Starter too thick?
First let me say this is a great site and I've found allot of useful information. I've got a week old starter that to my untrained eye seems to be doing well thanks to what I've read here.
This leads me to my current question, is my starter too thick? I've read about how there are different levels of hydration and while I'd like to move to a 67% starter for it's versatility I'm currently trying to mature a 100% starter first as not to rush things. From my reading the starter should be a thick batter consistency but mine seems to be more of a cookie dough consistency. I can form a ball with it, if I make an impression it will remain, and it pulls together from the sides of a container. It's a week old now and I'm feeding it a 1:2:2 mix with no problems getting a rise. The starter starts rising and doubles at the 4hr mark, triples if not close to by ~20hrs, then starts to fall between the 20-24hr mark but it doesn't fall much.
(each square on the jar is ~2cm)
This is 24 hours at room temperature after the last feeding. I think things look ok, there are allot of bubbles and I can get it to double in the suggested 4-6 hour mark. I'm using rye flour for my mix at a ratio of 100g (~1/2 cup) starter : 200g rye flour (~2 cups) : 200g water (~1 cup) every 24 hours.
This is what I'm guessing and would love some confirmation;
- Because it can double within the 4-6hr mark is it nice and healthy
- Because it still rises and doesn't collapse much after 24 hours there is enough food for my starter during this time
- Although it seems thick (I can hold a spoon full on it's side and it doesn't go anywhere) it is normal for a 100% starter
- The scent should smell like wine (pleasantly but reminds me of wine)
If anyone has any input or advice I'd be grateful. Who knows, it may help answer some remaining questions by some other reader as well. I'm looking forward to using this starter next week and hope all is going well with it. Thanks in advance.