August 29, 2022 - 1:08pm
Starter gone bad?
First post here - thanks in advance for your help. I made a new starter this summer for the first time - a rye/all-purpose blend. Baked with it a couple times with good results, including one of my best loaves. I neglected my starter on the counter of my warm kitchen for two days without feeding it. Gave it a feeding for the next two days and it seemed to jump back up. Haven't baked with it since then but when I went to feed it today, it seemed a tad bit orange, which gives me a bit of pause. Kitchen's warm but I don't believe it's been in direct sun.
3 photos of a starter in need of feeding.
What do you think? Thanks again.
the bright color can come from rye with very low pH. Feed it and when it is half risen, chill it.
The feeding details might be useful for us if you want detailed help.
Thanks. I used this to build up my starter. The maintenance feed is at the very bottom.
Yeah, I wasn't sure if it was from the rye (this summer is really my first time using rye) or just something bad had gotten in there. I've fed it and will do as you suggest to see. Thanks.
Stay sharp. you only need a teaspoon of starter to feed. Typical for rye is to notice a change from greyish wet flour to tan and then slightly brighter lighter color when the acids build. A drastic or blotchy color change after a good mix may mean an invasion. Rye flour can vary and the more outside layers (bran) of the grain in the flour, the more staining or color change. But it should remain subtle and aroma should remain pleasant even when pungent. High fiber and high protien would indicate more bran in the flour.
You could take two small spoons of orange starter and put each into a small glass and give one a big all purpose wheat flour only feeding and the other only rye and watch them turn orange as they ferment. The wheat should not turn orange. If it does, you most likely have an invasion. Then ditch the stuff and start a new starter. Be carefull while stirring to use separate spoons and cover the containers.
I'd use my sense of smell on this problem, not my eyes ;0)
Oh boy, I was wondering the same thing about my starter. I'm worried. Orange tinge on top or maybe more flamingo pinkish? and strong alcohol smell after several days at room temperature. Mine is whole wheat. I really don't want to make a new starter so what i did was use my discard that has been in the fridge for weeks and fed that. I figure many weeks in the fridge with a layer of brown blackish hooch is better than many days at room temp with an orange tinge?