Question about different flour blends in your starter
So I'm STILL not having my starter do its job and double but I had a minor breakthrough the other day when I was fed up and I just fed it 1:1:1 but used organic whole grain rye flour.
(I had been using organic AP for the feeds, ---this starter was created using 100% whole wheat for the first 2 feeds then switched to the AP.)
When I fed it with organic rye, it doubled easily, then again I fed it rye and again it doubled. I went back to white, and on the next post-feed it -almost- doubled, then I fed it with white again and its looking, so far, 2 hours in, like it isn't going to double----this is how its been for months now.
I'm thinking there's some nutrient or already existing population of yeast in the organic whole wheat rye I was using, and I'm thinking maybe I'll start doing a 50/50 blend of rye and AP and see if that does the trick.
I have two considerations:
1) does anyone here bake using a starter that has several flowers mixed in? What are the pros or cons of this? If I want to make a whole wheat loaf using white bread and whole wheat flour, is using a starter that is 50/50 rye/AP going to have any bad flavors? I know the answer is already no--when I used to bake when I had a strong starter (years ago) I'd add a handful of rye flour to enhance complexity in my white loaves, so if its getting rye character from the starter I figure I'm good to go--I just want to know other peoples experiences.
2) Up to this point, it is clear to me I've never manifested a 'strong' starter, they are always created then die slowly, or exist in a pitiful state of producing a few bubbles and maybe 1/4" of rise after a feed, no matter how much/little they're fed. I understand that after weeks, a newly created starter is more durable, strong and hearty. I'm wondering, its the O.C.D. in me to want what I can't have--if I nurse up a strong starter using the whole grain rye and feed it for 2-3 weeks, anyone think that at that point switching to white AP flour will result in the same pattern I've seen so far (which to reiterate, is a diminishing rise with each feed eventually ending up in no rise). Or maybe, just maybe, building up a starter using just rye for 2-3 weeks, with consistent full rises, after switching to AP it will flourish as it should?
Lastly, and this has been on my mind since the whole wheat rye moment, what in the flour i'm using is causing my starters to choke out and die? Is it that the yeast isn't able to consume something? Does the flour alter the PH too much? The AP I use will rise if I use commercial yeast, so it has nutrients..I'm always very confused and frustrated by this..