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I've tried making a few beers that I think have TOO much alcohol. I'd like to stop the fermentation before all of the sugars have fermented, and I'm wondering what the best way is to do that.

I've heard if you add priming corn sugar that the yeast will convert to only use that, so can I add the corn sugar and bottle will that do the trick? I'm a little afraid that if this doesn't fully stop fermentation that I'll have some explosions.

The other thing I've thought about was using campden tablets, but my understand is that I'd have to add more yeast after that to ferment the priming sugar. And then I'd still run into the problem of stopping fermentation of the original grain sugars again.

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You don't ant to do this. It has a high likelihood of ending in disaster. What you do want to do is start brewing beers in the alcohol range you want. To do that just modify the amount of sugars in your wort. Either don't add as much malt extract or if you do all grain mash fewer grains. There are great software out there that can help. Check out brewtoad.com –  Chris Plaisier May 20 '13 at 19:53
    
Also bear in mind, cutting off fermentation will have other consequences. Let's say you brewed an imperial whatever beer where your SG was 1.082, and you want to cut it off at 4.5% alcohol, you'd end with a FG of 1.048, which is really thick. It may be lighter on the alcohol, but there's a good chance you also don't want the mouth feel either, and this will have a heck of a lot of body/mouth feel to it. –  Scott May 23 '13 at 16:29
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3 Answers

Using sorbate is the only way to have a chance of stropping fermentation and even that can be unreliable. If you keg rather than bottle, attempting to stop fermentation is less dangerous since a keg won't explode like bottles can. As has been said, the real solution is to brew the beer you want to drink.

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You should actually brew beers you want to drink.

If you brew kits, look for one that has the amount of alcohol you want.

If you are all grain, you can tweak any number of things to achieve the desired ABV - from type of yeast to mash temp etc.

So yeah you can stop fermentation in your beer but its not a good idea. Unless you have a keg you will have still beer.

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The fastest way to stop fermentation is to cold crash the yeast and put them into hibernation. So Sticking your bukket / carboy in the refrigerator, if you are worried about bottle bombs then opening each bottle to vent CO2 and recap after refrigerator helps.

But like Jared said, you should brew beers you want to drink. So less alcohol. (avoid IPA's, double IPA's) and look more at "session beers".

If you are saying your beers have a strong alcohol taste or a spicy flavor, you may want to look at the temps when you are fermenting at. (I had this happen my first Irish Red, it had a kick on the tongue with a very strong smelling alcohol smell.)

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