Starter/Levain Smells Like Trash
Having not baked in a few months, I recently re-started some starters on my kitchen counter. I began with the german sourdough starter from Daniel Leader's Local Bread, as I had recently acquired a 25lb bag of Dark Rye flour from Bob's Red Mill. I use a glass bowl with a plastic lid for my starters. After only about 12 hours after my initial mix of rye flour and botteld spring water, a pungent odor of trash developed. Definitely a rotten smell, , but with that faint, distinctive rye smell underneath. I immediately threw it away and began again.
Using two new clean bowls, I re-started the german rye starter. To hedge my bets, I also began a liquid levain, which according to Leader's recipe requires 3 tbsp of rye to assist in the fermentation. Again, after only 12 hours, the german rye smelled like trash. But to my disgust, so did the liquid levain. Ever the optimist, I fed each at the 24 hour mark to see if it would sweeten up. At the completion of day 2, each showed some bubbles, suggesting yeast activity, but still the smell of the dumpster.
First, am I correct in concluding that something is wrong here - these starters won't right themselves with more development? Maybe rye acts that way sometimes?
Second, assuming I do have a problem, what might be the cause? Since it happend three times (two attempts at german rye, one liquid levain) I'm inclined to think the problem is systemic. Maybe the new rye flour or some change in the biology of my kitchen since spring.
Any insight is appreciated. If it's important, I can provide the exact recipe for the starters.