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Is this normal??

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dovescom's picture
dovescom

Is this normal??

Hi yesterday I started a sourdough starter using Joe Fisher's recipe, today it is doubled in size, and smelling very yeasty, fed it around 7:30 am and it is 25% bigger already, now from what I've read it should not be growing that fast, have I done something wrong?????

I am using an organic whole wheat flour, that is stone ground, and tap water

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Starter behavior can vary over a wide range during the first days of starting it up. You might be lucky and have it start right up in just a couple of days. However, it is probably more common to have a vigorous rise in the first day or two followed by a day or two of very inactive, quiet behavior. There are some spoilage bacteria and fermentation bacteria that can be very active in the first day or two, but then they die off as the acid levels build up. After that, the bacteria and yeast you want should begin to establish themselves. A typical startup time for a starter is about 5 days at temperatures in the mid-70s F. It can take much longer if the temperatures are cooler. An ideal temperature is 80F, but don't let the temperatures get too warm, as you can kill off the yeast in the culture above about 85F.

If your starter "goes dead" after this initial burst of activity, don't be surprised. Just keep feeding it at a low ratio about once a day, keep it at 80F if possible, and it should start up after a few days.

Bill

 

dovescom's picture
dovescom

as stated earlier I fed this thing around 7:30 and now at 2:45 it is about to out grow the container

After feedi ng it this morning it was at the second line from the bottom, this is day 2

should I jump the gun and discard and feed ? The recipe I am following say just leave it till day 3 but his pics did not show it growing like this

bwraith's picture
bwraith

I would feed it. There are a million ways to do this. Normally, I would feed it about once every 24 hours. The early feedings should be at a very low ratio.

An example would be to take about 10g of the starter in your picture and feed it with 20g of water and 20g to 30g of flour, depending on if you want a more firm one or a more liquid one.

I see some water at the bottom, which is sometimes a sign of active spoilage bacteria. If you take a whiff of it and it smells a little rotten or vomit-like, then it probably does have some spoilage bacteria that took hold. However, it can't live in the acid environment that probably has developed by now, so any smell like that should disappear in the next day or two and be replaced by a more flowery, tangy smell.

I don't remember if you were going to switch it to a white starter or stay with a whole wheat starter. If you stay with whole wheat, then normally, I'd keep it at a firm consistency. With white flour I like a paste consistency. You would switch to white flour or start mixing white and whole wheat flour in the feedings some time in the next couple of days or even now. I usually switch to white flour in the first day or two.

One fed with rye and whole wheat seems to smell a little more pungent, rather than flowery, from what I've experienced, anyway. However, it shouldn't have a strong vomit or other smell you would gag on if you take a long whiff of it.

Bill

dovescom's picture
dovescom

thank you for the advice, it smells yeasty, very pleasent odour, as for the flour I will be staying whole wheat