I am desperately in need of some advice and help re my starter. I am a total newbie to sourdough, although I bake yeasted bread most weeks for myself. A fellow poster on this site, generously gifted me 100g of his established starter. Unfortunately, he then proceeded on hols till February. The only instructions I was given was to frig it, keep at 50-70% hydration and feed 100g/65g flour/water respectively. Fridged it and one week later removed from frig in the evening and fed as instructed. Left out overnight. Temps here in Adelaide have ranged from 39-45C, thus the need for evening feeding. It doubled overnight and back it went into the frig. I was a happy woman! A couple of days short of the next scheduled weekly feed, (temps again) removed and fed as above. Left out overnight, but only rose by about 1/4, but there were bubbles in the body of the mix but not overly many on top. Back into the frig. It is very thick and gooey (I think I could bond bowling balls together with it!) although it has quite a few lge and lots of tiny bubbles in it but virtually none on top. It smells pleasant. I haven't discarded any yet but will need to before long.
Now .. does the starter sound healthy and/or can I improve/revive it? If I discard some, how much should I keep and what ratios should I feed it flour/water). Should it be fed the same ratios of flour/water each feed? I am using organic plain flour and spring water and sterilised containers. I have just come to grips with bakers %s, but not hydration yet - that's coming next! In autumn I will attempt a starter from scratch when the temperatures are more conducive.
Sorry to be so long winded and dumb, but this starter, so generously given and appreciated, is too precious to lose because of a fear of asking dumb questions. Any help would be very greatly appreciated.