Above are the befores, right after a feed, followed by the after photos, after the rise. It’s been 10 or so days since I began this starter. I learned through frustration that you can’t rush it. At one point I thought maybe it needed a dash more liquid, and that seemed to help. Then I learned that adding more liquid is only good for quicker rise but not for developing strength. So I never added more than the 40g.
I also had the idea to see if leaving more starter in helped growth. It seemed to, but, again, I only did that once. Once I trusted that my flour and water was really turning into starter, I went right back to the basics.
An experiment I did yesterday was to keep the hungry discarded portion of starter in a separate weck jar. When it was time to feed the real starter, it smelled like ripe fruit, not bad, not just like dough. I took a whiff of the over hungry portion in its jar, and it smelled FOUL. Alcoholish and really bad. I tossed it, which was what I was going to do. It hadn’t grown as much as the fed starter.
If I had all the bread making equipment, I think my starter would be ready. It’s definitely hungry 3x in the 24. The smell is never even slightly vinegary, though, so I think it’s ok to keep developing it for strength.