When you’re making wine, sometimes you want to stop fermentation before it completely consumes the sugars. Alternatively, you may want to prevent yeast from consuming the sugars added to your wine after the fact.
Here are 6 easy ways you can stop wine fermentation fast:
- Cold shock the wine.
- Mix sulfites into the wine.
- Add extra alcohol to the wine.
- Filter the sediment out of the wine.
- Pasteurize your wine.
- Do all of the above.
Read on for the easiest ways you can stop wine fermentation.
1. Cold Shock the Wine
One of the quickest ways to stop fermentation is cold-shocking the wine. Lowering the temperature will kill off the yeast.
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Ideally, the temperature should be between 50 and 60°F (10 and 15.56°C). This low temperature will eliminate the yeast in a constructive way. It’s unique in that it doesn’t take too much effort on behalf of the vintner. If you want to make a stronger wine, you’ll need a colder temperature to get the same effect.
In some warmer climates, it could be harder to lower the wine temperature. A ubiquitous appliance can give you the tools to cool your homemade wine in a matter of minutes.
The average United States refrigerator sits around 40°F (4.44°C), so it could be a great way to lower your wine’s temperature. This is a great low-cost way to cool the wine down.
Alternatively, to lower the temperature faster, you could put the wine in the freezer and remove it after a while. You need to keep a close eye on the wine you’ve put in the freezer. Never leave a bottle of wine in the freezer for more than an hour as the wine may freeze and shatter the bottle you’re storing it in. Nothing is worse than cleaning up the broken, frozen glass when you’re trying to make a bottle of delicious wine.
2. Mix Sulfites Into the Wine
Adding sulfites is another excellent way to stop fermentation in its tracks.
When yeast senses extra sulfites, it knows to stop eating the sugars. Sulfites are naturally created during the fermentation process. However, you can also add more of them to stop the fermentation process sooner.
Potassium bisulfite is one of the most common sulfites you can add to your wine, but you need to be careful with your ratios.
Follow the directions on the packaging to get the best results. Otherwise, you may end up ruining the wine by creating an unpleasant reaction. This isn’t advisable and could waste the wine you’ve been working on so hard.
3. Add Extra Alcohol to the Wine
Yeast naturally stops the fermentation process when it reaches between 14 and 16 percent alcohol, so your wine can’t get too alcoholic. Sometimes, you can control the progression by adding other alcohol to the wine.
Popular choices include other finished wines and vodka. Grape distillates are another prevalent choice. It would help if you had alcohol that gets your wine to the correct alcohol content without overpowering the flavors you want to preserve.
Finished wines are completed wines that you’ve added to the wine you are currently making. This can lead to popular blends and allow you to mix an already great wine into what you’ve made.
If you add vodka to the wine, be mindful about how much you add. Too much vodka can change the flavor and the smell of the wine in an unpleasant way. Too much of any good thing can become a bad thing.
If you choose the grape distillate option, you should look over the content and type of grape used. These can affect the flavor of the final wine and give different sub-flavors that can come out of the drink.
Finished wines are a great way to improve the flavor and create a new blend. Not only does this method add more alcohol to the wine and will stop fermentation, but it’ll also bring in all kinds of new flavors you can enjoy.
4. Filter the Sediment Out of the Wine
Sometimes yeast becomes trapped with other sediments at the bottle of the wine fermentation tanks. You can easily filter out the sediment to lower the yeast content and stop the fermentation. It’s also a great way to get a smoother wine and clean out its storage container.
To filter your wine, you need some cheesecloth, a new basin, and some time. It’s that simple!
Tip the wine out and pour it through the cheesecloth. Once the wine has been filtered, you can put it back into its storage container and store it to finish the creation process.
It’s recommended that you combine this with the other methods on this list to achieve the best results. However, you can use filtration to get a head start while you prepare to use the different techniques here.
Filtration can also give you an excellent opportunity to try the wine and see how it has progressed. It can reveal all kinds of issues with wine and give you the chance to fix it before the wine becomes completely unsalvageable.
5. Pasteurize Your Wine
Heat pasteurizing your wine will stop the fermentation right in its tracks. Just like how extremely cold temperatures will stop fermentation and kill yeast, too much heat can achieve the same results. Not only that but pasteurizing can kill other bacteria that might have cropped up in your wine.
You need to heat the water and then put the bottles of wine into the pot. Carefully let it stay in the warm water for between 10 and 20 minutes. Then remove the wines and let them cool back down. Return the pasteurized wines to their storage area, and you can continue the process.
The best approach is to raise the temperature of the wine to between 130 and 150°F (54.44 and 65.56°C). This will preserve the alcohol in the wine, so you don’t start a fire or damage the end product you’ve been working on.
This can also help settle a cork in the bottle or give your wine a better overall flavor. It can create a fantastic seal by working with air pressure like regular canning practices.
6. Do Several of the Above in Combination to Stop Fermentation
Doing several of the above in combination is the surest way to stop the yeast from fermenting. It’ll eliminate more yeast and give you a better wine overall.
While some of these shouldn’t be used together, you can use a safe combination of the above tips to get the best results. There are so many resources that’ll allow you to use these methods effectively.
For example, you could choose to pasteurize your wine, filter the sediment out, and add a certain amount of alcohol to the mix. Alternatively, you could cold treat the wine, mix sulfites in, and filter the sediment out.
You should also use these methods to get the wine to the final place it needs to be. It can give you a better final product. Some of these methods, such as the filtration process, are necessary to finish a bottle of wine.
Filtering removes all kinds of sediment, debris, and other remnants of the fermentation process. It’s ideal if you want a crystal clear wine or avoid other sediment-related issues. These could include mold and other bacteria growth that could ruin your wine or lead to health issues.
Using a combination is the most consistent and assured way to stop fermentation in wine, but you can also use only one of the above options if you want to save time. The sooner you complete the fermentation process, the sooner you can enjoy what you’ve made!