Before getting to the meat and potatoes of my questions, I want to warn you that I am as green as they come when it comes to knowledge on sourdough starters. I know that these questions have been asked numerous times before but I think I will understand it better if my specific situation is used. I created my starter using the pineapple starter method on 1/26/13. Noticeable activity began on day 5 1/30/13. At this point, I decided to create two different starters: one WW and the other being a white (AP flour) starter. Beginning on day 5 I began to feed the starter at a 2 oz. of starter: 1 oz. of flour: 1oz of water for a 2:1:1 ratio daily. Both starters have risen in a predictable manner and have doubled in size within 4 hours. By the time the next feeding is due, both starters have dropped close to the pre-feeding level. Both starters have taken on a yeasty smell similar to beer and are littered throughout with several small bubbles. The AP starter has a pancake batter like consistency while the WW starter has a cream of wheat texture, neither of them are runny. These characteristics are consistent to date which is 2/2/13 which has been a total of 8 days since first mixed. At this point, I know things are progressing well but this is where all of my questions come into play.
1. At this point should I increase my feedings to every 12hrs instead of every 24hrs and for how long until I can start to use my starter?
2. Should I increase the size of the feedings as well, and if so what amount of starter, water, and flour volumes should I use?
3. When increasing the feedings frequency and quantity do you still remove a portion of the starter with each feeding or every second or third feeding?
4. For example, lets say a SD recipe calls for 4 oz. of starter or 7 oz. of starter. How much do you feed and how often before you have the right amount of starter and enough stater left over to keep your starter going?
5. On average, how much starter do you keep on had when you bake say twice a week?
6. Which AP flour is best to use, should I use a high gluten bread flour or just a general AP flour that doesn't have a high gluten content?
Sorry for so many questions, I just want to get things right the first time and not have to start over if I messed up. Thank you for your responses and patience.