Starting a Starter - The Transition
More out of curiosity than anything else, I've been playing around with a number of starters. OJ/rye. Water/rye.
There seems to be a common theme running in these efforts, and if it has happened to me so often, I figure others might have the same problem (or events). It shows up as a secondary stall period.
Basically, they get going on the rye, they will rise and double (1:1:1) starter:water:rye flour or get active and bubbly but not rise (OJ/Rye - first by adding 2T OJ: 2T rye to the base start). By the time you get the whole mix up to about 3/4 cup it is day 3 or 4 and the start comes alive and starts to bubble. For both methods (juice/rye - water/rye) the suggestion is to now convert them to 100% hydration starters, or 1:1:1 or 1:2:2 by weight and convert them from rye to AP whilte flour.
At this transition point, two out of three experiments have come to a halt. Nominal bubbles and no rise. After 24 hours, you might find a few bubbles on top, but nothing like they were doing before. All activity slows to a crawl.
I would attribute this to two possible factors: first, a different food source. AP flour vs. rye. Second, depending on the ratio of starter (say 1:1:1 vs 1:2:2) you go from an acidic environment to a basic one. The spent/expired/fallen starter is acid. Diluting it with water and flour changes the whole mix to more of a neutral pH. Perhaps this is a shock to the system?
I've not seen this advocated by anyone, but is there merit to make this a gradual transition? Say a 2:1:1 (starter:water:flour) and make the flour component a blend of rye and AP, increasing over time? Say increasing 25% per day over a 4 day period?
Or perhaps I'm the only lost soul who has experienced this problem? I might also add that almost all of this testing has taken place in a temp range of 62*-64*F. The assumption here was it would work, only that it would work more slowly.