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Pinter Brew #2: Dark Matter Espresso Stout

May 8, 2021 | Beer

My second Pinter homebrew was the ‘Dark Matter Espresso Stout’, and it did not go to plan.

After no trouble with attaching the ‘brewing dock’ during the cleaning of the Pinter before use, I’d again had issues attaching the dock before brewing. Even so, I thought I’d managed to attach it correctly after a lot of swearing and about 45 minutes.

I was wrong. Before brewing completed, I checked on the Pinter and the brewing dock had separated. There was a mess, but luckily it was all contained in the sink.

After a bit of investigation and cleanup, it seemed as though the handle of the main cap had over-rotated, so the connection was not as strong as it should have been.

As brewing time had been (just about) long enough, I decided to condition anyway to see if it would still be OK.

I spoke to ‘The Greater Good’, the company behind the Pinter, and their support has been helpful, sending a replacement cap. It looks like a slightly different design, so perhaps I had ordered an unpopular Pinter colour which still used the old version.

I conditioned for the recommended extended time in a very cold fridge.

Homebrew Espresso Stout

Possibly due to the issue with the dock, the brew was VERY lively indeed, with it foaming from the carbonation dial on the rear of the Pinter in a cascade of brown bubbles.

It got everywhere, including internally in the Pinter. Usually stout everywhere would be a good thing but…not so much in this case.

After pouring from the tap, I had to wait a good 20 minutes for the head to go down and to get a drinkable drink. It was better than a lot of stouts I’ve had for sure, despite the issues with the brew.

I was surprised to find a lovely dry, very bitter stout with dark chocolate and prominent espresso flavours. A beer as dark as my soul, this brew has potential to be great. It was much better than the Lockwood Pilsner, which I think needed an extended conditioning time.

See also  London Homebrew Competition at Beavertown Brewery

Dark Matter Espresso Stout - Reuslts

Due to the cap over-rotating, I had a lot of trouble removing it to clean the Pinter after use. I just hope it is still in good enough condition to last for a few years of brews!

With the issues I experienced, I was sent another Dark Matter fresh press by support, but after keeping it in the cupboard for a few weeks, the pack has expanded and it looks like it has leaked from the top seal. Disappointing, and I will again contact support to see what happened there and if it can still be used.

I am assuming this is unusable, so my next brew will be the ‘Four Saisons’, a Saison farmhouse style brew. The brewing dock was much easier to fit this time. The Saison could be a lovely beer for this time of year; I’m hoping the weather picks up a bit for that when it is ready in a few weeks time. Next on my list is the mighty 7% double IPA.

Over the summer period I have joined the ‘Fresh Beer Club’ which sends out a Fresh Press pack for £12 a month, cheaper than many of the packs are. Fresh Press packs can be selected online several months in advance and modified at any time. I will also receive a free ‘Greater Good’ tulip glass (although I am rapidly running out of space on my dedicated beer glasses shelf…) I am hoping they deem to send the drip mat too, given my messy experiences with the Pinter it would be a useful addition.

If you have a Pinter, you can get one month of the Fresh Beer Club free with that link.

Fresh Beer Club - Free Beer!

Keith Greywood

Keith Greywood


I'm the Founder of Bacchanalian, a food and drink blog. I write about food and drink, with a keen focus on beer.
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  1. JK

    I’ve read your entries on Pinter. I’m intrigued… but I can’t work out whether you’d recommend it given the awkwardness and issues. Would you recommend? (Also – how long do you think a brew would keep for once tapped?)

  2. Keith

    Good question JK – I am hoping my woes and a dud pinter are not too common. But I think you certainly have to follow their additional tips and the extended times to get the best from the kit. I’ve only done two brews and am a total novice but hoping the next brew is much better. I am also using filtered water this time.

    So would I recommend?
    Depends what you want. It suits what I am doing at the moment, and I’m hoping it will be fun at a few summer gatherings.

    1. If you enjoy the process and have never brewed anything it may be worth it, especially if you want to explore different styles
    2. If you just want draft lager from a tap there are probably better CO2 kits out there where the beer is pre-packaged
    3. You’ll need a good amount of fridge space
    4. In terms of being worthwhile in cost, I mean I guess you can get around 8 good pints for £12, but you need to make a lot of beer before you see a cost / benefit with the initial outlay for the pinter (which is reasonable).
    5. Support are very responsive to questions and help

    Edit – sorry, forgot to say, once tapped, they say casks usually have a 3 day life. I think day 2 and three the pinter beer was still good. I think you could stretch this out, but it would depend on how much you have drunk, as this would increase oxidation as more air would be in contact with the beer. I think with styles like Dark Matter stout it will hide any issues for longer, but I will experiment a bit more.

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