Corn stover (CS) was hydrothermally pretreated using CH3COOH (0.3 %, v/v), and subsequently its ability to be utilized for conversion to ethanol at high-solids content was investigated. Pretreatment conditions were optimized employing a response surface methodology (RSM) with temperature and duration as independent variables. Pretreated CS underwent a liquefaction/saccharification step at a custom designed free-fall mixer at 50 °C for either 12 or 24 h using an enzyme loading of 9 mg/g dry matter (DM) at 24 % (w/w) DM. Simultaneous enzymatic saccharification and fermentation (SSF) of liquefacted corn stover resulted in high ethanol concentration (up to 36.8 g/L), with liquefaction duration having a negligible effect. The threshold of ethanol concentration of 4 % (w/w), which is required to reduce the cost of ethanol distillation, was surpassed by the addition of extra enzymes at the start up of SSF achieving this way ethanol titer of 41.5 g/L.