I used a recipe from this site two weeks agohttp://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/mad-elf-holiday-ale-45553/ to make a some Mad Elf. Everything seemed to be good on brew day. I added half of my extract at flameout from numerous posts I've read. It did seem like I had to add more water than normal to the fermenter. I pitched the yeast at the right temperature. I did not use a starter this time. I wish I did.
As the first couple of days passed I didn't see many signs of fermenting. The thermometer on my fermenter had climbed to 74 degrees so I assumed it was working away in there. After a week I took a gravity reading and it dropped from 1.085 to 1.02? So I assume fermentation was complete.
Then I added 5lbs of cherries. I expected to see massive fermentation from all the research I had done. There hasn't been any activity from the blow off. I'm going to take a hydrometer reading on Saturday and see where it is. I fear that the yeast hasn't started to eat the sugars from the cherries yet. The yeast I used did say that it works best above 70 degrees. The thermometer on the fermenter has always been right at 70. I've contemplated putting some heat on the bucket to see if raising the temp could kick off some more activity.
Yeast was Belgian Golden. While bottling another batch on Saturday I took a hydrometer reading and it was down to 1.019. I may move it to the secondary and let it sit. I guess fermentation took place and it wasn't as violent as I expected. Or this beer may just have a cherry flavor and no extra alcohol came about from adding the fruit.