Having seen erratic taste and texture in recent bakes, I lessened the liquid in my sourdough to see if it improved my bakes. And thinking that weak protein from local flour (farmed and milled in NY State) had a negative impact, I also refreshed my levain by adding some store bought flour, figuring it might correct those issues.
It did lead to a better crumb and crust coming out of my oven. A recent visit with baker-extraordinaire Kamel Saci, (from Il Buco Alimentari) helped, too, as he shared his secret of heating water for levain, adding it to the flour, allowing to cool enough, then adding the sourdough seed! I thought it odd, but tasting and seeing his bread and his advice, I was converted. Thank you, Kamel, for a lovely loaf.