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Anyone else with a sourdough starter....?! Might need some help...!

(4 Posts)
misspollysdolly Wed 23-Oct-13 20:27:05

I made sourdough for several months during spring to early summer and then - having previously been in a really good rhythm with my starter - I put the jar of starter in the fridge while we were away intermittently through the summer. Now I've taken it out of the fridge - about a week or so ago - and I feel completely all at sea with the thing hmm here are my main issues:

I have fed it every other day or so but it continually smells incredibly vinegary no matter what I do;
It seems to look separated and topped with a greyish watery layer within a few hours of stirring or feeding it - I don't recall this happening before or at least not so regularly. Is this a concern? Am I doing something wrong? Should I be feeding it more?
And then yesterday I realised it was attracting fruit flies from a soggy kiwi in the fruit bowl. confused I have not discarded the starter even though it seemed to have some flies hanging around it. I've just changed from the manky old jar to a new improved one. But should I chuck it?!

Lastly, if I can crack to vinegary-ness, generally speaking how long after feeding it do you embark on starting to make a loaf? (I've forgotten this - duh!) and how long after it's been 'hibernating' should I wait before starting to use it again??

Thank you in advance - I'm so cross with myself for forgetting so much in such a short space of time! Must be getting old blush

misspollysdolly Wed 23-Oct-13 23:36:45

Really?! No others bread geeks around?!? sad

twattock Thu 24-Oct-13 19:41:21

if it's nasty start again, it doesn't take more than a couple of days after all. sometimes it just happens. don't lose heart! you could always use a bit of ordinary yeast in the mix until it really gets going.

It should smell beer-y (if such a word exists) not vinegary. You can store in fridge for several months - it does separate out into a sludge and brownish water, but as you said get it out stir it up and re-feed.

Smells like yours has gone off - would start again. My main one is about 2 years old now.

Yes, a pinch or so of yeast does help at bit.

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