I recently decided to make my own sourdough starter. I'm on my second starter right now (the first one had the same activity as this one, except I ended up dumping it because of a seriously off smell. It was cheesey, and not at all yeasty or sour, or like anything I've read. From everything I've read it smelled exactly like what it shouldn't have smelled like). Kept it simple with equal parts bottled water and bread flour. Left it out overnight, uncovered, and by the next evening I saw my first signs of activity (much like the first one) with a decent amount of bubbles forming on the surface. I stirred in the slight skin that it had developed and covered it with plastic wrap. By that evening I decided it was time to feed it (another shot of equal parts water and flour, 2/3rds of a cup of each) and within an hour it had nearly doubled in size and was very bubbly. The smell it had taken was almost like a cake batter with a hint of honey. Still a bit off, but nothing unpleasant that takes over the entire kitchen, drawing the attention of everyone in the house, when I take off the plastic wrap. So after the first feeding it sat out again overnight, this time wrapped, and in the morning (approx. 12hrs later) it had settled back down and was very bubbly and frothy. I poured out half of the starter, fed it another shot of water and flour, and wrapped it back up. About an hour later I was spotting bubbles on the surface, about the same amount there was when I had initially decided to feed it. This is where I'm at now. It's been about 7 hours since my second feeding, and there are more bubbles but nothing like that first feeding. It hasn't risen and I'm wondering if I've done something wrong or if it's normal for the first feeding to cause such a great reaction and then maybe it settles down with the following feedings? Is this normal and should I continue with my plan of feeding every 12 hours?
edit: picture taken immediately after this post was made.
Thanks a lot for any help in advance! This site has been a great help and everyone's results have a been a real inspiration to take my own stab at sourdough!