You're welcome anytime, but don't forget I don't fully understand starter cultures myself.
I had different smells with the Ischia starter too, when mine was not acting right. You might want to feed a few more days to see what happens with the present culture you are trying to activate, or try some more washings. I don't know if you read Totti's thread about activating his starter culture, but it contains a lot of good information from different members. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=30746.0 You can see Totti's first activation failed. You might want to look at Totti's other thread too at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=31538.0 You might also want to look at Bill's post at Reply 6 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=3065.msg26043#msg26043 about the contamination and need for repeated washings. Bill has posted a lot about starter cultures here on the forum. If you also want to search pizzanapoletana (Marco's) posts he was the member that helped members to learn how to use starter cultures. This is just one of Marco's post at Reply 3 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=3065.msg26011#msg26011 As you can see starter cultures are complicated beasts in many ways.
Since you have the Ischia culture I think you will like that culture very much when you activate it.
I agree, get one of your starter cultures activated right and then go on from there. Some members can quickly catch on to using starter cultures, but it is an advanced pizza making process to learn.
please, you are very knowledged expert in my perspective the least, and have knowledge, skill and experience far more than enough to guide a newbie like myself. after going through these questions and answer steps, I think I am much more prepared to start my Ischia starter activation, and all these readiness are mainly a result of your selfishless help and contribution, truely appreciated with due respect to you.
I kept one of the two jars, and replaced other one of them with a new setup of the Japan made Italian Culture, which I don't know its name because the package is printed in Japanese. now, the refurbished culture is more than double of it's initial volume again in one hour, and delivers very pleasant smell and sourness. I believe this dry starter is engineered like it is observed with its Japanese technique. when I ordered this cutlure, the dealer did mention the bacteria is cultivated by the Japan maker using their in house developed techniques, while the dealer really could not give more information, that is a pity. so, I think I will move on to the Ischia tomorrow or the day after to experience a true adventure. I will report to you what is my journey look like.
I went through Totti's threads, together with your threads, and the conversation between you and other experienced member like Craig, I believe I can overcome a lot un-certainties, at lease I have the information to help judge the activation process, it is a big plus, isn't it? this is sufficient to me, as we are living in a totally different world geographically and biologically, it doesn't make sense to expect precise instruction like IT programming, culture is a very complicated beast as you mentioned, can not agree more
but, I really enjoyed the talks, thank s again, Norma, for your great help. have a great day, Madam !