My smack pack was finally swollen by this morning, so I set out making a starter for my first lager. I boiled three qts water with three cups DME, and pitched the yeast into one quart and plan to add the second quart tomorrow and the third on Tuesday. I plan to steadily drop the temp each day, as well.
The smack pack didn't swell untill I kept it in a warmer area(68), as per the advice given by my LHBS. To me this seems kinda warm for lager yeast, even if it is just to get them started. Again, this is my first lager, I could be wrong.
My questions are: 1) Should the starter be kept in a cooler place right from the start? Or is it ok to go from 68 to 60 to 55 to 50 over the next four days? And 2) At what temp should the wort be when I pitch the yeast? I'm thinking right at 50, the same temp it'll be stored in for primary fermentation. The LHBS guy recommended raising the temp after pitching to get the yeast going, but I'm not sold on that. What has everyone else done?