Hello all. I'm trying to close in on this thiol issue. So many of you have been useful in helping me figure out that it is likely thiols making my dough turn to goo before it ever reaches the oven. And while I appreciate the suggestions for bringing my starter back to health, I find it wasteful to refresh my starter so often and frankly I lack the time. I think I can come to a faster (and less wasteful) solution by again delving into the acquired group knowledge.
As a winemaker, I actually love thiols and select thiol extracting yeast for this characteristic. You all have smelled and appreciated thiols. In lower ppms they create lovely grapefruit, guava, and Passion Fruit aromas. However, in higher concentrations, they can create garlic or rotten egg aromas referred to as mercaptans, but the one thing they have in common is they are all thiols. Which brings me back to bread.
I would like to know, of those of you who have had thiol related starter issues (starter turns to goo and has no gluten integrity)...
1.) How many of you have and use well water for your bread making?
2.) Does your well water smell like rotten eggs or natural gas/propane?
3.) If so, have you discovered whether the rotten egg smell was caused by sulfur producing bacteria or was it elemental in nature?
My current thinking and suspicions are that my personal thiol related starter issues are due to mercaptan producing bacteria in my well water. My well water does smell like rotten eggs, and I've been using it in my starter. I haven't gotten a new starter going yet, but when I do I plan to only use boiled water. This will kill all of the bacteria in the water as well as volatilize any remaining gluten destroying mercaptans in the water.