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.

  • 6
    You don't want 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 Commented May 20, 2013 at 19:53
  • 2
    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
    Commented May 23, 2013 at 16:29

4 Answers 4


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.


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.


As everyone else said the best idea is to brew the beers that you want to drink. However, if you have a good reason for brewing these beers you have several options.

The best way to do this is to filter it through a cloth that's less than .45 microns so that the beer will pass through but the yeast won't.

Alternatively, you could pasteurize it which is much easier but may ruin the flavor somewhat.

You could also refrigerate it and just drink it straight out of the refrigerator.

Running at about 80°C for 3-5 mins will pasteurize your beer, you don't have to hit the boil, get a corney keg, fill it, drop temp to about 6-7°C, lay it down on its side and gas according to the beer you are producing, for example Czech pilsner needs a CO2 gas volume of between 2.4 and 2.6 at 6-7°C


I think using potassium sorbate and/or sodium bisulfite or campden tablets can slow down the process of fermentation for you to brew to the level of sweetness that you desire.

Fermentation decreases the level of sweetness by converting all the sugar into alcohol. Introducing any of the above, will help reduce if not stop completely, the action of yeast during fermentation.

The potassium sorbate prevents wine yeast from reproducing itsef and slows down yeast action but does not kill the yeast, but has the ability to stop the action of yeast after the fermentation is complete and when additional sugar is been introduced into the wine.

The campden tablets or sodium bisulfite reduces the action of yeast during fermentation, and this is best introduced when the fermentation is nearly reaching the point of desired...

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