Does Wine Conditioner Stop A Fermentation?

Wine Conditioner Stopping FermentationIs there a wine product that you sell that sweetens the wine in the end and also stops the fermentation process.  I thought it was the wine conditioner, but I don’t see where it says it stops the fermentation process.
Hello Jen,
One of the most difficult things a home winemaker can try to do is stop an active fermentation. It’s not practical, nor can it be done with any guaranteed success. This holds true for wine conditioner, as well.
There are several wine making products you can use that may inhibit or temporarily slow-down a fermentation, such a Campden tablets or sodium metabisulfite, but these wine making products will not normally bring an active fermentation to a full stop. Their primary purpose is to destroy wild molds and bacteria. Their effect on the domesticated wine yeast doing the fermenting is only minor.
The most important thing to understand about a wine making conditioner is that it should not be added to the wine must while it is still fermenting. It is a wine sweetener that should only be added once the fermentation has completed and the wine has had plenty of time to clear. If the wine conditioner is added during the fermentation or while the wine is still cloudy with yeast, all the sugars that are in the wine conditioner could potentially start a renewed fermentation and turn the sugars from the wine conditioner into alcohol.Shop Wine Conditioner
With that being said, the best time to add wine conditioner to a wine is right before you are ready to bottle the wine – add to taste, then bottle.
Wine conditioner does have a wine stabilizer (potassium sorbate) in it that, will help to eliminate the chance of a re-fermenting occurring. It does this by inhibiting the residual yeast cells are still left in the wine from multiplying into a larger colony that can sustain a fermentation.
But again, the stabilizer in the wine conditioner will not stop a fermentation. There are no wine making products you can use that will safely do so. The wine stabilizer in the wine conditioner will only stop a fermentation from re-occurring.
Happy Wine Making,
Ed Kraus
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

7 thoughts on “Does Wine Conditioner Stop A Fermentation?

  1. Has anyone considered chilling a wine nearing completion to 32-30 degrees F and keeping it till it clears and carefully racking it? It shouldn’t freeze if there is enough alcohol present. In theory this should kill the yeast; what it might do to the ‘body of the wine’ I don’t know. Maybe I’ll try it with a gallon and let the blog know.

    • Jason, unfortunately there is nothing you can add to a wine that will guarantee to permanently stop a fermentation that did not complete.

    • Thomas, you can add your own potassium sorbate and sugar syrup to sweeten the wine. To make a sugar syrup, just add half water/half sugar and dissolve before adding it to the wine. How much you add to the wine depends on how sweet you like your wine.
      Sweetening Homemade Wine

  2. My muscadine wine reached an SG of below 1.0 and was clear. It had a nice pink to red color. I added a campden tablet (1 per gallon). Instantly, my pink color disappeared and it left it an orange color. I tried lowering the ph and raising it to see if the color would come back, no luck. I tried adding sugar without the campden tablet with just sugar and sorbate and the color remained. I am guessing some water chemistry is at play here. Any idea on what might be going on here?

  3. Be careful when using wine conditioner, especially if you are not going to add a substantial amount for sweetening. In lower volumes of wine conditioner there may not be enough potassium sorbate to prevent the added sugars from fermenting into more alcohol. This happen to me with my first batch of moscato. I have used potassium sorbate separate so I can properly calculate how much to add and then I use s simple syrup to sweeten.

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