In the past I have tried to keep a sourdough starter going and have successfully killed them all. I want my sourdough to be whole grain and from freshly ground wheat or spelt or rye. I have been attending free webinars put on by GNOWFGLINS and learned a lot. There is actually another free webinar tomorrow. I am not sure if it is too late to sign up or not. I think you can. Check out the link I gave and sign up there if you are interested. You can make a starter just by catching wild yeasts out of the air. I wanted a sure fire thing so I ordered 2 sourdough starter cultures at Cultures For Health. They carry many different starters each with their own unique flavor and attributes. They sell starter cultures for whole grain sourdoughs. One of the cultures I bought was the Spelt Sourdough Starter. It was the first one that I got going. Once you get the starter going well, then you can switch to other flours. You just need to get it started with its own specific flour. The other starter I bought was the San Francisco Sourdough Starter. Whenever I think of sourdough bread, this is the "flavor" of sour I think of. It needs to be started with white flour. I have just started it and not made anything with it yet. You need to keep different starters at least 5 to 10 feet away from each other so they don't cross contaminate. Most people would probably just keep one going, but I wanted to try both. I hope to switch the San Francisco one to spelt or wheat flour. Here is a picture of my 2 starters. They say to scrape the sides down and I do, but they still look messy. :)
This one is my spelt sourdough. I have made bread with it and it turned out really well. I also took a free webinar on doing things quick and easy with sourdough starter. I have made pancakes so far. They turn out absolutely delicious. You can make breads, rolls, english muffins, cracker, cakes and all sorts of things with sourdough starter.
This one is my San Francisco starter. It has an entirely different sour smell when you open the lid. I can't wait to make something out of it. I will make the first few things with white flour to use up the bag that I bought. Then I hope to switch it to white wheat.