starter unhappy, smells vinegary/vomity, after accidental overfeed
Ermintrude is an established, reliable 100% hydration white flour starter who has always smelled yeasty when hungry, yoghurty when happy and alcoholic (like brandy, in fact) when neglected.
She has been dormant in the fridge since Easter and I decided last week to bring her out and get her back to normal activity at cool room temp, feeding twice a day. I've revived her after dormant periods before with no problem, she starts rising well very quickly and the brandy smell settles down after a few days, returning to the usual yeast/yoghurt smell.
But I done messed up. I usually weigh feeds, but the batteries are gone in my scales, so I was feeding by volume, 2 parts flour to 1 part water. Except one morning I got it the wrong way round and added 2 parts water to 1 part flour! The only thing I could think to do was add another 3 parts flour to get the right proportions, but it amounted to a massive overfeed which more than half filled the jar and meant the starter overflowed onto the worktop later that day.
Ever since, Ermintrude has still been rising well but has an unsettling smell, which reminds me of a combination of vinegar and vomit. one website suggested the vinegar smell means the starter has suffocated and gone anaerobic; other sites associated the vomit smell with early-stage starters, making me wonder if it's unbalanced to the point that some undesirable bacteria are taking over.
Any advice? Will Ermintrude forgive me? Should I do anything special like cutting down on feedings, or just keep on as normal and give it time? I'm worried!