The second iteration is a go! I nuked all flour I used for feeding in the microwave, on hold at 210o
F until the flour temp was above 140o
F. I used very ripe, unwashed Italian plums from my tree, pitted, cut in half and submerged in the flour/distilled water slurry. This was covered with Stretch-tite and left on my kitchen counter at room temp. By the third day, I was seeing something that I was worried was mold, but as it grew, I knew that it was yeast! It was tan-white, about the color of yeast in the jar, no white or blue-green and it grew in a flat, across-the-surface strand shape. I lifted the wrap once a day to smell the contents and it always smelled yeasty and alcoholic, not moldy. This "cooked" on the counter for one week. By the end of the week, it smelled glorious! So, I removed the wrap, stirred in 1/2 c nuked, cooled flour and put new wrap on it. It is now into the second day, starting to perk and look like starter should!
It smells yeasty and wonderful!
Next, I will remove some of the starter, making sure that I have no fruit included and activate with feedings of nuked flour (just to be safe) and distilled water. I will add more documentation as I have it.
This is a great adventure.... I hope the yeastie-beasties perform well in bread... with GOOD flavor!
NB: the pink in the photos is the plum skins, showing through the slurry