Slightly inspired by the sourdough starter thread; I have a few basic questions about a wild yeast starter that I have just started.
1) A lot of websites and books say to refresh the starter whenever it is "low". What exactly does low mean? Is there another way of testing whether it is time to refresh the starter (pH, consistency, etc.)?
2) I have heard people say that the time between refreshes grows as the culture becomes more established. Is this true in general? What sort of time frame are we talking about?
3) It is a whole-wheat starter, do you always need to feed the starter the same type of whole-wheat (e.g. hard red wheat)?
4) Finally, I have heard about people recommending the addition of baking soda or milk instead of water but neither are discussed in the book that I am using for guidance (Peter Reinhart's book). Can anyone give me a brief summary of what these are things are trying to accomplish?