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I have prepared my starter from Chad Robertson's Tartine Book three times. Twice it grew mold. Once it never grew anything for almost a week. I am using the exact recipe and clean utensils. What am I doing wrong?

Update/Comment on Oct 1: I used brand new bread flour and wheat flour 100 grams. I live in Tennessee so it is humid. I used tap water. Should I use bottled? Had a cloth lid.

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    Can you edit your post with the precise recipe? It will help other users provide the best possible answer, and ensure the question is useful to people who don't have access to that book.
    – user141592
    Sep 26, 2021 at 16:22
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    Also, note anything that's different between your setup and a commercial kitchen in the Mission in San Francisco. Humidity? Ambient temperature? Sources of flour (yes, it matters)? The growing mold really seems like an indicator of something in your environment.
    – FuzzyChef
    Sep 26, 2021 at 19:24
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    Did you use the same batch of flour? What kind of water (e.g. tap water which can be chlorinated)? Ambient temperature? Closed or open container?
    – Stephie
    Sep 26, 2021 at 19:27
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    Voting to close because of lack of detail from OP.
    – FuzzyChef
    Sep 30, 2021 at 17:10
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    I used brand new bread flour and wheat flour 100 grams. I live in Tennessee so it is humid. I used tap water. Should I use bottled? Had a cloth lid. Oct 1, 2021 at 21:18

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To me it sounds like a temperature and humidity issue. I have experienced this when I have tried to begin a new batch of starter and it is both above 80 degrees and over 90% humidity. I suggest that you feed your "baby" starter every 3 days. If you have an environment that is more ideal 75 degrees and under 50% humidity you should have better luck.

I agree with FuzzyChef in that flour does matter. I personally use Guistos Ultimate Performance flour. I know this will sound like cheating and the purists will probably tear me a new one but if you still have issues to get your starter to "kick", then I suggest to get your hands on and add a very small qty of fresh or instant yeast to kick start you starter.

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