Starter and water
Do starters get used to a particular water? My starter is some years old now and very vigourous. I always use the same make of flour and my home tap water. I have given starter and instructions to friends who seem to have big problems with it. Then recently I took some of the starter to my boat and attempted to make bread. I was amazed. instead of responding as usual, the dough just didn't rise.
Usually I activate the starter in the morning using 10g starter, 20 g water and 30g bread flour, In the evening I take 50 g starter, add 50 g each of bread flour and water, mix, leave overnight (by which time it usually very bubbly) and make up the dough in the morning to bake at night. Well, the starter didn't go bubbly overnight. I carried on and made my dough - but it didn't rise and took over 24 hours to be ready to bake! The remaining 10g starter I fed as usual to make my next starter and again, nothing really happened.
Got the poorly performing starter home, fed it here - and POW !! It was back to usual strength and made a lovely loaf.
The ONLY thing I can think of that was different is the water. The tap water where the boat is tastes different - is starter SO sensitive to water? Would it have performed OK if I had got it used to mineral water and used the same mineral water at the boat?