Q#3. I've had viable yeast under a beer cap up to a year.
I take my yeast out on Friday night. Saturday make a starter, cool it, put the yeast and starter together
and shake the living bejesus into it... Many times until it's very foamy.. Give it a shake when you walk by it... Sunday is brew day and the yeast is happily ready.
Please clarify. What do you mean by put the yeast and starter together? I thought the starter contained all the yeast for the brew.
Q#5. I don't use that method anymore.
How do you remove the stir bar?