Feeding a starter.
You do not need to dump out half when feeding. Sometimes I make pancakes and so Ill use a larger jar to feed the starter without dumping any down the drain. Sometimes I add just a tablespoon or two rather than dumping it. It all boils down to the fact that starters are very forgiving.
Try this next time. Start a new jar of starter with 1 cup active starter that was fed at least in the last 8 hours. Add 1 cup unbleached flour and 3/4 cup bottled water. Stir. The next day add 1/4 cup unbleached flour and stir. Maybe add a little water if needed. The next feeding dump out most and feed with 1 cup unbleached flour and 3/4 cup water, stir. Next day add the 1/4 cup flour and a little water. an day 3 dump out most and start over. Less wasteful.
I have fed in stages without dumping for a week. Made pancakes and bread from the starter and it was fine.
Storing in the fridge.
Pour starter into a clean pint jar and place in the fridge. You can scoop out a tablespoon of the starter at anytime to reactivate it.
Pour some starter onto a plastic plate spread thinly and put it up in the kitchen to dry it out. I usually do this on top of a cabinet or in a windowsill. After a few days it should be dry. If there are parts still moist be patient until dry. Take the dry starter and break it up and place in a pint jar and store in the fridge.
Stick to the basic recipe. Do not increase the starter and decrease the water. I cup of starter is all you need for a batch of bread. Do not add too much flour. If it is dense it can affect the taste and texture. Another thing is how long the dough sits in a bowl before forming into loaves. 60 to 85 degrees for 12-14 hours is perfect. If the dough is not dense enough after 12 hours, make a note to add more flour next time. I make my dough just a little denser because sourdough tends to liquefy as it ferments.
How to order my starters.... CLICK HERE