Help this Beginner with His Sourdough Starter! (On Day 8)
Dear Fresh Loaf Folk,
I began to-make a sourdough starter on 1/23. Tomorrow, 1/31, will be day-9. For day-1, my recipe instructed me to mix 100g of filtered, room-temp water and 100g of AP flour. For day-2, the recipe said to "discard all but 100g of starter," and then to-add 100g of water and 100g of flour, and mix, again. The recipe encouraged me to stir the starter from time-to-time each day. Days 3-6 were the same as day 2. The recipe said that the starter might be ready by day-7. My starter seemed ready, but I did not understand the instructions for the next stage, and, I was busy this week, so I decided to-continue the pattern from days 2-6 until Friday, 2/1, when I have time to-learn what to-do next.
Here is my first problem: instead-of discarding all-but-100g of my starter for days 2-8, I discarded 100g of the starter each day. That worked on day-2, but not on the following days. My starter grew in mass by 100g each day, instead-of being reduced to 100g after the-discard, and bolstered back-up to 300g after the addition of flour and water. So, now, I must-have about 900g of starter, instead-of 300g. I wonder, will the starter be less-potent because I did not reduce it down to 100g each day before adding flour and water? How should I proceed? If the starter is fine, I want to-divide it into three-jars and refrigerate them all to reduce the speed of fermentation. Then, in the future, I could use starter from jar-1 to-bake on week-1, starter from jar-2 to-bake on week-2, and so-forth. I also hope to-introduce rye into jar-2 and some other flour into jar-3, so that each different starter produces a bread unique in-comparison with the others. I like this method, www.thefreshloaf.com/node/40918/no-muss-no-fuss-starter, because I do not want to-waste starter.
I ask for more help, though. I do not understand how to-feed a starter after it matures and I move it from the countertop to the fridge. What does it mean that I feed the starter with "seed, flour, and water," as in DaBrownMan's method? Does the seed/levain come from another mature starter? That confuses me. Before, I only added flour and water when I fed the mixture. It seemed to me that it was becoming seed/levain. Now I am supposed to-feed it seed, flour, and water? I do not understand that. I will appreciate any help you can offer this hatchling of a baker.
So you know, I live in the northern U.S. It is dry and cold. On days that I did not stir the starter enough, a leather like disc formed on-top. After I addressed that, it seems to behave as it ought-to. It bubbles, rises, and falls. It is light and whippy when I begin to-stir it. It produces a familiar smell, like mayonnaise. I will do the water test on Friday, 2/1, when I feel that the starter is at its peak to-see if the starter floats.