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Stopping fermentation

its been a while but I’m back to this forum. I am trying some thing new this year with one of my 5 gallon batches. I should start by telling you that I live in Ottawa and I am fermenting it in the garage and here in Ottawa it is very cool. Temperature in the garage varies from 42 to 56 degrees F throught the day/night. My hope is to slow down the fermentation and maybe keep more of the apple flavor. The batch has started fermenting after a day and a half and I will check the gravity level tomorrow evening. My question is what is the best way to stop the fermentating so that I can keep some on the natural sweetness. I plan to keep this batch as a still cider. The Juice started at 1.056 from a local orchard and I added a little brown sugar just to get it up to 1.060.

I have two other batches going in the basement at around 66 degrees F and I will let them go to .99 as I normally do. These I will add 2 cans of frozen concentrate and bottle ferment.

Thanks for any input that you care to share, this is by far the best resource that I have found to get information from fellow cider fans.


A combination of several things can slow down fermentation. Whether it will stop fermentation altogether, I am not yet really sure as my experiments this fall are not yet completed and the gravities continue to drop a point every few days. But here’s what I’ve been trying:

  1. Rack often. This takes away a lot of healthy yeast cells, leaving fewer cells to do the rest of the job.

  2. Add sorbate. I’ve added 1/2 teaspoon per gallon to all my batches, and while it does slow down the fermentation, it won’t stop it dead.

  3. Cool down the temperature. I’ve got ciders fermenting in the 40s and 50s. Again, this slows it down but doesn’t stop it.

If I want to stop it dead, I’ll add more sorbate plus sulfite, then backsweeten. I haven’t decided if I’m ready to do that yet, as gravities are still 1.010 to 1.015 and I like my cider on the drier side. Maybe in another week or two I’ll experiment more to see what works.

If you want still cider anyway, another thing you could try is to bottle and then put all your bottles through a heated dishwasher cycle. This should, in theory, kill the yeast without “cooking” the cider too badly, and you can’t lose any aroma because it would be trapped in the bottles already.

Best of luck to you. Let us know if what you try works.

Hey Dave thanks for the feedback I checked the SG tonight and its at 1.056, so dow about 6 points. There is a nice head on the batch so things are moving along. I think I have some time ot figure out which way to go but I’ll post my results.


just read an article on something called Keeving. they talk about adding calcium chloride (CaCl2). they also mention racking at 1.025 and keeping things cool.

just thought I’d share


Yes… I haven’t tried keeving yet, but from things I’ve read, it can be a fussy process and only works maybe about half of the time. So I’m not going to bother trying it anytime in the foreseeable future. Sweetness and clarity can be achieved in easier and slightly more predictable ways as we have discussed, so I’m sticking with that for now.

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