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Stopping Fermentation without rushing

Ok, I’d like some fermentation/byproduct clean up opinions. The “rule of thumb” is let beers sit for 2 weeks. My question is, if in say 5-7 days you’ve hit your expected OG, how do you stop fermentation without impacting any byproduct clean up, off favors, etc? Just because you hit your expected OG doesn’t mean the yeast are done, they still have a job to do.

Maybe it’s my mashing processes(another conversation so don’t take us down that road LOLOL) but I’ve have attenuation 85% or better often on yeast like 1056. This makes some of my beers drier and thinner than I’d like. So my thought is, stop fermentation when I’m happy with product at the preliminary measuring and tasting phases during fermentation.

So how do I stop fermenting without rushing the clean up stages?

My first thought is just refrigerate it. Problem would be that would just force the yeast to go dormant and if it got warm again they could restart. If you prime and bottle any residual sugar the yeast has not used could cause overcarbonation. Not so much of a problem with kegging.

There are also chemicals like potassium metabisulfite/potassium sorbate that will stop fermentation. I’m not big on using stuff like that and priming and bottling would be a problem since it kills the yeast.

I guess I didn’t give you an answer other than just let it finish. Hopefully someone here has another idea.

You want the beer to fully attenuate, so I wouldn’t stop fermentation. If your beer is too dry and lacks body raise your mash temp a couple of degrees.


When I read the OP some time ago my reaction was: “NO! Your final gravity is determined by mash temp, aeration, and a dozen other factors. Don’t try to stop fermentation!”

Then the air conditioner for my fermentation chamber died. (It may have had something to do with dropping a kayak on it.) My Bohemian Pilsner fermented at 70 F for the first four days. When I discovered it I transferred it to a dorm fridge at 50 F. My initial reaction was to just let it ride, but it’s down to 1.008 - not very Pilsner Urquel-like. So I’m cold crashing it for the last two weeks in primary. I’ll step it up to 60 F for a day before I keg and lager. I’m hoping (or is that hopping?) I can keep the attenuation from running wild and ruining my beer (any more than I have already.

So, maybe there is a place for attempting to stop fermentation. I’ll know more in a month.

If it is truly down to 1.008, then it may be done and won’t go any lower?

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