What Happened To My Starter?


Info: - I feed it every 8-14 hours, maybe about once or twice a day.

       - It is kept on a counter in 80-90F temperature (Average of 80 due to the AC)

       - First time making a sourdough starter

       - I switched the jars several times to prevent anything to grow on the sides when discarding starter

Day 1: I started with half a cup of unbleached bread four + half a cup of water

Day 2: I fed it the same ratio as day 1. It had a smell of wine and had some foam and bubbles on top, but after mixing, there was a faint cheese smell, but I could barely smell it. The starter also had about an inch of liquid at the bottom which I poured out

Day 3: There was a STRONG blue cheese smell. I fed it, mixed it, and when I came back, it supposedly rose while I was gone. I discarded some starter, saved half a cup of it, fed it as usual, and left it. Hours later, all bubbles and signs of life disappeared, and I was left with the same cheese smell.

Day 4: It smells like parmasan cheese. I discarded half, put in the same amount of food, and it smells like blue cheese again. I also added two small drops of vinegar. Now I’ll wait for the results


Edit: A clear thin liquid less than a centimeter formed at the top in 4 hours

Not sure if it separated or if it’s hooch.

One more thing I noticed - On day two, when I stirred the mixture when feeding, it looked airy and looked like dough. On day 3-4, however, it felt like I was mixing white water

I feel like ditching the whole thing and starting a new one, so give me some suggestions for what I can do, or if I should ditch it.

185 users have voted.


SlackerJohn 2018 August 13

Ditch it.  Starters generate best in a warm space, but your kitchen is just HOT!!

What I would try is feed starter, leave in heat for a spell, maybe 1-2 hours or until some activity is happening, then into the fridge for rest and recovery until you feed again.

Just guessing really, no guarantees!  :)

Jhutted 2018 August 13

I'm not sure if it's the heat that is causing the problems, but I'm just guessing. I usually use cold bottled water, and leave it in the coldest part of the kitchen (not really sure how warm it is)

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