The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help! My two 10 & 3 days old sourdough starter got switched ><

ayukwardhanie's picture
ayukwardhanie

Help! My two 10 & 3 days old sourdough starter got switched ><

this is maybe a pure idiotic question:

so i've been growing my "old" sourdough for 10 days by tomorrow. he looks all great (i named him David anyw), all bubbly, smell fresh and have already doubled in volume. but before that, i got skeptical.. all pessimistic.. because on day 7, he did not looks like something i'll ever use for baking. it smell awful, runny, hooch-ing everyday. so i decided to make another batch right away, same hydration which is 100%, same ingredients (i use bread flour and filtered water) AND AN EXACT SAME CONTAINER. i've been feeding my "new" starter well. and now, up to day 3 it bubbles and it risen just exactly like how it supposed to be after day 7 or up. i tried to check which one is going to rise higher by drawing line but failed. my "young" starter is really really risen up very well, like a happy kid, every time i checked on both, they seems to be in an exact same height. 

 

please help! how can i tell which one is which. one thing i noticed "a little" is one of them have a slightly darker color, like brownish while the other one is as white as milk. other than that, NOTHING. they have the same fresh yeasty smell, rising time, volume, consistency, etc. i've tried checking by doing a float test and they both did float 

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

But I'd say the one with the darker liquid is David.

When you see liquid on top of a starter then it could be hooch or just separation. One way to tell is if the liquid is dark it's likely hooch. If it's clear it's likely separation.

I would think a more established starter would ferment quicker and get more hooch. Hence the darker liquid is more likely the older starter.

The younger starter probably won't be so fast to ferment as to be making hooch so the lighter liquid is probably the younger one.

Just an educated guess. Perhaps someone else has a better idea.  

ayukwardhanie's picture
ayukwardhanie

big thanks for the super quick reply!

but the darker brownish colored one is not a hooch, in fact none of them has hooch. the starter dough itself is dark colored... and another one is as white as milk. David been producing hooch ever since his 2nd day, and got worse by days. oh the smell! the young one is strangely very well behaved. no hooch, no bad smell, rising very well. hence i tried to decide which one is which by smelling at first, as my first attempt on David was all smelly but failed!

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

If one of them, in the next day or two, goes through a quiet period then that one is the younger one for sure.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and feed equally.   S:W:F  (10:30:40)   Make them thicker than 100% hydration   go for 75% or lower.  Then race them.  Keep the one that peaks the highest and smells the best.  Throw the other one away.  

Hooch doesn't form is 2 days, it must be water separation coloured/stained by whole grains.

The other solution is to mix the two together and hope they sort themselves out.

tip:  label jars before filling them.  :)