I’ve read through the other posts from people have trouble with their sourdough starters and while my situation does not appear to be unique I still don’t know what to do. I started my starter two weeks ago exactly following my interpretation of Rose’s instructions in the bread bible. I thought that everything was going ok until day 5 when my starter never rose. I followed the instructions and kept doing the daily feedings (removing 120 grams of the starter and replacing it with 60 grams of flour and 60 grams of bottled water) and I also did not put the starter in the refrigerator. It is now day 14 and while I have been doing the daily feedings for the last 10 days or so I have yet to get any rise out of the starter. The top of the starter is always full of bubbles but I never got any rise out of it.
Yesterday when I went to do my daily feeding I noticed that there was some mold on the very top of the lip on the mason jar I was using to hold the starter. Because of the mold I threw out the starter and am going to start over. I also started to notice that right before I did my daily feedings that the starter had a smell that reminded me of acetone but once stirred it would smell more like bread. Clearly something went horribly wrong here. I’m going out today to get some more organic rye flour so I can start this again but I have a few questions that I’d like to try and get some answers on before I start my starter again.
1. I used a 1qt mason jar to hold the starter. I assume that once you start it is safe to use the same jar without needing to wash it?
2. I used Pillsbury bread flour for the starter. This was not organic flour like the rye flour I used. Do I need to use organic bread flour for the daily feedings or is conventional flour sufficient?
3. When I did not get any rise out of the starter on day 5 is just continuing with the daily feedings the right thing to do until the starter begins to rise?
4. I assume the starter should smell like bread and not like acetone?
5. Does anybody have any ideas on what I can do to get my new starter to rise?