I just found this site and am impressed by all the great info here.
I was going to post about the turpentine smell coming from my starter, but after a quick search of this site, it appears that I am not the only one. So, after reading a few posts, I will be taking my starter out of the fridge and running it through some pretty frequent feedings until the smell disippates.
In case anyone else is curious as to how I arrived at this point: I had a small amount of starter that I had in the fridge. I got the starter in Seattle from one of the tourist trap spots with a Sour Dough cookbook. The cookbook made it seem as if caring for the starter was more hands-off than I am finding on this site. So, my feedings were very infrequent (3-6 months.) I kept in an airtight plastic container that I was sure to keep clean. For my feedings, I would throw out 1/2 to 2/3 of it and add equal parts water/flour (total amount varied), and then after mixing well and letting it sit overnight, I would place it back in the fridge. In general, my baking results were so-so, and obviously nothing memorable. In fact, it has been sooooo long since I last used the starter in baking bread that I honestly don't remember how they turned out--probably a sign that the results weren't that impressive right?
Over the past few months, however, I threw out a number of the "sure-fire" bread recipes that never quite seemed that great to me. And boy was I glad, because I am now using a good baguette recipe and keep achieving a light, chewey, crispy baguette consistently! Having obtained the desired results with basic lean dough, I am now ready to reintroduce sour dough into my baking rotation. Which eventually brought me here with the turpentine question.
Thanks to this forum, I am finding answers to many questions that I didn't even realize that I had! I will be back. And thank you all for sharing your experiences!