Your Starter Smells like Alcohol When your starter isn’t fed often enough, it is common for an alcohol smell to develop. This happens when the starter begins to consume discarded yeast as well as its own waste. Start feeding your starter more regularly, and your starter will return to its normal smell .
When your starter reaches the last stage and stabilizes it will develop its own characteristic smells . However, despite the name ” sourdough “, a healthy sourdough starter usually has a fresh yeasty smell with, perhaps, a bit of an astringent note to it. The idea of using a fresh starter bothers some people.
This starter shouldn’t be saved. However, if you see a pink or orange tint or streak, this is a sure sign that your sourdough starter has gone bad and should be discarded. The stiff starter above was left out at room temperature for two weeks. It’s definitely time to throw it out and start over.
Do not refresh your starter again unless it smells like stinky feet or cheese . Don’t throw it away either. Blooming can take as long as three days, but it usually happens when we’re not watching.
Foul odours (i.e., vomit ) is normal for new starters , especially if made with only flour and water. In my experience, you can’t get good starter after only four days. After about two to three weeks, you’ll have a ripe active starter that’ll smell rich and sweet, a bit sour and cheesy after more than 48 hours.
The smell is actually acetone. Under certain conditions, the lactic acid bacteria in the sourdough produce copious amounts of acetic acid which gives the familiar vinegar smell . As soon as you dilute the sourdough by refreshing it with flour and water, the smell goes.
If you want, you can add a little commercial yeast to a starter to “boost” it. Note that starter made with commercial yeast often produces a bread with less distinctive sour flavor than the real thing. Every 24 Hours, Feed the Starter . You should keep the starter in a warm place; 70-80 degrees Farenheit is perfect.
Yes, you can overfeed your sourdough starter . Audrey explains: “Every time you add more flour and water, you are depleting the existing population of natural bacteria and yeast.” If you keep adding more and more, eventually you ‘ll dilute the starter so much that you ‘ll just have flour and water.
Adding a little sugar will help jump-start the yeast process because yeast feeds on sugar ; just don’t use too much. Many recipes for sourdough products require you to bring the starter to room temperature and feed the yeast cells anywhere from an hour to a day in advance.
Allergies and food intolerances set aside, there is no need to be worried about the bacterial content in sourdough bread , because even if bad bacteria did make it into the dough, it will most likely die at the cooking stage and be perfectly safe to eat.
Stirring is just as important as feeding. That’s actually a good thing to do throughout the process. You don’t need to stir on schedule, but whenever it’s convenient, give it a little stir , whether it’s a couple times a day or a dozen because you happen to be in the kitchen.
If you don’t feed it often enough, the sourdough starter starts to smell like alcohol. You may also find that the starter loses its vibrancy and doesn’t get too bubbly and active after a feeding . Don’t worry, you can always get the starter to recover.
But it’s okay! The yeast and bacteria in the starter are duking it out and trying to find harmony to create that pleasantly tart and fruity- smelling sourdough starter , so it just needs a bit of time. Just keep feeding every 12 hours.
There might be some bubbles in your starter, and it might smell like stinky cheese . If it does , congratulations! You’ve caught yourself some wild yeasts. If not, leave it for another day or two until you see bubbles and smell stinkiness.
If you have established that your starter is in good shape and you ‘re feeding it on schedule, you can bake a day late (or even a day early) and be fine.