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Stopping a fermentation

So yesterday I picked up a Dundee variety pack which I had never tried and have to say was pleasantly surprised. All three that I tried had great flavor and the stout had a nice mildly sweet taste as well, which got me to thinking about my Oatmeal stout.

It has good flavor but is dryer than I would like. According to my notes it went from 1.049 to 1.014 before bottling.

So my question is: Do you all constantly monitor your fermentation and manually halt it to prevent a beer from getting too dry?

And if you do halt it, won’t you have a potential over-carb condition once it’s bottled/kegged and the beer comes back up to a higher temp?


You never really want to “halt” fermentation. The way to control or predict your FG comes from several factors including yeast strain, mash temp, amount of crystal or other unfermentable sugars used, etc. If you bottle, you’d never want to “halt” fermentation because you’ll have bottle bombs to worry about. If kegging, it would be less of an issue.

I would think it would be difficult if not impossible to completely stop fermentation even if you wanted too. Most of the work during fermentation happens in the first few days. So if you wanted to stop the yeast you’d have to rack the beer off then get it cold and really fast. Even when cold, yeast will still continue to eat sugars just much slower. And then you’d be dealing with issues like other biproducts in your beer that the yeast didn’t get time to consume.

So long story short, NO you’d never want to try to halt fermentation.

This is where you could add lactose to sweeten it up, that is traditionally how the “milk stouts” are made. I’ve never done that (not my taste preference.) Yeast can’t eat it which means they make it to the finished beer. This could also be from the yeast strain they use that emphasizes the malts. Or there could be other unfermentables from the malting process etc.

There are some other unfermentables, maltodextrin being one of them, but I think it adds body but not much sweetness. I guess you could also add stevia, but it would only make it taste sweet and wouldn’t do much to round out the body, might screw up the mouthfeel you are looking for.

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