Hi all. I was hoping to get some ideas on what has been going wrong with my sourdough.
I got a starter going years ago, turned out some great bread, and maintained it for years. Very suddenly one day the starter began burning itself out extremely quicly and smelling like alcohol. It was useless for baking. Couldn't get it going again. I had no way to test, but since this happened within a few months of my getting into home brewing, the theory is that some of the brewer's yeasts infected the starter. In any event, I stopped baking for a few years.
I got another starter going a few weeks ago. It's been healthy and I've been consistently baking with it. I turned out a successful whole wheat loaf just yesterday. I tried last night to make some sourdough pancakes for this morning. When I woke up I found that the pancake batter was thin with an inch of grog on top of it and the starter had burnt itself out, also with a fair amount of alcohol on it. Again, no way for me to test if this is what's actually happening, but I did visit a brew shop yesterday and purchased and handled some ale yeasts.
So, is it the brewer's yeasts or could something else be going on?