Fruit Decomposition in Secondary

Post #1 made 5 years ago
I started a Belgian strong ale about two and a half months ago, it was a 5 gallon batch with ten pounds of sour cherries in the secondary. I was following the general intent of this link on kegerator. He said he left the fruit in secondary for two months to "let your fruit have plenty of time to be eaten by the yeast". I don't know exactly what I expected, but the cherries all floated up to the top and have stayed there for eight weeks. I attached a picture, it looks exactly the same now as it did a few days into the secondary in July.

Am I likely to see some actual decomposition of the fruit; will it start to sink back down? Can I just bottle it?‎

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Last edited by naib on 21 Sep 2016, 21:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #2 made 5 years ago
I have done a few fruit beers, last one I did strawberries but I generally only leave the fruit in for a week or so, or until fermentation activity has stopped and gravity stabilized. I haven't done cherries, but strawberries definitely turn to mush after a week. I use a plastic bucket and a mesh bag to contain the fruit / control the debris. Perhaps because cherries have a 'skin' they don't decompose as much. The nice thing about the bucket and bag approach is that you can use a sanitized weight to keep the fruit submerged too, although I wouldn't want to leave anything in a bucket for 2 months I don't think...

In my opinion, once fermentation activity has slowed and gravity has stabilized, most if not all of the flavour has been extracted from the fruit. If it were me, I would bottle...
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