I followed this YouTube video to make a wild yeast starter. My intention is to use them for making bread, hamburger buns, and maybe even try them out in a 1-gallon experimental homebrew!
The TLDR; of that video is:
- Mix 3 tbsp flour + 3 tbsp pineapple juice into a mason jar and lightly cover
- Whisk every few hours for the first 24 hrs
- Then, starting at the 24-hr/1-day mark, add another mixture of 3 tbsp flour + 3 tbsp distilled water every day, for 4 more days
- By the end of the 5th day, you should have a vigorous yeast starter, foaming with lots of bubbles
So I followed this and I am now on Day 5, and I see 2 problems:
- Although I do see lots of tiny bubbles on the surface of the starter, and it smells doughy/malty/toasty, it doesn't look as "bubbly" as the mason jar on that video. It looks like I'm not even half-way to where the jar in that video was at by Day 5. So I'm not sure if my yeast is activated enough to be useful for baking.
- Every time I added flour + water, I mixed it in, and accidentally scraped/wiped the fork off on the inside of the jar, above the starter. So over the course of a few days, there's been "wipe off residue" clinging to the side of the jar several inches about the starter. Well, I am now seeing little bits of mold forming on the wipe off (that my fork left behind), which got caked on to the upper part of the jar. I'm guessing this happened because, whereas there's enough yeast down in the starter to fight off any bacterial/mold infection, there's not enough of it up on the caked on "wipe off" parts higher up in the jar. So mold is being allowed to form up there. Not much, but visible.
So I ask:
How can I tell when I have either enough yeast, or enough "active" yeast to use for baking, and is it safe to transfer the non-infected (not moldy) starter from my one mason jar to another, clean one?