Stopping Fermentation

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Sep 21, 2018
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Ive been brewing various mead's, melomel's, beer, cider and wine for a few years now. However, one thing still eludes me. Is there a legitimate way to cease fermentation (in mead/melomel) when the desired gravity and flavor is reached? I've cold crashed with metabisulfite, but as soon as the must begins to warm, the yeasties start feeding again. FYI, when I cold crash the must, it's at about 28 degrees F. Thanks members!
Normal levels of sulfite do not stop Saccharomyces. Sulfite is intended only to stop wild yeast & bacteria or to prevent oxidation.

Cold crash a temperature-sensitive yeast for a few days and then very carefully rack off the lees. Allow to warm to see whether it's stable. Not all yeast can be stopped via cold crashing.

Repeated crashing & racking (depending on the yeast, YMMV), sterile filtering, or stabilization with sulfite + sorbate can all achieve this goal.

Alternatively, I think usually people ferment dry, rack, stabilize (sulfite + sorbate), and then sweeten. OR they exceed the alcohol tolerance of the yeast so it naturally stays sweet.
Thank you for the advice! So from what I'm hearing, I need to continue doing what I'm doing with a combination of sulfites and cold crashing, along with racking. That is something that I have started to do, racking more frequently that is. And in smaller batches it does seem to slow or stop the fermentation. I'm not a big fan of backsweetening, as it seems to reduce the alcohol content. I've gotten to the point where I would rather watch my gravity and taste test instead of letting the yeast "burn out", so to speak. I will cold crash for a couple of days and then try to rack again.

By the way, this forum and webpage is way better than GotMead.

Thanks again for advice!
For further reading, check out this thread.

It's a huge thread (about cider) but Kevin always tries to arrest fermentation early, so he's figured out what yeasts and process works best for this.

For an entirely different approach it also might be worth experimenting with fermenting cold with a high-nitrogen-demand yeast and limiting nutrients to stall fermentation naturally. I've not heard of anyone doing this for mead but it's definitely possible. I would start by researching keeving for cider and see what yeast and fermentation conditions are typically used. I don't know off the top of my head.
The benefit of this is method that you could also bottle a lower ABV sweet carbonated mead with a calculated nutrient addition at bottling.
If you try it, please share your results!

Good luck
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There are also non fermentable sugars that you can add post fermentation without worries of waking the yeast up again. My favorite is Xylitol, which tastes just like sugar. Be aware that it's poison to dogs however.
Starving yeast of nutrients can create some off flavours, and would be tricky as hell get consistent since all honey is a little different. Still doable, though, I personally wouldn't.

Simplest for your goal would be to try crashing, racking, and sulfite & sobate the batch.

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