Trouble with starter- strange smell and texture
I started what was a very robust and healthy starter about 5 years ago and baked weekly loaves with it. I even successfully brought it from Hong Kong to Canada after drying it and rehydrating it 18 months ago. A few months ago we moved into a new house, and the sourdough was bubbly and acting normally. We went away for 2 weeks and it stayed in the fridge like usual. When I took it out to feed, it got a syrupy texture and smelled like cheese. After several feedings and attempts to revive it, I gave up and threw it out. Luckily I have some dried backup stored away so I used that, but the same thing has been happening.
Does anyone know what is happening???
would appreciate any advice. Thanks!
edit: forgot to mention that it was fine at my new house for about a month (I baked a few loaves with it) and it was after we got home from Christmas that it all started to go wrong. I'm currently looking at a newly hydrated batch of back-up starter and it's gone syrupy and smelly too