another starter problem. Mine only likes pineapple water.
1st starter. So I've got a white flour starter (14 days old today) that I've been building for some time now. It smells good, with the occaional 'berry smell'. When I feed, I'll keep half old starter (stirred well) and half white flour, with spring water. Well, I will only see about 30 percent rise. But everytime I use pineapple juice instead of water to re-feed, it will double in volume at around the 7 hour mark. If I go back to plain spring water, it only raises 30%. Strangely enough, I don't get any 'houch' from this starter.
2nd starter is a spelt flour starter (7 days old), re-fed with a mixer of 3 parts spelt to 1 part white flour, and again, I remove half, and remix it to full again. Same dang thing happens as with 1st starter... only 30% rises, but I do get a top layer of houch on this one though. 1st 2 days, the smell was that of fecal matter, but has since gone to 'sour' smell, or 'gym socks' smell.
3rd starter is of whole wheat (7 days old). Same dang thing as first two (30% rise), but houch forms near the bottom of the jar.
In all starters; I use glass jars with a loose plastic cover. I use a chop-stick to stir (never any metal). I've tried spring water from ozarks, and also purified water (switched to spring water half-way through). I can ONLY get a double rise with pineapple juice (water thats been soaking in pinnaple pieces). Viscosity is probably around a little stiffer than pancake batter, but not much. Temperature in home goes between 85 to 77 degrees depending on time of day.
edit: I'm using HEB's name brand unbleached wheat and white, the spelt comes from oregon. I picked up some 'King Arthur organic wheat' the other day and am wondering if this wheat will be any different. Because, I assume there's yeast in all the starters due to the rising... not sure why KA's yeast would be any different/stronger. I guess I have no choice but to start a 4th starter.
Here are some thoughts;
1). Perhaps, I'm not pouring enough 'old' starter out? Meaning, I should perhaps only keep a small quantity of old starter and the majority should be new 'food'? I've seen mentioned half-n-half method alot of places. rarely do I see 'tablespoon' method.
2). A couple times, after I've seen the starter 'fall', I would pour out houch, and refeed, perhaps 12 hours between feedings. Not sure if this would hurt anything. But mostely I'll stick to 24 hour feeds.
I just can't understand. Things work great when I use the pineapple water. The spring water is kept sealed and at room temp.