The Fresh Loaf

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yucky look on starter

Flour Girl's picture
Flour Girl

yucky look on starter

OK, I'm a newbie to creating a starter but have years ago successfully used a starter that I received.  I have a whole wheater starter going....fed it and today it had a pinkish slug on it and it smell a little rancid...in other words wasn't a pleasant smell.  Question - should I start over making a new batch since I stirred this one and it make have gone bad.  I hope this makes sense.  It did a few days ago double in bulk.  But that pinkish slug made me wonder if it had gotten too hot in the kitchen since my A/C was off. 

After stirring it down, I put it in the refrigerator.  I did take it out after 2 hours to smell it again...it smells much better but I was wondering about the pinkish slug.

Jeffrey's picture
Jeffrey

Nice to meet you.

 

Mine get all sorts of colors, and smells, it's part of being sourdough i guess.

 

Normally, i just stir it up, then take out what i normally do when i feed it.  usual days it's about two thirds.  Then replace that amount of flour and water, unless i'm going to bake, then maybe none, just add more then.  Go ahead and feed it like you normally do, a couple of times, and see what it does.

 

I've only been doing this for about eight months, and have had several starters, just to play with them.  So far none have died, except the one that got left in the cabinet for a week without being fed, sort of to see what happens.  It smelt kind of like a chicken house with a leaky roof the day after s heavy rain.  I'm not convinced that it was dead, it's just that tossing it out seemed the thing to do.  When you have a few more it doesn't matter much.  Maybe some time i'll try it again, this time revive it.

 

Yeast seems to hold up to a lot of punishment.  Before dying, a lot of them go dormant, and can live like that through the hot summer months, or the cold winter.

 

how old is your starter?

 

Don't give up on it yet.

jeffrey

Flour Girl's picture
Flour Girl

My whole wheat starter is about 2 weeks old...still a baby!

Jeffrey's picture
Jeffrey

So you made it past the first week, just keep feeding it every day, unless it's in the fridge.  Twice a day seems to work pretty good, if you have time and patience every eight hours.  Mine are only a few tablespoons if that much.  That way i don't waste much.  All but one live in the fridge, and only get fed every few weeks.  The one that lives in the basement gets fed every twelve hours, but sometimes only once a day.  It doesn't seem to hurt.

 

Let us know how your starter comes out.

 

jeffrey

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

Flourgirl, pink and orange are two colors that starters should NOT be. They indicate a starter gone bad. I would start over. I'm not sure what you meant by "slug". When you start over, use pineapple juice or orange juice in place of water and use a whole grain flour (wheat or rye). If your house is warm, stir the mixture vigorously several times a day. This will help ward off mold. Keep the starter covered to keep out airborne bacteria.  Good luck!

rcornwall's picture
rcornwall

I agree with SourdoLady. Pink is not a good color faor a starter. I have read this from a great many sources. This indicates a contaminate of some sort. You need to start over. A dark bown or even blackish color are fine, especially if using whole wheat or rye flours. I have a great starter recipe using red grapes. I love the strong fruity aroma it gives off. Reminds me of walking into a fresh produce stand full of ripe fruit. 

Red Grape Starter

 

2 c Bread flour

2 1/2 c Water

1/2 lb Red grapes, stemmed

 

Wrap the grapes in well washed cheesecloth, tieing the corners to form a bag; lightly crush them with a rolling pin and immerse them in the flour water mix. Cover tightly with a lid or plastic wrap secured with a rubber band. Leave at room temperature for 6 days, stirring once or twice a day for the six days. The bag of grapes will eventually appear inflated, and liquid will begin to separate from the flour base. The mixture will begin to taste and smell slightly fruity, and the color will be strange. That is as it should be. By the sixth day the bag of grapes will have deflated, the color will be yellow, and the taste pleasantly sour; the fermentation is complete. The starter is living but weak, and it needs to be fed. Remove the grapes and squeeze their juices back into the starter. Stir it up thouroughly and transfer it to a clean container. (Although you can use it after just one feeding, the starter will be stronger and healthier with the full treatment) You can refrigerate it until you're ready to proceed. Three days before you plan to use it, stir 1 cup flour and 1 cup water into the container, blending well. Let stand uncovered at room temperature until it bubbles up - 3 to 4 hours - then cover and refrigerate. Repeat this for the second and third day. Store the starter tightly covered in the refrigerator where it will keep perfectly for 4 to 6 months.- after which it's a good idea to pour off all but 2 cups and give it another feeding. Before using the stored starter for bread, however, give it the full 3-day feeding schedule once again to restore it and to tone down excess sourness.

Try it you will like it.

rcornwall

 

 

larry876's picture
larry876

Sources on the pink are interesting. I pour off the pink and see if I can save some fresh.


What do the sources know? Ie, are they working from gut or bacteriology? Are they merely expressing fear?


Anyone know?