I feed my room temperature starter once a day, with about 1 3/4 c. flour, to about 3/4 c. water, or just so it is quite thick, and I can manage to mix it. I do not remove any, or 'discard' each time I feed, as I am only trying to keep it from starving to death and want the sourness it is gaining.
Once it is getting a bit too full in my container, I use some for something, after feeding... that might be a banana bread, or pancakes, or more recently, I made a pumpkin/raisin/walnut quick bread that called for baking soda.
That usually reduces it back to where I started, or close.
As to the 'hootch', it is formed due to a lack of food, saying it simply. The amount that is forming is just talking to you, it is saying...it is a bit past my dinner time, or it is WAY past my dinner time: What are you trying to do, starve me? If it forms a LOT, you can pour off some, and then stir in any little bit left on top, or if it is forming just a little, simply stir it back in, and feed.