Hairy Sourdough Starter

The flour & water are mixed

I’ve been trying to start some 100% rye sourdough starter for a while now, and things keep on going wrong. I’m using Gaarp’s Starting a Starter tutorial but using rye flour all of the time, and every time things shut down and go mouldy during the Day 3 step.

Day 1 looks normal, not much action:

Day 1

Then on day 2 things go kind of crazy – in a good way I think. This is what the starter looks like at the beginning of Day 2:

Start of Day 2

Then by the end of Day 2 it looks like this:

End of Day 2

I’ve read that I should expect up maybe 200% growth, but this is crazy. Either way I continue with the directions, throw out half and add my flour & water, then wait for the mixture to double on Day 3. The problem is that there’s never any significant growth on Day 3, things just sit there for a couple of days then go mouldy:

Day 3 - after a couple of days of waiting

After my two previous failed attempts at growing starter I tried moving the jar into my office, hoping that the lower temperatures would help the yeast grow and discourage the mould, but all that appears to have done is make the mould take longer to form, and make it less colourful.

So, the question is: What am I doing wrong, and how do I get my 100% rye starter to grow?

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One Comment

  1. Annelise
    Posted August 16, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Make sure you’re getting a lot of air in there! And that you leave it in a warm place!
    I cover my jar with a piece of old t-shirt, held in place by a rubber band.

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