Just wanted to give an update on my experiment. It has been about 2 weeks now of feeding 2 starters (ischia & patsy's) and a CY leaven/culture at room temps once a day. The hydration for all 3 was approximately 70% by feel/eye and they were typically fed around 9-10pm daily. I would smell them first, then taste them usually before feeding and occassionally in the morning or midday. Prior to feeding most days, all 3 were usually liquid and bubbly and rather acidic. At first the CY culture really had no acidity but after 3-4 days I started noticing some acidity, while the other 2 were always acidic by feeding time. At the end of 2 weeks, the acidity of the CY leaven is still present but less than the other 2.
Last night, I forgot to feed at 10p, but rather did the feeding this morning at 6am. I decided today was test day, so at 6am this morning I discarded the majority of each and fed all 3 with 50/50 flour & water. I wanted to bring them all to the same point that I would normally use them at 100% hydration. I also pulled the 2 corresponding starters and CY leaven from the fridge and also discarded & fed them. I spent most of the day discarding and refeeding all 6 samples so that they would all be active and in a similar youthful state at time of testing. I didn't want any residual acids in any of the samples to interfere with their tasting or aroma at test time. Testing was done tonight at around 8pm. All starters are considered fairly young and all are similarly active.
I first tested each room temp sample that had been split from their original counterpart (fridge maintained) and was pleased that all 3 tasted very similar to their counter parts, with the exception of the room temp Patsy's and Ischia starters having a little bit of an off odor (bit stinky) compare to the fridge samples. I did multiple taste test, and was happy to conclude that though the aromas differ slightly for the patsy starter, the taste was very similar.
I also noticed this about the CY leaven. The fridge sample smelled slightly sweet as it always does while the room temp one smelled just slightly acidic, but not to the same degree as the other 2. Both tasted very similarly to one another with a slight sweetness with very little acidity to them.
After multiple taste testing between all 6 samples, I started noticing that the flavors were ALL very very similar. Upon noticing this, I cross taste tested all of them against one another (ex. Patsy vs Ischia (RT and fridge), Ischia vs CY (RT and fridge) so on and so forth). The only slight difference between all the samples is both CY leavens (Room temp & fridge) had a slightly milder flavor, but I would say that it is the same flavor as the others. Both the room temp Patsy and Ischia have a slightly stinkier aroma compare to their fridge counterparts, but all flavors are very similar. I would say the room temp Patsy's and Ischia smell and taste identical. Where I once was confidant that I could distinguish starter from starter blind folded, I am no longer sure about that.
Where I once was so sure about the uniqueness of my starters, I am no longer sure about that either. At this point, I plan to put them all in the fridge and I'll continue doing taste testing in the future, but as it stands these are my results and I am convinced that they are all the same or very similar now. Perhaps I have been wrong about all of this.