>> Sunday, March 1, 2009
Who is with me? Did you mix the flour and water mixture? See post below to begin the starter if you didn't read it before.
If you have not yet 'fed' your starter go ahead and do it now. You need to take half the starter and throw it away. (I know this goes against our nature, but you must do it). Now take a 1/2C flour and a 1/2C of warm water and add that to the start, mix it in loosely put the lid back on and keep it in a warm area. So easy isn't it? It is that easy but there are some things to look for and remember this is an experimental period. We may make mistakes and that is ok. We may even need to start over but that is ok too. Here is something that may or may not happen to your starter.
When using just flour and water, many will grow a gas-producing bacteria that slows down the process. It can raise the starter to three times its volume in a relatively short time. Don't worry--it is harmless. It is a bacteria sometimes used in other food fermentation like cheeses, and it is in the environment, including wheat fields and flours. Things will still progress, but this is the point at which people get frustrated and quit, because the gassy bacteria stop growing. It will appear that the "yeast" died on you, when in fact, you haven't begun to grow yeast yet. When the pH drops below 3.5--4 or so, the yeast will activate, begin to grow, and the starter will expand again. You just need to keep it fed and cared for until then.
Your starter may also appear a bit watery and that is ok too, just stir it back in or it may appear a little grayish, that is ok too stir that in but it can mold and if that happens you will know it, mold is pretty distinctive.