Hello all, first run at a sourdough starter with natural wild yeast. 36 hours in and all seems well. Active bubbles and almost doubled in size after 24 hours. First feeding done.
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Sounds like you are well on the way but be prepared for things to be up and down for the first week at least. You might find that it seems to slow down, smell bad and any number of other odd things. This is just down to the balance of wild life in the culture battling it out for supremacy. In the end the good guys usually win the day (just like the movies - mostly). This is why most starter programs go on for a couple of weeks, to get a good stable culture.
In terms of feeding frequency, there probably isn't much to be gained by feeding more frequently than daily other than using more flour. I don't think it will speed up the process. If the activity has peaked, the wild-life has just gone into a state of dormancy and certainly won't die overnight for want of something to eat.
After your culture development period, you can comfortably go over to storing it in the fridge and only feeding it once a week. You can leave it for longer but if it goes past a month without refreshing, then it might need a couple of sequential feeds to get it back up to full activity.
Many people freeze some or dry some to keep as an insurance against some disaster but I can't say what the viable lifespan of such insurance spares are. In any case, it is only a week or two from nothing to a new one anyway.
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