stop the ferment early??

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Nov 19, 2009
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I am fortunate enough to have a lot of fruit and berries growing on my place. I've got a great looking batch of plum wine going right now. I goofed in the beginning though and had an SG of 1.135. Right now the SG is .995 and I'm afraid that if I let it finish I'll have an alcohol content of 16% or so. Can i add the sorbate and stabilize right now? I'd like to not let the alcohol content get any higher......the must is still bubbling away and I don't know where it will stop. I've saved a gallon of juice to sweeten or enhance the flavor later if needed.
The plums were yellow in color and quite sweet. I juiced them with a steamer and the hydrometer showed the juice had 12% sugar. The juice is not tart. I'll be really disappointed if this batch doesn't turn out well and I have to wait til next fall to have another go.
I used 2.5 gallons of juice. I added another 3.5 gallons of invert sugar at 2lb per gallon. That last gallon should have been pure water I guess. Anyway, can I get away with stopping the ferment now???

1 st you can not stop fermentation. Its almost dry now. Check the gravity and when the same for 3 days Rack degas and add k-meta nad sorbate. Lesson learned @ to high sugar addition. Fruit wines s/b 1.085. By adding the juice after you stabilize will bring down the % some.
Google WineCalc and download. Its a great program that will tell you how much sugar to add to get to a gravity you want.
Thanks Tom,
I suppose a guy is going to learn a lesson or two the hard way on his very first attempt at winemaking. My second attempt will be either strawberry or blackberry. Haven't decided yet. I'll get WineCalc. Thanks for the tip.

For a new B do the strawberry 1st. Its easier. Do you have an acid test kit (a TA kit)?
Let us know 1st before you start so we can walk you thru it.
I have a strawberry aging as I speak along with many others to keep it company.
I did buy a titration kit. I've got PH strips for the appropriate range too. I'm pretty well equipped I think. I just need to learn how to use it all. I bought a MiniBrew conical fermenter, have three other plastic bucket fermenters, and scrounged 7 carboys. I grow so much fruit that I can see that twice as many carboys won't be enough. I've got fruit for 4 more batches waiting in the que. I'm having the local fine dining establishments saving bottles for me. Some of them will need to be returned to the proprietor full I know.
I've got a neighbor that's pretty old school about winemaking and he has been my mentor. I can see where there is room to improve on his methods however. I appreciate your feedback.

Post your recipe for the fruit wine. Most use way less # per gallon resulting in a weak wine.

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