I had a Belgian Dubbel in primary about two weeks, ending up with a gravity of 1.016. Then 3 days ago I racked onto 5.5 lbs of cherries, leaving the yeast cake behind.

I expected the residual yeast to cause additional fermentation and generate CO2, along with bubbling through airlock. I measured the gravity at 1.014, but that seems within the margin of error.

This is my first fruit beer: is this progressing as it should, or should I add more yeast to advance fermentation?

  • Did you prep the cherries? By freezing or cutting? If not, there may not be any sugar in the beer or cherry flavor. Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 13:09
  • Yes, the cherries were prepped by removing the pits and freezing them in ziplock bags. Then I boiled them (190 degrees) in the ziplock bags to sanitize. So they were reasonably broken down after that.
    – Sboisen
    Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 14:58
  • then I'm sure it did ferment the fruit. You probably just missed the activity. Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 18:16

1 Answer 1


The fruit very likely has sugar, so it will cause fermentation to kick-off again when added, thus producing CO2. Obviously not with the same vigour as primary fermentation - although if you added a lot of fruit, maybe. Is the yeast able to get into the fruit? The skins are fairly tough for yeast, so will need to be broken somewhat. I typically mush my fruit a little with a potato masher (or slice - depends on the type of fruit).

I wouldn't be too concerned about the airlock not bubbling - this is mostly an indication that it's not perfectly sealed somehow. Or maybe it's going slowly, and you've not witnessed the odd bubble.

One other thing I would like to add - when I've added fruit to beers, sometimes it doesn't taste so good until it's been conditioning for a while. For example: A friend made a raspberry stout, and it was OK after a month or so, but after 3 months it was very nice indeed. So if at first the flavour is not pleasing, just wait.

Cherry dubbel sounds like a good mix BTW.

  • 2
    If it's in a bucket then I find the lids often don't seal well and thus CO2 escapes without creating bubbles in the airlock Commented Oct 10, 2018 at 16:30
  • 1
    It's also good to remember that the sugar in fruit won't be as easily available because it is locked inside the fruit, so fermentation will be slower due to this. Commented Oct 11, 2018 at 17:39
  • I used the extract version of this recipe: homebrewersassociation.org/homebrew-recipe/cherry-dubbel
    – Sboisen
    Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 15:00
  • @Robert Zormeir: Sorry, I didn't get your comment. What do you mean by "locked inside the fruit" ? :)
    – rondonctba
    Commented Oct 26, 2018 at 20:57

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