I'm making my second attempt at a sourdough starter. I tried once in the past and I now know that I just didn't stick with it long enough and had a bad bread recipe, but with a little more knowledge, I've had the urge to give it another try.
I came across a tutorial when browsing instructables.com, by user name ItsJeremy. He uses half AP flour and half of another flour, but said you can use straight AP. That's what I had, so that's what I used. I spaced out on the very first start up. Instead of using a 2:1 ratio, I used a 1:1, but since many other people use this, I figured it was okay. I went to the 2:1 every 12 hours after that. If my starter got too thick, I'd add a little extra water and if it got a little thin, I'd add a some extra flour. I tried to keep it pancake batter consistency.
After a couple of days, I started seeing bubbles forming. Not like you'd expect of a good starter, but it was a start. I started it on Sat morning and on Monday, I had made it a little thicker that day and when I got home from work, it had risen about 1/4". That wasn't much as in the container I had it in, the starter had begun at ~1" deep. So I got a 25% rise.
However, the next feeding haven't risen at all as far as I can tell. I'm still getting some bubbles, but not a massive amount. I haven't tasted it, but I have been smelling it and I don't smell an odors besides flour and water. Now, at 4 days into it and 7 feedings, I'd expect more progress. We do have the AC on in the house, but I imagine daytime temps are around 75deg. Nighttime probably gets cooler.
I do live in the south east and temps are hot and humid. I don't know that I shouldn't stick it on the covered front porch in the shade. I have a couple of extra containers and I might try that as well as another I saw a chef on youtube.com do, where they did a 1:1 ratio, put plastic wrap on it and let it sit 24-36 hours with no feedings till it bubbled.
I'm just looking for some guidance here. Is it not taking, do I just need to keep with it, should I find somewhere warmer. I mean I'd at least expect some sour smell after 4 days. It's not like I'm adding bleach instead of water. Thanks for the help.
Edit: I didn't mention it above. I'm on well water, so there is no chlorine.