It's been two days since my first starter trials post. At that time, my starters had been 'cooking' for 24 hours. Today is the start of day four. Tuesday was day one, and I'm counting days from Tuesday, making Wednesday day two, Thursday day three, and today is day four. Yesterday there was so little progress, I decided to pass on posting an update.
Yesterday the distilled water batch resembled the tap water batch from the day before, and my thought was the distilled water batch might follow the same pattern as the tap water batch, but just do so more slowly.
Yesterday the layer of water on both the tap water and distilled water batches was so pronounced, I decided to stir it back in. This morning I woke up to a tap water batch that had a layer of liquid on the surface once again, but the distilled water batch had not yet developed the liquid surface layer, and had expanded in bulk by about 20%. This is a significant difference between the tap water and distilled water batches. With those two batches, I'm following the exact same process, down to the ingredients, and amounts. The only difference between the two is the tap vs. distilled water.
In looking at the distilled water batch, it appears the bacteria might be coming together, starting to play nice. The tap water batch looks like it's at odds with itself, not organized at all, still struggling to find some balance. Kind of like two children fighting, who have not yet figured out that compromise will benefit both sides.
The third batch, my pineapple juice and whole wheat flour batch, shows no significant change, and now on day four, I have switched it over to bread flour and water. No more pineapple juice, as per the recipe. I will be looking for some development in the next 2-3 days. This batch requires additions every day, from day one. The other two batches require nothing until they begin to expand. My distilled water batch is now doing that.
Onto the photos...
The tap water batch, day four:
The distilled water batch, day four - notice the surface bubbles:
The pineapple juice batch, day four:
What I have learned from the pineapple juice batch is that I really don't need as much as Chad Robertson suggests, so when it's time to feed the first two batches, following his process, I will reduce the volume significantly. When it's time to dispose of a portion of the starter, I won't feel so bad about the waste.
I have moved the pineapple juice batch into a clear container, and will move the other two batches into the same style of container when it's time to feed them. I'd like to watch them, and compare them, in similar containers. I think the changes in each will be more obvious.
I did feed the distilled water batch this morning after I took these photos.
Onto part three.