starter troubles


after week of nice fruity smell my starter is gone back to sour milk smell
would the low temperature in melbourne be resposible for this?
what to do? what to do? ......

260 users have voted.


Bill44's picture
Bill44 2006 August 7

Is this with your white starter? If it is kept in cold conditions it will develop more acetic acid and give it a sharp sour smell, try and keep it warm. Also, starters with rye in them tend to have a sweet smell and white ones don't.

Croc 2006 August 7

yes it is all white
its very active and looks good but after having that nice fruity smell the sour milk smell is getting on my nerves.

is it ok to make bread with starter like this?

Croc 2006 August 8

i made a dough and after about 3 hours of proofind it smells really off
chemical, acetone (spelling?) sort of smell
should i trash it or still bake it?

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2006 August 8

Looks like all the (usual) docs have gone to bed. You should too. Get some shut eye and start afresh tomorrow - which is probably the thing I'd do with a starter like that.

jacklang 2006 August 8

Take 10g or your starter (say a teaspoon) to a 100g of dlour and 100g of water (say a cup) mix well, and incubate at 39C/85F for 12 hours or until bubbly. The temperature is important to encourage the right bugs.

Throw the rest away and use the refreshed starter

Croc 2006 August 8

well the bread turned out fine, nice crumb, nice taste and bloody fantastic crust.
i'm puzzled
what i would like to understand is why this happen.
i feed starter from day one same way and keep it at around same temperature.
the only thing that i did stuffed up was feeding times twice
starter would mature in a middle of the night than in a morning i had to rush out the door so it didn't get refreshed till 12hours+ after it was at its peak, but it was still ok and the troubles started few days later.

i changed my starter a little bit it is now 100g wheat flour and 10g rye (+110 water and tbl spoon of the orginal starter)

few people around here say that rye starters are easy to work with so little rye in a mixture might help i hope.

bread crust had this great rusty look with blisters all over, really nice

Croc 2006 August 9

it seem that this little bit of rye flour in my starter did the trick
i will reduce rye down over the next few days to go back to original all white starter and by than my thermostated box should be ready to keep it happy.

bread last night worked out quite good too and it didn't have that funny smell to it while proofing so looks like temporary problem

it seem that my starter is really sour, last few breads had quite nice sour taste maybe even little bit too strong but i'm happy with it just my wife was asking if i could reduce the sour taste a bit.

jacklang 2006 August 9

No need to keep it warm between baking sessions.
Starter lives quite happily in the fridge.
Just bring it back to temperature when you make the preferment

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