Help! Hey, did you guys just start this forum? First thread, what an honor! Thanks for running it.
Anyway, this is thursday morning US time, and I started making a new starter from scratch last sunday nite. I used regular white flour (bleached) and tap water, 4:3 by volume. I know rye and whole wheat are better, but I thought I would try it this way. I know I'm a rank beginner, I know it's harder this way, but please humor me for now. I'm not a sourdough connoiseur, I just like good food and chemistry/biology experiments.
I've kept it constantly around 80-85 degrees by my thermometer . On monday the batter started showing some tiny bubbles and smelled like sourdough. Tuesday it didn't smell as good, so I fed it a little. Wednesday same thing, fed it more. Some authors say feed immediately & feed a lot, others say wait until it gets active. So far there were only a few tiny bubbles, no froth or expansion.
Last nite and this morning, it had a smell very much like paint. Yuck. I've been worried that feeding an undeveloped starter is only diluting yeast that is still in the latency phase, so I didn't want to feed it too much. But now my plan is to feed it more. I'm adding 1/3 c flour and 1/4 c H2O to 1/2 c starter, every 12 hours, starting this morning.
Any comments? Other than get better flour? These are my main questions:
1) Does anybody know what is causing the paint smell and/or what it indicates?
2) One theory that occured to me was why not grow the yeast/lactobacilli in the same flour they will be baked in, to get the best strains for that flour. Does that make any sense at all, or no?
Thanks for any/all responses.