Building a levain
I'm starting to experiment with some different sourdough recipes and I am currently making Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough Bread recipe. It calls for using 14g of starter to build a levain, then rest on counter for 12-16 hours. I know that I want to use the levain at its peak, right? So my question is, does my starter also need to be at its peak in order the build the levain? It makes the timing of making the recipe quite difficult, and it will take 3 days to make this recipe. I made it once already, but I cut the bulk short in order to not be up at 3 am.
Thanks in advance.