First posting here. Any help greatly appreciated.
I have a sourdough starter that has been very successful during the last 16 months....the starter used to rise slowly in the refrigerator, reaching full height in about 2 days. Now it rises very little in the fridge, if at all. At room temperature it used to take about 6 to 8 hours to double in height, but now it's super fast, doubling anywhere between 2 and 4 hours. It's very difficult to bake enough to keep up with it.
I'm going to reduce the water and make a much dryer mix.
Could this be natural selection at work? Have the yeast and bacteria adapted to living hard and fast? Hydration is at 100%.
I just can't bring myself to throw it out and start over.
My starter smells off and overly acidic only if I leave it in the fridge for more than 3 days. After a revival period of 3 feedings, and using it to make cookies, crepes, and bread, it's smells great. Still acidic, as it should be, but acidic in a good way, I suppose.
Any ideas what I'm dealing with here? Wish I was a biochemist.