The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


MANNA's picture


I started a new culture over a month ago. It was active then about a week in it smelled like someone barfed in dirty gym socks. I figured we're in the stinky phase just keep going. A month in with regular feedings the stink was gone but no activity. So I ditched it and started anew with the pineapple method that has worked in the past. That has worked. Not much activity again but I get the horrid acetone smell after 12 hours of feeding. Two days ago I popped it in the oven with the light on and got great activity from it. I feel my kitchen was just to cold being winter here. I have gone from 24 hour feedings to 12 hours to keep up with the increased rate of fermentation. This morning I fed it from a hydration of 100% to 70%. Im hoping to get some sourness into it and try for a bake in the next day or so. Anyone have thoughts on this? It has been driving me nuts with the acetone developing. It appears like the acetone has subsided with the increase in temp. does that seem right? I didnt get the acetone smell with the other culture that was started with just flour and water. Yes, it was stinky during the second week but after that it never stunk like acetone. Every time with the pineapple though it gets the acetone smell. Again, any thoughts?


Tech stuff: I use KAF Sir Galahad Flour, water is filtered spring water, I was feeding 1:1:1 every 24 hours and have switched to 1:1:1 every 12 hours. I have been at 100% hyd intill this morning, now Im at 70%.

pongze's picture

Apologies for sending you to search, but I can't recall the details at this moment, I'm ready for bed at 6:20 AM now.  Please search Debra Wink's material here... actually here you go, this is a good thread to read with some good links:

and in particular this post:

You may already know that she is the originator of the pineapple juice method.  I'm pretty sure that second link will explain the acetone.  In scanning it, I believe the take home points are that having your starter be more liquid and be warmer will help to reduce the acetone.