I'm in the process of building a sourdough starter, following the directions in Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads. Based on information I've found here and elsewhere, I'm planning on making it a 100% hydration starter, because as I understand it that will produce a slightly milder flavor. Although I'd be glad to hear any thoughts on that topic, my questions of the moment are about what to do once the starter is up and running.
The first problem is how to keep it alive and happy. I've read so many different methods for doing this that I'm more than a wee bit confused. Do I feed it in a 1:1:1 (starter:flour:water) proportion twice a day? One, two, or three feedings at 1:2:2? Feed it at 1:2:2 and bung it in the fridge until I need it? Some other method I haven't noticed yet? I'm thinking of keeping it on the kitchen counter, because I'd like to bake with it two or three times a week. I have a nice ceramic crock from King Arthur Flour in which to keep it -- will it be happy there? And once the proportions are settled, how much should I keep on hand?
Next, when it comes time to bake, what do I do? I've read some instructions which say to take a small amount of starter and grow it into a larger pre-ferment, and others which say to take as much starter as you need and use it directly.
Finally, is it difficult to adapt recipes to use a wild-yeast starter? I'd like to use this for everything, or almost everything, if I can.
Any advice for an over-eager sourdough newbie?