Do you pitch while it is warm and let it slowly cool?
Or do you cool to fermentation temps before pitching?
Yes. I prefer to cool a little lower than planned temp and let it rise - 45, pitch and let rise to 48-50 for ferm. but pitching at ferm temp is okay.
How many of you cold crash the starter and only add the yeast? That seems like a huge amount of additional liquid to add to the fermenter to me.
you're right on track here - it takes ~1gal of starter to grow up enough lager yeast - starter beer is gross - don't want that in with the good stuff. i crash all my starters, but I wouldn't dare think of not
crashing a lager starter, for precisely the reasons you mention.
I plan on brewing smaller lagers around 1.040 to 1.070 (pilseners and bocks as an example). Is there a standard time and temp I should lager these?
this is a personal preference thing. My SOP is anything lighter pils/helles/dort (1.050ish) should be ready after 2-4 weeks lager, dunkel, schwarz, fests and vienna 4-6 weeks, bocks/doppelbocks 10+ weeks. You'll probably see a dozen or so suggestions posted about this though, you'll have to find what works for you.
These are a few concerns for me. I have one chest freezer to use as a fermenter AND for lagering. So, I need to plan things a little more so I'm not tying up my freezer.
get another freezer