Why? Because its impossible? Or because its unlikely?
Neither, itís absurd because it has strayed so far from the original question posed. Why not just pour bleach in your culture? That would certainly open the door for a new culture to take over. The question was ďdo all sourdough starters become the same?Ē not can you force them to all become the same, or if you mistreat your starter to the point of death will it change.
And furthermore, how would you explain all these different observations out there? Would you simply say that everyone who experiences their starter's uniqueness withering away over time with successive feeding cycles is a flat out liar? That's too easy.
You answer your own question below.
A week is nothing. Try an entire summer in an unairconditioned place because you spend the summers somewhere else in another state. I'm describing myself there.
Why, you donít have a fridge?
And yes, I've had mold grow in starters. And I've resurrected starters with mold in them. Mold does not necessarily mean all hope is lost. Just dig down past the mold, grab a tiny sample, put it in a new jar, add some flour and water and within the next two weeks or so of intensive care you're back at full froth.
More power to you.
I do not believe that the healthy yeast cells present within the flour need to be at high concentrations to contaminate a weak colony, which is by definition an unstable colony.
A weak colony or a dead colony? Assuming weak, the invading yeast introduced with the flour is also going to be weak Ė probably a lot weaker Ė and at much lower concentrations. Iím still looking for your explanation as to how it takes ďa month or two to [grow a new starter] realistically. Maybe even longer,Ē but when the same flour is added to an existing culture, suddenly these yeasts are ready to take over?
Itís just not going to happen, by the time they reach any sort of activity, the existing colony will have consumed the food and the space. Unless they multiply faster than the existing colony, even when the get healthy, the will not be able to make up ground.
You don't need a complete takeover to change characteristics. You simply need contamination to do that.
Iíll love hearing how you support this. The invading culture will be at concentrations thousands Ė maybe 100ís of thousands Ė of times lower than the existing colony, and you think you will notice the difference?
With due respect to you, you should read the thread a little more thoroughly before replying. I don't feel like its that long.
I read what you wrote. Problem is you addressed something other that the question at hand. And, did you really feel the need to try to be uppity and disrespectful?
I've stated, in my very *first* post AAMOF, that folks should not have a problem maintaining purchased starters so long as they take care of them properly. I've also stated, more than once, that under proper circumstances there should be no real issue with native microorganisms taking over a sourdough culture. I've stated that, so you should not be attributing alternate beliefs to me by this point.
I didnít. I only addressed your points that went way beyond this.
However, I have also stated that there is some truth to the idea that starters are hardly 'bulletproof' things. 'Indestructible' is not a common description for a sourdough starter. This thread would, in fact, be the first time I've ever even seen that implied. Here we have folks literally scoffing, implying that any negative experiences reported with sourdough sustainability are utterly unbelievable!!
You read too much between the lines. I donít see anyone who disagrees that you can intentionally destroy a culture and repopulate it with another, but that was hardly the question at hand.
Based on what I've seen, sourdough cultures are instead most often described as 'finicky, temperamental, inconsistent, and not worth the trouble' compared to plain yeast.
You have not heard any of that from me. Quite the opposite in fact. 1000+ posts will back that up.
In other words, it ain't exactly uncommon to have a starter destroyed and to have to replace it, or reorder another one. Apparently, though, nobody here has ever heard of that.
Itís never been a problem for me. I canít remember anyone else ever complaining about it save an accident like the maid flushing it down the drain thinking it was garbage.
Lastly, I have also stated in post #19 that changing food sources can mean changing a lot. It really can turn out to be a pretty big deal. You can change an entire culture based on what you feed that culture over a sustained period of time. Switching food sources means switching certain enzyme concentrations, certain sugar concentrations, certain impurity concentrations, etc, etc in the actual food source. This means that for a given strain of microorganism different metabolic pathways now become preferred, which means that the same byproducts being produced by these microorganisms are now being produced at different relative concentrations.
This alone can give the *impression* of the starter changing over time with successive feedings, even though the microorganisms actually present have not changed that much at all in terms of their relative concentrations.
My point exactly. See, you knew the answer to your own question above all along. Turns out it was easy after all.