Does anyone have any experience with or tips for establishing a starter in a tropical climate?
I'm worried my starter will spoil or I will need to feed it too often.
You are right in that things will be faster in higher temperatures. And you probably should work at room temperature until you get your starter going. Following the directions in SourDom's beginners blog on this site is a good place to start.
The thing about feeding is that the yeasts and bacteria don't die unless something really extreme happens. If food gets a bit short they just become dormant until some more food turns up. So a daily regime should be fine.
Once you have a good active starter, you can safely keep it in the fridge and you can get away without feeding for at least a month in my experience and probably longer. If you are only going to bake once a week or so then no problems at all. Just take some of your fridge starter and feed that up to what you want to make a loaf and replace the amount that you took out of your fridge container and put it back in the fridge. Absolutely no waste at all.
Your loaf preparation and proving will also probably be shorter than you might think from some of the time lines that are published with recipes. It is therefore important that you watch and learn what works for you and your conditions. Pick a nice simple recipe (SourDom's Pane francesa in his blog is a good place to start) and make it a number of times sticking to the quantities and only varying your timings until your get the feel of it all and start producing good bread. Then you can consider branching out to other bread types and styles. If things happen really fast and that does not suit, there is the option of using retardation in the trusty fridge to slow things down.
By all means feel free to get back to us as you go along for encouragement and advice.
Good luck with your projects.
i'm hoping to try a semi leaven recipe with it tomorrow.
will let you know how it goes!