I have some news and interesting preliminary findings today. First bit of news is that Sat. morning I had to restart my experiment. Friday night I had some friends over and someone got into my containers (I am guessing they were looking for food and thought it may have been dip or something). Not wanting to risk that my samples were contaminated I started over from scratch with fresh containers and vessels. The only modification I made was to closed environment group. To ensure a tighter seal, I overlaid the container with saran wrap, secured by a rubber band before applying the lid.
What is surprising this time is that the closed environment flour + water mixture (FW) rapidly developed over the past 48h as shown below. In all photos, the sample on the left is from my original SD culture and the sample on the right (with the piece of white paper under it) is the flour and water mixture. The SD starter had exhausted it’s food supply over the two days. The flavor of SD starter had not noticeably changed from the original seed culture and was sharp, with slight acidic notes. The FW mixture was showing activity and bubbling–whereas there was no activity yesterday. While it is a little early to identify whether or not this was due to the neighboring SD starter, the flavor of the FW was different from the SD. The FW tasted mildly sweet and pleasant.
Within the open environment/closed container samples (not shown), the SD starter had also used up it food supply and tasted the same as the closed environment SD starter. The FW mixture had no pronounced activity occurring yet and tasted rather bland. Against protocol, I fed this group first this morning and did not recognize anything out of the ordinary until I viewed the closed environment group, which is why I did not snap any photos. I will try to get some photos of this group in two day when I refeed again.
I am kind of curious about what I going on in the closed environment group. I am sure that I did not cross contaminate the FW mixture in the closed environment as the glass vessel was sterilized before the FW mixture was added and the FW mixture was mixed in one batch and divided between open and closed environment groups.
If any members have time, could someone try to recreate this closed environment group, even if it is for only two or three days. My reason for asking is to validate whether or not I contaminated my FW sample along the way or if this is an actual occurrence, possibly being facilitated by the humidity in the container.
The container is a standard Tupperware container to which two sponge strips had been added. The sponges were saturated with water and placed at the bottom of the Tupperware.The container was tightly secured with saran wrap, a rubber band and the original container lid. The FW mixture was mixed at a 1:1 ratio with nothing else added to it. The SD mixture was 10% seed culture and 90% flour and water in equal proportions.