So your room temp starters are "dough balls" and not liquid?
Yes Gene, after feeding it is in a dough form, but after 24hours, it's soft and bubbly. Not quite liquid though. It's still a starter for all intents and purposes.
John, thank you for letting me know that you maintain your room temp starter the same way. I was going to dilute it before using as well.
Thanks Matt for letting us know how you keep your starter as well. Can I get you two to weigh in on the discussion? Have you noticed your starter changing by maintaining it (or them) at room temps versus cold fermentation.
Johnny, thanks for linking that article by Deborah Wink again. It's a good read and I missed it the first time. I just quickly skimmed it, but it sounds like cold versus room temps causes the same starter to take different fermentation pathways, so you will get different flavor profiles. I think many of us were semi aware of this, but does it constitute a take over?
So if you take a cold fermented starter to room temps for 2 weeks and you do get a change in flavor profile, would that same starter revert back to it's original profile once you return it to the cold? If it does then it hasn't changed permanently, if it does not then there is (loose) evidence of a takeover.
I found this part interesting...
"In yeasted breads, acids come in small doses from naturally occurring bacteria present in flour and commercial yeast. (Fresh yeast generally has more bacterial inhabitants than dried, and whole grain flours more than refined.) In sourdough breads, acid-producing bacteria are supplied in much greater numbers from starter. There are many different species and strains of bacteria found in various types of starters, and because they produce lactic acid while fermenting sugar, they fall under the heading of Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB)."
So if my CY leaven sours, it doesn't neccesarrily mean that a new yeast source has taken over and my leaven has become a SD starter. It could simply mean that different bacteria that thrive at room temps have moved it. The question again, would those bacteria stay permanantly or give way to the colder temp loving bacteria if the leaven is returned to the fridge?