Oh please, Grow for me! The saga of Audrey 2, the little starter that wouldn't
Well, I'm on attempt #3 and into month three of trying to start a starter. Almost 8 kilos of flour into it and still nothing to show for it. Ignoring the two previous attempts here's what I've been doing:
Day 1: Start with organic, stone ground rye, 60g and bottled spring water, 60g. Wait 24 hrs as it sits atop the fridge.
Day 2: Add 60g water, 60g rye, place on fridge, wait 24 hrs
Day 3: Discard all but 120g, add 60g water and rye, place on fridge, wait 12 hrs
Day 3.5: Discard all but 120g, add 60g water and 60g unbleached all purpose.
Day 4: Bubbles and slight foaminess, but I'm suspecting this is unwanted gas this early in the game. Smells like flour and water, no alcohol. Feed normal 120/60/60 ratio (half old, half new). Oh, I wash the container every time I feed it, too.
Day 4.5 and onwards: repeat cycle. Bubbling subsides, eventually begin to get alcohol smell, very minor bubbles in batter could just as easily be from mixing in air. Occasional SLIGHT growth, at most just under 1/4" on about an inch of mix. This eventually subsides and hootch shows up. Alcohol smell gets REALLY strong, little to no activity yeast wise.
I'm now on week three, as noted and thinking this is going nowhere fast. Or slow, actually.
What should my next step be to try and get this thing to grow? Does it make sense to thicken 'er up at this point (1:1:2 perhaps?) to try and stave off excess hootchiness?
And I'm calling it Audrey 2.
I've given you sunshine
I've given you rain
You've given me nuthin'
But heartache and pain
I'm begging you sweetly
I'm down on my knees
Oh please... grow for me!
(seriously botched lyrics from the musical
Little Shop of Horrors (1982))