Starter novice with a few questions
Hi all, I recently got a good grape starter going, and have baked several loaves succesfully with it. My question involves the care and feeding of it.
At this time, I currently have about 7 to 8 cups of starter in my refrigerator, and I'd like to bring it down to a more manageable amount. I know you are supposed to discard some, and add flour and water to the remainder. However, I'm not sure of the amounts. If I discard two or three cups of it (well, I'll make pancakes, waflles, onion rings, biscuits etc with the 'discard' lol), replenishing with equal amounts obviously leaves me with 7 to 8 cups again. Could someone guide me to the proper way of doing this, while keeping my starter at about 4 or 5 cups?
Also, once you take a break from baking, and just want to store the starter in the fridge, I know you should be feeding it about once a week or once every two weeks. To feed it, must it come to room temp first? If not, once you feed it, must you let it proof for several hours until it bubbles and doubles, and then store it back in the fridge for another week? Yesterday, I took it out of the fridge, fed it with 1 cup of bottled water, and 1 cup of flour, gave it a good stir, then put it right back in the fridge. I take it this is the wrong way? The last thing I want to do is lose such a great start to a great starter!
Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)