I just relistened to the yeast starter show. I've got the basic gist of starters except for how to do steps.
The guys mentioned several times that they do steps when needed for lagers and big beers. But they really did not go into detail about how to size the steps to get to a certain point.
I thought I recalled the boys talking about the point at which you should basically just do a 5 gallon smaller beer and use the entire yeast cake for your big/lager beer. Was that a different episode of Brew Strong?
I've read on here how to use the pitch rate calc to tell you step sizes but would sure be nice if the show covered this. Maybe I'll submit a Q&A Show question.
Submit the question. Like you, I remember a conversation about it. Maybe it was on the forum. Can't remember.
When I brew a barley wine, I schedule a smaller beer, like a pale ale, before it. As the wort is chilling, I will keg the pale ale, leaving the yeast cake in the fermenter. Then I swirl the yeast cake with the dregs of the beer and pour it into the barleywine. It has certainly helped dry out my big beers.