So I have a colleague who recently moved and is working in a new bakery. They have an odd practice of starter maintenance. Basically they feed their starter once a day and retard after it shows signs of life (I suppose when it has 1 1/2 its volume). The weird thing they do is this. So lets say they keep 25 lbs of starter after replenishment. If they use 15 lbs of starter that day to the remaining starter they add 7.5 lbs of flour and 7.5 lbs of water and mix it up. On a different day where they use 5 lbs of starter they add 2.5 lbs of flour and water and mix it up. So essentially the ratio in which they feed is always changing and the seed is always quite large if not incredibly large (anywhere from 2:1:1:to 5:1:1) that is start:water:flour.
So he claims this starter is strong and goes from active to very active depending on the day. His goal isn't to change there starter but use this as a seed at home for his own loaves. So far when using this in a more traditional way has led to failures. He has built this for a day or so at more normal rates 1:2:2 to get it regulated to no success.
My assumption is to change this over to a typical starter would take a good week of nuturing at the appropirate proportions before it could be stable. He doesn't really have the time to do daily mainteance of this at home so I ponder a couple of questions.
1) Is my presumption correct, that is it needs more time to become regulated to a "new diet" before it will be predictable of a standard starter.
2) Is there a smart way he could use this whacky starter without so much guess work?
Any and all comments are appreciated