Please help - Blackish Water - Newbie starter user
I'm new here, but this looks like just the place for me. I was born and raised on San Francisco Sour Dough bread and now that I am in the south, I am having a terrible time finding any bread that is not "cotton" bread. So I have been making my own. I have actually made my own bread for over 30 years but this is the first time that I have ventured into making my own sour dough starter. So I made a starter with water, white flour (ap) whatever the store brand was, and some yeast from a jar. It took off fine. Actually it did rather well and so I kept it in the fridge and had it about 1 month when I thought that I was going to be away for awhile. So after reading in a sourdough cookbook that if you were not going to be using the starter for a period of time that freezing it would be just fine.
So I poured the starter in a plastic zip-lock bag and stuck it in the freezer. But, as my plans changed I took it out of the freezer and defrosted it in the fridge. Then I put it back into the same plastic container that housed it before and fed it 1/4 c of ap flour and 1/4 c of water - left it out overnight where I always leave it (back of the stove, on top) and the next day the water had turned almost black, so I poured off the black water and put 1/4 c of flour and 1/4 c of water (I probably have 3 cups of starter in there) and left it out again and the water turned blackish again. It doesn't smell rancid, but it doesn't smell the same as before it was frozen. So I am afraid to use it. Should I just dump it and start again? Anyone know for sure this starter is okay? It used to be a good starter and had a very sourdough taste, almost from the start.