A dead starter?
I have a lovely mature starter that is doing rather well, and I'm happy with that one. I just gave it a good feed and I'm planning another bake tomorrow. Happy days.
But recently I decided I wanted to relive the experience of creating a starter from scratch, so I did. I started off with organic wholegrain rye flour and I added water to that. Day 1 was as expected, not much happening. I fed it a bit more organic wholegrain rye. On day 2, it hadn't done much but there were tiny bubbles forming. I fed it some more organic wholegrain rye. At 72 hours it had doubled in size. I fed it some organic white wheat flour. At 84 hours it had doubled in size. I fed it more organic white wheat.
At 96 hours it was flat as a pancake. I fed it at regular intervals for almost 3 days after that, but it was doing NOTHING. Eventually I chucked it down the drain. Like I said, I have a great, mature starter already so I'm not that bothered by this new one failing, but I'm intrigued.
There seemed to be nothing seriously wrong. There was no "pink" or "red" colouration. There was no "hooch" forming - in any case I covered its container with a damp kitchen towel so oxygen could reach the mixture and the yeast didn't need to go anaerobic. There were no unpleasant smells, nothing like "vinegar" or anything like that. It looked and smelled ok to me. Except it was completely inert.
Any ideas, anyone?