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Thread: Help!! My sourdough starter stinks!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    SW Ohio
    Posts
    6,588

    Unhappy Help!! My sourdough starter stinks!

    OK, so I have a starter from king arthur that I have had for about one year and it smells as it should, at least I think it does, kind of yeasty and alcoholish inbetween uses. Anyway so I wanted to experiment with other starters so I got an Italian one from Sourdough international (see if they really do taste differently), and I started it and it smells RADICALLY different. Frankly it smells like sour milk. Did I do something wrong? Is it just a different starter smell? I am afraid to use it.....
    -Laura

    Muffins are for people who don't have the 'nads to order cake for breakfast.
    --Seth, "Kitchen Confidential" (the show, not the book)

    www.thespicedlife.com/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Waterford, MI
    Posts
    2,331
    I don't really know anything about that particular starter, but in my experience starters should smell yeasty, but pleasant. If it offends your nose, I would go with your instinct that it is no good.

    Just my 2 cents as I really don't know what that starter should smell like, but sourdough isn't usually like sour milk.

    Lisa

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Kenmore NY, near Buffalo
    Posts
    6,182
    If it has a grayish look to it, (or even a little grayish mold) it is probably all right-- that means good bacteria, just scrape and toos the mold. It if looks pinkish, toss it! I have a starter from the WS: Essentials of Baking (Pain au Levain), and I'm getting my info on this from there. But I agree that if it's really reeking, it couldn't hurt to start over. I've never had a starter that stunk before.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Lone Star State
    Posts
    20,820
    I wonder if it has a milk base. Does it say to feed it with milk instead of water? I would probably agree -- if it looks okay and no orange or pink to it, it should be alright, but it you really can't stand the smell, you might not like the flavor. Different strains of sourdough do have distinctive flavors and the smells are probably different too.

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