the little so n sos try to invade my starter. Cheesecloth isn't fine enough.
Is a paper coffee filter too fine to let the yeasties in and keep the ff out?
You don't need to expose your starter to air to establish a starter culture. If you use whole meal flours during the starter creation, the desired yeasts and bacteria will already be present, because they live on the grain itself. Search the TFL site for some of Debra Wink's research.
I build and store my starter in a covered container.
If you insist on expose your starter to the air, I have had success with a fine cloth (such as a bandanna or an old t-shirt), and using a rubber band to seal out wandering bugs.
I should have clarified that. This particular starter is of (white) bread flour, grapes and water.
I guess I'll see how the coffee filter experiment goes.
Just rubber band it to the jar. I use if for all my cultures-kefir,kimchi,sourdough,villis,etc.
just screw down and then back off enough so gas can escape out, perhaps 1/3 of a turn counterclockwise after tight. works good if you store in fridge and feed periocially between baking
Heavy hinged-lid jars are ideal, the sort that tend to have clasps on the side. The lid will stay closed under its own weight, but will allow gas out, in the unlikely event of gas pressure building up.
I thought that would get your attention!
I began my original starter outside (fall in Phoenix - temperature was perfect) in a Mason jar. I covered the open jar with a scrap of clean pantyhose rubber-banded around the top. No bugs or other critters got in and there was lots of air circulation. Since then, I have just used a jar with a wire clasp lid closure, as Grenage mentioned above. I've never had a problem with starter activation or any gas build-up.
Good luck with your starter!