The starter trials have been interesting. I've enjoyed this process, and enjoyed watching the starters take shape.
This morning all three starters are performing as they should: rising within several hours of the morning feeding, and falling coming into the next morning feeding. I have met some scientific posters on another site, and they have enjoyed debunking the pineapple starter, stating some very scientific reasons as to their debunking. I can't say I have enough knowledge to agree or disagree, and I don't know that I really care, on that level.
The starter trials weren't done for the scientific minded. They were done for me, and others like me, who want to work with starter, but don't feel inclined to invest in learning all the science behind the phenomenon of wild yeast development.
There is no question the pineapple starter was the most pleasing to look at, from day one. It never separated its liquids from the balance of itself. It never had a real strong, almost rancid smell. It was easier to work with, and required less fuss.
The water starters were kind of 'sick' looking for the first several days, and had I not committed myself to this process, I'm not sure I'd have kept them going. I fully expected one, or both of them, to be a failure.
As it was, none of the starters began developing in the much heralded "2-3 days" I'd read about in books, and on countless sites. I didn't see much of anything for more than double that amount of time, and even now, at day ten, I would say I'm just beginning to see the desired rising and falling one wants to see in their young starter.
I preferred the pineapple starter for one reason, and one reason only, it gets fed every day, from day one, so it never sits, looking 'sick', like the water starters, which followed the Tartine Bread starter process. I liked the refreshment of the pineapple starter recipe. Could that be done with the water starters? I really don't know.
I would say, at this point in time, other than their individual journeys to reach this point, there is no measurable difference in how the three starters are performing. I really have no idea what the long-haul will bring, in terms of development, but at this point, on day ten, they have all come to the party.
Does it matter which method you choose? I would say 'no', at this point, but I reserve the right to change my mind. What I will tell you is this, 'patience' and 'process' reign supreme when it comes to starters. If it doesn't begin to develop by day three, it doesn't mean it won't at some point, but keep on keeping on.
I will likely cease posting about the starter trials from here on out, and until I go into starter maintenance. For now, friends, enjoy your own starter journey. I have enjoyed mine.
Interested in the starter trials? You can read about them, from day one, here.