What does your Sourdough Starter smell like?
I have read so many different descriptions of the smell of sourdough starters that I do not think that there is a concensus as to what it should smell like. I guess because starters raised in different areas impart different flavor profiles to the finished bread that it is natural that they would smell differently in their raw state.
I keep a good number of French and Italian wines and I dry cure a lot of salami and prociutto in my cellar so I would like to think that wild yeast and lactic and acetic bacteria are omnipresent in my house. It is a romantic notion but I guess that is why I do not have any trouble making and maintaining my sourdough starters.
I maintain a 100% hydration white bread flour starter and make my final build from there using different types of flours and hydration to suit the bread that I want to make. It was 'conceived' six months ago from the Hamelman's method. I keep it in the refrigerator and feed it once a week in a 1:2:2 ratio. The smell of my ripe white flour starter about 8 to 12 hours after feeding is a very pleasant fruity smell with a mixture of ripe (but not overipe) banana and apple. I only detect a very slight acidic smell but no excessive sourness. If I make the final build with whole wheat or rye, then I get more of the acidic and wheaty smell and less of the fruity smell.
I am curious to know how sourdough starters in different areas of the country (or the world) smell like.
Ps. I am located in Washington DC