Originally Posted by Fuddham
I am making an apple wine that I want to stop around 1.004 then backsweeten with concentrate. I have added 5 Camden and 2.5 tsp sorbate. Then a day later another 2.5 tsp sorbate. This is a 5 gallon batch. I have not been able to stop the fermentation. What is the proper way to stop fermentation so that I can backsweeten?
Stopping an active fermentation is like trying to stop a freight train. It probably won't happen, and you might ruin the wine in the process. It's easiest to let it ferment out completely (.990), rack when it's clear to get it off of the spent yeast and then rack onto campden and sorbate once the wine stops throwing any lees at all.
Sorbate doesn't kill yeast, and neither does campden. What sorbate does is inhibit yeast reproduction. Since there are hundreds of billions of yeast in the wine during fermentation, the yeast don't need to reproduce so adding sorbate to it will do nothing.
If you can't wait for it to finish before sweetening, you could try sticking it in the fridge for about a week. Then rack off of the lees. And if it's not totally clear, stick it back in the fridge until it's clear and rack again. THEN you can try sorbate and campden. For me, it's just easier to let it finish and then stabilize when clear and no longer dropping lees.
Sorbate has a rather unpleasant taste, so I wouldn't add any more at this point.