I revived a moldy starter - is it safe though?
I've had this starter going for 4-5 years or so, made lots of good loaves with it. For some reason, I just neglected it for a few weeks in the fridge, and finally went to go feed it today. It smelled really funky, and there was some mold growing near the top of the jar. I've been working with it long enough to know this smell wasn't good, but I decided to try to revive it anyways.
So I removed the top layer and took a few spoonfuls of starter to a new container, and fed it as usual. Then fed it two more times over the next 24 hours. It seems to be bubbling away again, although I do smell a little bit of that bad smell still, but very little.
I'm wondering, if the starter looks active and healthy again, does that mean it's safe to use? Or is it possible that I'm growing some other sort of bacteria in there that's taken over?
I can easily get another starter, but I'm interested in this from a science-project perspective.