clarification on my starter feeding process
I've been baking with sourdough for nearly two years now and I get pretty good results. I've been reading so much contradicting information online that I would appreciate if a few of you experts could put this straight? PLEASE only reply if you are absolutely sure that what you're saying is the correct method, I'd like to hear from true professionals :)
When I feed my starter, I tend to take it out of the fridge and let it rest for an hour or so to get to room temperature. Most websites say that a starter takes 8-12 hours to double, but that has NEVER been the case for me.
My room temps are around 21c and my starter tends to double in 6 hours or less. I use plain flour from the supermarket. SO, in order to ensure that when i wake up in the morning, my starter has only just reached maturity, what I tend to do is empty nearly the entire content of my jar at night time, and the fill it up with at least x4 the amount of flour and water (the idea being that it will take the starter a longer time to 'eat' all the flour and water)... By the time my starter doubles, I tend to get more uniform tiny bubbles all over the place rather than those BIG various sized ones... The only way I get big bubbles is when my starter is a bit less hydrated, and I'm not sure if thats related to my question below or not...
My question is, am I weakening my starter every time I empty nearly all of it? Would I have a much stronger starer if instead of emptying the jar, I would just use a much bigger jar and feed the starter a much bigger amount? Basically what I'm getting at is, whether the strength of the starter is the same, no matter what amount of starter is being fed to begin with? or is it a case of 'the bigger the amount of starter that you start with before feeding, the stronger it will be after feeding' ??
sorry if this is a really silly question, I just dont understand the chemistry in the reaction at all... :-/
Thanks so much for the help and sorry about the longgggggggggg question :)