Problem with the Tartine Bread Starter
I'm trying the Tartine Bread recipe and seem to be having trouble getting my Starter going. Here's my environment. I live in the Denver-metro area at about 6000 ft. elevation. At this time of the year, my house temp ranges from 60 - 66 degrees. I began the starter on Apr 9 following the Tartine instructions exactly. I use a small plastic container (approx. 2 pints). Filled it halfway with tap water. I use a charcoal filter on my faucet similar to a Pur filter. I use King Author non-bleached bread flour and King Author whole wheat in a 50/50 mixture. It took 4 handfuls of flour to achieve a thick batter. I mixed it with my hand until the lumps were gone. I covered the container with a damp paper towel and put it on top of the refrigerator out of direct sunlight.
Apr 10 - no activity visible, water began to separate to the top - about 1/16"
Apr 11 - a few bubble were visible on the top, none on the sides, water separation grew to about 1/8"
Apr 12 - noticed more bubbles on top and side, starter did grow, water still separated on top
Apr 13 - brown crust developed around the top out edges. Smell was mildly acidic. Choose to begin the feeding schedule. Discarded 80% and feed with 1/2 cup of 50/50 flour and 1/2 cup of warm tap water. The time is 6:30pm. No real rise/fall activity occurs with in the next 5 hours. House temp remains between 60 - 66 degrees in a 24 hour period.
Apr 14 - water is separated at the top. A few bubbles are visible. Mild aroma - no acidity. No visible rise/fall activity. Discard 80% and feed again 24 hours later using same method as above
Apr 15 - water is separated at the top. A few bubbles are visible. Mild aroma - no acidity. No visible rise/fall activity. Skip feeding.
Apr 16 - water is separated at the top. A few bubbles are visible. Mild aroma - no acidity. No visible rise/fall activity. Discard 80% and feed again at 8:00am using 1/3 cup of 50/50 flour and 1/3 cup of warm tap water. House temp - 61 degrees.
I think I'm following the Tartine instructions correctly, but don't believe I'm getting the proper results. Any thoughts?
Thanks in advance for any and all comments.