My very first starter turned a toasty tan/orange color on the second day, is it ruined? - Food52

My very first starter turned a toasty tan/orange color on the second day, is it ruined?

I believe I followed the recipe properly. I watched the video twice. But on the second day I looked at it and the top of it has turned a light brown or orangish color. Is that normal? Is it mold. I couldn’t find anything about this but a different recipe on a different site states if it turned orange to through it out. Mine isn’t really orange but it’s a golden crusty looking with bubbles like an almost done bread. What should I do now? And there is a 1/4” of water on the bottom, is that normal? Do I just mix it all together then remove half and feed it?

Chefknead
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Lori T. April 24, 2020
It's really hard to offer you help or advice without being able to see the starter. As a rule, if you see any sign of orange or pink anywhere in the starter- it's a sign you have cultured potentially dangerous bacteria and need to toss it out and start again. On the other hand, an ordinary starter will sometimes have a layer of crust on the top, over a thin layer of liquid. The yeast naturally release alcohol, as well as carbon dioxide bubbles- which is why it's so useful for making beer and wine. Hooch is the old term for it, and what they say the old timers would drink. It normally gets stirred back into the mixture, and the whole is what you divide, discard and feed. Since I can't see your starter, and there IS some question about the safety, I would recommend you toss it and start again. The next time, make sure you have sterilized everything you will be using- from bowl to spoon, to holding container. Wash your hands first, and clean off the surface where you will do the mix up. Sorry- sometimes it just happens.
 
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