I started a gluten free sourdough starter a week ago. The flours I used were a mix of millet, maize, chick pea, some rice protein powder (to give it some of the protein wheat flour has), a little bit of potato flour, and brown rice flour. I didn't have a glass jar so I used my grandmother's crystal bowl :-) I covered it loosely (there was a canopy type effect open at the sides), and I was being a bit lazy so instead of weighing things, I just did equal parts flour and water. It was about 1/4 cup. I also wasn't throwing out the starter, just adding 1/4 c each water and flour mix to bowl each time. (GF flour is expsensive :-)
However, after a week I ran into some problems. I discovered on top of what I thought was hooch (I now think it was simply separation of flour and water as my ratio I discovered after weighing things should have been 1/4 c flour, 1/8 cup water). Anyway, on top of that liquid was an opaque white film with more solid bits of white on it. This happened on 2 days. The first day I didn't think much of it and mixed it back in. When it happened the next day, I got a bit worried and after research thought it could have been a type of mould. The mixture smelled totally fine, which is why I wasn't really worried at first (it still smelled fine the next day when it happened). Oh, I was feeding once a day.
I thought, better be safe than sorry :-) So, I poured the liquid off and removed the film, then washed it a few times, tipping the water off. Then I sterilized the crock pot (the crystal bowl had also been sterilized and I was using bottled mineral water to feed it). I then scooped out a few tablespoons of the starter and put it in the crockpot (I was running out of possible bowls and had no jars). I added a cup of flour mix and half a cup of water. Then I covered with clingwrap but this time tight, and used a wool sewing needle to poke some holes in to let the gas escape and air get in.
The ambient temp is in the mid to late 20's during the day, though it gets a little colder at night, maybe down to 15 celcius. I keep it in the oven (off) with the door ajar, mainly to keep the ants away :-)
After 24 hours of the washed and new lot, it smelled fine, looked fine, and there was no separation of water and flour. Gluten free flour does tend to be a bit 'thirstier' than normal wheat flour so there wasn't a lot of bubbles, but when I move it around you can see it is expanded in size and there is lots of activity. It seems light and airy. And it has always smelled healthy.
It has now been 3 days of the new mixture (the original one was a week old), and it is getting more of an 'alcohol' smell. It still smells good though, slightly sweet.
As I said, I haven't been throwing any out (aside from most of the first week's!). I'm not running out of room yet in the crock pot & I'm adding 1/4 c flour and 1/8 cup water, daily. It seems to be doing fine, and from what I read on the beginner's starter article it said the main reason to throw it out is so you don't end up with too much. That is my main concern, that I'm not stuffing things up by not throwing most of it out each time. I want to leave it for another week or 2 b4 I bake with it, just to make sure everything is good.
I just wanted some feedback as I'm not strictly following the suggested process
PS this is an amazing resource!