I started a thread last week asking advice about what to do with my starters. I inserted it into the starters and levains section. There was not much response but I thought I would write to you all again in a different section incase I could help anyone else having similar problems or questions about their starters. The starters were about three weeks old, actively doubling every 5 hours but smelt vinegary and on a couple occasions a bit like nail varnish remover. When I made a loaf from each they were not very tasty at all, tasted a little too vinegary. Well since then I threw away the least active of the two starters. Upped the two refreshes a day to three until activity slowed slightly, basically every time it doubled and reached it peak I refreshed. That really helped the smell of vinegar.
I also added a sprinkle of some malted chopped rye pieces I bought to sprinkle on top of my loaves to look pretty. Anyway today I decided to try and make a loaf. I followed the Norwich rye recipe but used SourDom tutorial methods for kneading and folding. I am really delighted with the result. The slashing is still terrible so the loaf did not pop out its skin but there are lovely airy holes, the crust was lovely and the taste delicious. I can now see why you all rave about sourdough bread. Things I have learnt so far is to listen to your starter, if it's active and it starts to smell vinegary, refresh. If you don't want to have very sour bread then keep your starter fed and active. I think I must check and smell starter ten times a day and the smell is complex and constantly changing. I noticed a difference in the texture of the bread from the early vinegary one and today.
When it was vinegary and I guess acidic the bread had a shiney look about but todays looked much more like traditonal bread and was soft. Anyway, to all those who are struggling a little and are wondering if they should bin the starter and start again, just give a few more days and keep feeding it to optimise conditions. Hope this was some help to someone.