Well! I tossed the first starter that I made, it was showing very little activity. As suspected by a few folks the starter's OG was far too high. I ended up following the instructions on MrMalty for my second starter. I did a 1L starter using 3.5oz DME and a bit of yeast nutrient. (1g DME per 10ml final volume) This starter showed great activity! I did not have time to increase to a larger starter so I instead supplemented the starter with an 11.5g pack of rehydrated S-05. Fermentation proceeded quite quickly and topped out at a somewhat disappointing 1.042, roughly a 63% attenuation. (I started a separate thread regarding the stuck fermentation.) I added some more yeast nutrient, pitched some more rehydrated S-05 and a touch of sugar to get it working, shook the carboy *very* thoroughly in the morning and at night, making sure there was no yeast sediment on the bottom before stopping. I raised the temp a bit, bumping it closer to 75-80. 2 days later I went to check my gravity and....... promptly dropped my hydrometer and smashed it to bits. -.-
My new hydrometer arrived in the mail yesterday. I swung for a (hopefully) more swish model, choosing a thermohydrometer from northernbrewer. Will probably check the gravity tonight or tomorrow!