Yesterday I got home quite late, but luckily I still remembered to check my starter. Dan’s instructions say that there should be some signs of fermentation by now (day 4), but I just couldn’t see any. The water had separated and was a golden brown colour suggesting the raisins were still breaking down, but there weren’t any signs of bubbles. I was worried that my kitchen might be too cold, but as cooler temperatures slow down the yeast rather than killing it I decided to just stir it up and put it back in the cupboard for another 24 hours.
This evening it looked more promising. The water had separated again and the colour was quite an even stronger brown, but it did look like there were a few bubbles coming up from the dough at the bottom. So I followed Dan’s instructions for day 4, starting by discarding roughly 3/4 of the mixture. I probably didn’t discard enough, I felt a bit sad just pouring it down the sink! I then mixed in some water, poured the thinned mix through a strainer and returned it to the jar before stirring in strong white flour. It’s now much thicker than previous days & is certainly starting to look how I think a starter should look. I guess only time will tell if it had fermented enough before I poured most of it away!