The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

1st Starter Smells Bad

Katzetnik's picture
Katzetnik

1st Starter Smells Bad

Hi Everyone,

I was looking for some advice please, I am completely new to baking and have tried to make a sourdough starter using Strong White Bread Flour 200g, warm tap water 200ml and rightly or wrongly 1 tea spoon of natural yogurt. I have fed it daily, discarding half and adding 100 g strong white bread flour and 100 ml of warm tap water for 5 days.

All seemed well for the first three days, the photo is day three, the starter was very active lots of bubbles and increased in size hugely, day 4 saw the starter develop a very strong odour not unlike vomit and the activity reduced dramatically it no longer rises and though it does have some bubbles mainly at the top they are far reduced.

Day 6 has seen the vomit like odour diminish almost entirely, there are a number of bubbles at the surface though still no rising or increase in volume.

Is the starter Bad?

Is it beyond salvaging?

Do I need to start again?

Should I avoid including the teaspoon yogurt on day 1?

Any advice greatly appreciated, many thanks in advance.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I have no experience with yogurt in starters, but from all indications it seems your starter is on track. The vigorous initial activity and accompanying bad smell is often normal and is a result of bad bacteria that dies off in a few days. You described this occurrence exactly. The reason it is not rising in spite of all those bubbles is probably due to your starter being very liquid.

You can take 10 grams from your present starter once it is bubbling and mix in 7 grams of water and 10 grams of flour. Put it in a small glass or container. This will thicken it up a bit.

Keep your other starter going just in case.

If you are able to keep your starter warm (~80] they will be more active.

Danny

Uzbek's picture
Uzbek

I think the yoghurt is long gone. Together with whatever caused bad odour and whatever caused growth. Now that the starter is too sour for those guys, it is time to make it even more sour, to stimulate growth of "proper" yeast that munches on lactobacilli's shit ))) That means not giving it too much water. 

Katzetnik's picture
Katzetnik

Hi, and thank you for the advice, it is very liquid I will try what you have suggested.

Many thanks Wayne

Katzetnik's picture
Katzetnik

Many thanks for the advice Danny , well received. It is very liquid I will section some of the starter off into a different jar and use the ratios you suggest.

kind regards Wayne

Uzbek's picture
Uzbek

I think it is good. The growth during the first days was caused by different bacteria/yeast than what you need. Keep feeding once daily (not twice), but change feeding ratios. Mix 100 grams starter, 30 gram wheat and 30 gram water (yes, this little). It should take off in another 3-4 days. Only once it starts doubling again, gradually (not overnight! split to several increments) come back to 100:100:100 and start further increasing wheat/water part. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

in the lid.  You can take it off and use the lid without it.  ( just don't shake it vigorously.  Lol )