Speaking of when to get a starter started, I generally start one about 2 days before my brew day. For my last brew day, I used some yeast that I had washed and stored in our basement refrigerator since last January. So, I decided to make the starter about 5 days prior to my brew day to make sure the starter would take off and if not, give me time to go and get some fresh yeast. Everything worked out fine as the starters took off and my airlock in my fermenting bucket was bubbling away less than 12 hours after pitching it.
But my question is, how far out can you actually make a starter prior to pitching it? I didn't know if 5 days was too long or not or if that is about as far out as you want to go?