Help! White yeasty stuff on top of my starter

Last night my starter looked great, smelled great, so I started a pre-ferment for a loaf of bread. Today the preferment looks and smells good, but the starter (which I left out at somewhere between 20-25 degrees overnight - the preferment was in a slightly warmer place) now has white yeasty deposits on the surface and smells sweet - more like wine than acidic.

I probably should have fed it or put it in the fridge last night. Could this have caused the problem?

What now? Should I toss most of it and restart with a small amount? Is my bread that I started with it last night ok?


Thank you!

1 comment

I knew this stuff looked familiar - I used to get it on top of my kefir. This website calls it "flowers of kefir". According to the link above it's good for sourdough.

This is almost what my starter looks like - though it's only beginning, so it's not this thick or prolific:

Has anyone experienced this before?