What's your thermometer? Is it a dial thermometer? When's the last time it was calibrated?
and did you make a starter? and if so how large?
I have the old standard dial, analog type thermometer. Not attempted to calibrate for couple of years. I'm not sure of the process for calibration but what I just did was put it in an ice bath, note lowest temp I could get it to and did the same in boiling water.
In the ice I could not get below 35deg and it got to 213deg in boiling. I would guess that means that, on average, my thermometer is showing about 2 deg higher than true.
No, I did not make a starter. Frankly, I'm not sure the process of doing that (ie, what medium to use, how long to wait before adding to wort, etc). And I don't know if it is necessary. I don't want to start a new topic here, though. I'm sure there is another thread I can find about it.