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Ok so I started my starter (no pun intended) a few days ago. I got a recipe that said I should keep it at room temp and feed it once a day with 1/2 cup of any flour (I used whole wheat) and 1/4 cup of water. I live in a place over the sea level, near a mountain and it was a pretty warm weather when I started.

So this is what I did:

Day 1: 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup of water, got a thick consistency. Leave it on top of the fridge. Day 2: I see some bubbles on the bottom, get rid of half the mix and feed. Day 3: I see a few bubbles on the top, a lot of bubbles on the bottom and it rise a considerable amount. I get rid of half, feed and keep on with my day. Day 4: It did not rise or have as much bubbles as before. The weather changed a bit, not as hot but still warm. Still got rid of half and feed. Day 5: No change whatsoever, still some bubbles on the bottom but nothing on the top nor it rise. The weather changed, today it's cold and raining.

  • Everyday it got a vinegary smell which I read is supposed to happen.

I feel like my dough predicted the weather haha. Anyway, what should I do now? Do I keep on feeding it? How long until I know that it didn't work and should start a new one?

  • There are various other questions that have been here which could qualify as duplicates. Anyhow, the gist is this: sourdough will appear to grow a lot at some point in days 1-3 or so, but then it often dies down quite a bit. There's an initial growth period where you grow the "wrong" bacteria before the dough turns very sour. That's the big initial burst. After it turns sour, it can take a number of feedings to establish strong yeast growth (in my experience, anywhere from a couple to 10 or even more). – Athanasius Mar 10 '16 at 19:42
  • Also, mind you, these buggers are really sensitive on temperature. I had a recipe to make starter from scratch and it had a similar direction to yours but it took about three days in my flat for every day of the recipe simply because it wasn't warm enough where I had it. So, I'd go with the photos (these recipes normally show you a starter at day 1, 2, 3 and so on) rather than the timings of your recipe. IT may be the case it needs more time for the yeasts and bacteria to establish themselves. – Giorgos Mar 10 '16 at 22:13
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My mom had a sour dough mixture active for years and years kept in the frig. and used on a strict weekly schedule. It would be new to me to leave it out of the frig.. Finicky perhaps until you get the feel for it. Makes good coffee cake and pancakes also.

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