Soupy seed culture
I'm trying to start a sourdough seed culture based on Peter Reinhardt's recipe in the Bread Baker's Apprentice. I had no issues when doing it before in a wetter and cooler climate but I'm in a desert climate now and nothing seems to work.
In my previous attempts, I left the seed culture out, but our house is pretty warm (76-78 degrees) and it ended up a wet soupy mess with no rise. This time I've put it in a cooler with ice packs to maintain the temperature at 60-65 degrees (it got up to 70 at one point but not higher).
I started with the recommended amount of flour and orange juice (instead of pineapple juice), did the day 2 and day 3 ingredients. Initially it was looking a lot better (no soupiness) but it's now day 6 and while there's a little bit of bubbling there's no rise.
I'm worried that the yeast has basically devoured all the flour at this point but if I'm reading Reinhardt's recipe right, you don't add additional flour or water after day 3, you just stir every 12 hours to prevent mold from forming on the top. I know this isn't what you would do with a standard starter, but I figured because you're making a seed culture (that you then turn into the starter) that it might be a bit different (and it did work for me before).
Sorry for the wall of text, hope someone has some ideas, thanks!