Troubleshooting a new starter
Long time user, but new to posting on the site. It's been a number of years since I made a sourdough. Apologies in advance for the long post, I'm hoping more detail might help with a diagnosis! My last sourdough starter was an all white bread flour and I never had any issues with it, and it was good to go within about a week.
I've decided to make a new starter. This time, I started by using 90% white bread flour and 10% rye every 24 hours. Unfortunately it hasn't been smooth sailing so far. I've been holding off on using the starter to bake a loaf until its rising and falling regularly and has a 'fruity' smell.
It was maybe day 6 before I had rising and falling which was taking nearly 24 hours to reach its peak, but the starter had a very pungent smell of parmesan cheese. After doing some reading, I thought it may be hungry, which was leading to the smell so I upped the feedings to every 12 hours from day 9. This reduced the smell (although not completely) but its now not rising and falling very much at all.
I then wondered if it was too warm where it was (small shelf beside a Rayburn range) so I returned to 1 feeding every 24 hours from day 11 and moved it to a slightly cooler spot. I'm now on day 13, and feeding on a 1:1:1 ratio every 24 hours. It isn't rising very much anymore (although there are some bubbles) and still smells slightly of cheese. I don't think I've killed it but I'm hoping a much more experienced baker may have come across this and know whats going on in there. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated! Thank you very much!
Another 1:1:1 feed but this time with 100% pure pineapple juice and some wholegrain flour. Give it a very good stir and leave in a warm place preferably 75-78F. Do not feed again till you see significant activity. Instead stir twice a day.
Water and temp? And is it very liquid or is it pretty stiff?
In a suitable clean container place 10 grams of your smelly starter, 10 grams of bottled water and 25 grams of your flour mix and stir well. Cover loosely, place in a warm-not-hot location, do not disturb and check at 12 hour intervals. Report back with your observations.