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So on my second day, my sourdough starter split pretty big and I'm wondering if this is expected behaviour. This is 30/30gr water/fullwheat flour from the first and second day. Here is a picture of the result: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_9zXCYnMBMlNXhTOU1vQk9yMjQ/view?usp=docslist_api

It smells really sour, beyond vinegary. Any opinions or tips?

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tl:dr; Do another batch.

It is not expected but not a full indication of a failure, but - There is a lot of colours in the picture which is suspicious. Also beyond vinegary after two days is suspicious. That kind of separation is indicative of the flour no longer having feed for their bacteria, which might explain the sour smell (not good).

What kind of environment did you leave it in? covered and cold?

I'd try another batch. It should smell nutty and just a tad sour. You might just have been unlucky with the dominating bugs in your starter.

Anecdotal: I have had long-lived primers separate a little bit and brought them back to life with some careful feeding.

  • By color you mean the brownish water? The specks are wheat chaffs. It was in or around 25c but i fed with perfectly measured 35celcius water each time. I will buy a new wheat from somewhere else and try again. Does it do harm to use a steralised vessel for the mix? The yeast and all come from the air and my hands right so it should be a way to avoid unwanted infection. Thanks a ton for your reaction – hoppa Aug 29 '15 at 6:31
  • Sterilised vessel is preferred. It is the bacteria on/in the flour that makes the magic. You do not need 35-degree water. Cold from tap is better. Your water heater might introduce unwanted bacteria. – Captain Giraffe Aug 30 '15 at 2:46
  • I agree, if it's started to smell "beyond vinegary", you could have bacteria producing acetone. In an established starter, you could fix this but in a new one, it's probably best to just start over – SourDoh Sep 7 '15 at 20:01

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