, and some of those pathways may take a few feedings for them to stabilize.  it's all fun.  It sounds to me like your starter did just what I described ...took a detour ...then back ...and came out different.  That's what I'd expect.  I also expect that if you consistently feed it with flour/water like you used to, then it will eventually recover back to what is stable for that environment. 


 


Brian


 

petebert's picture
petebert

I've never fed water/flour, started with the amish flour/milk/sugar. After about a month went to just flour/milk and maintained that for months.


Ran the bowl down to nothing but scrapings the other day, put flour/milk in and got vinegar. I did another flour/milk feeding and it seems to be recovering. Almost smells like a dough now, just not the good beer smell yet.