The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Smells like stink rag, but triples in 3

Reginald's picture

Smells like stink rag, but triples in 3

I had a starter that I grew, leaving it in a very cold refrigerator for months at a time.  It always came back within a day after feeding and made good bread.  It even got sweeter as time went on.  Lately, the top got knocked loose on the crock and it dried out, turning grey with black sandy dots.  I poured water on it to soak, then added flour the next day.  It smelled like a rotten wash rag, but it tripled in size every three hours with food.  I have been throwing out two thirds, and mixing in water and flour each day.  The smell is getting better, but it keeps growing mega fast.  Do dare make bread with it?  Is it safe?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Reminds me of "Sir Stinks A-lot"  many years ago.  A whole wheat starter from another TF-Loafer.  I believe I advised to  feed it a dead chicken and stand back with a sword, "just in case."   Lol    I had a WW starter that smelled more like my brother's dirty week old sport socks, it was a very young starter and eventually changed with regular feedings.  

I do think I would have gone about reviving your starter differently.   Instead of covering all the starter with water, I would have cut out the heart of the thick dried starter, usually at the bottom and middle and avoided all the dead spotty stuff on the outside including any moulds and other battlefield leftovers from staying alive.  Then hydrate a pure piece from the core.   

Without knowing the feeding ratios, not sure if it's growing "Mega fast."   Please give temperatures and amounts of starter, water and flour type for odious comparisons.  It sounds like the starter gets fed 1:1:1  which means it would go thru a lot of feedings in a 24 hr day.  A larger flour feeding (or smaller inoculation) may be needed.