How to Stop Fermentation in Wine

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As a producer of wine, controlling the alcohol constituents to halt the creation of an intense wine, and the desire to put in additional sugar, usually for some mixture of fruit wine, can be hard.

If you are an expert winemaker, these shouldn’t be new to you, but if you are starting, it could be daunting. But why is it difficult to do these?

Progressive fermentation in wine is the culprit! Expert Davis, at University of California, comments that a winegrower can evidently fill a vessel with juice and fold arms, thinking the native yeast would result toward a good fermentation, but if care isn’t taken, the procedure of winemaking could be influenced by the existence of some pediococcus, acid bacteria, and others, which will alter the overall operation.

Thus you could wonder, what are the steps of a successful fermentation or perhaps, how do you excellently stop a fermentation that will change your overall reason for winemaking?

This article is charged to help you understand steps to take, how you can accurately carry it out, but before I begin, I want to walk you through a vital point, I’ll dub it a quick grab; vital points you need to know about wine fermentation.

Wine Fermentation

Have you ever wondered what makes grape juice turn into an alcoholic wine? Simply put, the natural fermentation is what gives rise to that! How does the chemical procedure work?

Granted, grape juice is heavily endowed with sugar. If yeast is poured into the grape juice, the yeast devours the yeast sugar, before it finally turns into alcohol.

You can’t be a winemaker and frown at the fermentation process; you already know it’s an essential part of winemaking; without it, there is no wine.

A crucial point you should bear in mind is that the natural fermentation can halt by itself when there exists no sugar nor when the alcohol concentration is within the range of 15-18%. But what happens when your wine has gotten to your expected level of appeal, flavour and sweetness, and you want it to stop that way?

Well, the fact that fermentation is a natural phenomenon doesn’t suggest that it can’t be artificially altered. You can delay it, speed it up, pause it or even stop it. Let me show you three realistic and amazing processes to stop wine fermentation.

How to Stop Fermentation in Wine

Even though the act of stopping fermentation in wine is currently identified as a complicated process in the winery, yet, you can do it. In fact, satisfactorily!

More: Difference Between Red and White Wine

Stop The Fermentation With Alcohol. Why am I beginning

With the use of alcohol? It’s the simplest way of stopping fermentation in wine. Remember, I told you that yeast halts its function immediately the alcohol concentration is around 15-18%. These steps help you attain such.

  • Step I. For complete removal of sediments from the wine, it’s vital that you rack the wine into a sterilized demijohn. This is a crucial step.
  • Step II. You will be required to pour alcohol to the wine until you attain a concentration level of 16%.

Note: The alcohol to be utilized should either be grape distilled, brandy, or vodka.

  • Step III. Allow the wine to remain undisturbed for the next week to confirm if fermentation occurs or not, if there is no sign of fermentation, comfortably you should rack the wine just once more, and bottle up.

Though simple, a downside you may want to note is that the poured alcohol will alter the flavor, most especially if vodka was used. Your wine may end up having unpleasant taste if care is not taken. Apart from this, I surely recommend this method.

Chill Down The Fermenting Wine

This process also comes in handy. Unlike the very first that will alter the flavor, this method has zero effect on potency, aroma, and savor of the wine! A sigh of relief? It’s expected. But there is more; it’s simple too.

What’s the primary aim? To cool down the wine to a temperature where the yeast will stop its activities and accurately precipitate on the base of the demijohn. So what steps are involved?

  • Step I. To attain the desired temperature of 45-50°f for 3-5 days, make sure you put the wine inside the refrigerator or in a freezing room.

Bottom line: Always keep an eye on it, it should stay above the freezing point.

  • Step II. Investigate, and check if the yeast has precipitated, if there are partial concentration or settlement on the bottom of the carboy
  • Step III. Get rid of the sediment by properly racking the wine into another standard sterilized demijohn, while you are on it, be sure the temperature is around 55-60°f.
  • Step IV. Finally, you should let the wine be at the average temperature and if it still ferments, start the method again.

There is a downside to note here as well. It is very likely that during the racking stage or filtering, you may filter some of the yeast. You know what that means? The process will be started again. But this can certainly be avoided.

This is what you can do: When filtering, add about 0.14oz of Sulphur trioxide to each gallon of wine. But truth be told, the quality of the wine is indeed at stake.

More: How Long does Red Wine Last

Tune to Pasteurization

Being the final method, it is by far a more effective way of stopping fermentation in wine. Before I analyze the steps, note this: At a temperature above 104°f, the yeast dies. Therefore, in order for you to stop wine fermentation, heat the beverages above that point.

  • Step I. Ensure you rack the wine into a sterilized jar.
  • Step II. Then you will begin the heating process by heating above 158°f, and maintain a balanced temperature within the confines of about 10-20 minutes.

Note: You won’t only be killing the yeast, but other organism inclusive.

  • Step III. After dropping from the heater, cool the jar down right away. The temperature should be around 55-60°f
  • Step IV. Bottling! You have to bottle immediately.

The turnoff is the difficulty in maintaining a constant temperature for 15 minutes and cooling the wine quickly enough. But Hey! If you’ve ever tasted good wine, you’ll agree with me that’s it’s worth its process. Wouldn’t you?

I’m confident you can now stop fermentation in wine using these methods. Which is the foremost, you may ask? It all depends on your preference. So I’d say make a choice based on your preference and the resources available to you.


I am a blogger turned Wine Enthusiast, Who loves to try new things and this is my blog.

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