Has anyone every grow multiple starters at the same time? I have always heard that yeast can take over a large area. Would the two starters turn into a hybrid of a new starter? Or can you have two different strands of yeast co-mingling without issue?
Hi pdog. In considering this, it's important to remember that a starter cannot be defined by yeast alone. It's a balance of lactic acid bacteria (most notably lactobacilli) and yes yeast. So, in no way would you be creating a hybrid in the conventional sense of the word. Nor is it really a case of "A vs B" duelling it out. If both have been fed under exactly the same conditions, it would not be surprising if they already shared lactobacilli (or indeed yeast) strains in common.
The balance in any sourdough culture can be quite complex. Different bacteria will metabolise in multitude ways depending on species/strain, conditions, angle of the sun....I kid, but only slightly
so the short answer is: the mixture will find a new balance over time.
Whether you want to call it a "hybrid" is up to you. If you expect it to somehow retain all the characteristics of both
its predecessors, or become some sort of "super starter" then you'll probably be disappointed. Personally, I'd say, if you have two stable starters you're happy with, you're better off maintaining those two as separate entities and using them as you see fit.