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Homebrew #2: Dark Heart of Love

by Rob Friesel

The second homebrew was also my first solo homebrew. For Xmas, A. requested that I brew her a stout. After searching around a bit, we settled on this sweet stout kit from That sweet stout became Dark Heart of Love:

Dark Heart of Love

I followed along with the recipe (like you do…) and having decided to go with the dry yeast option, I rehydrated some Danstar Nottingham (as recommended) and, satisfied with our O.G. of 1.0541, pitched.

Adjusting for 67°F gives us approx. 1.054 original gravity.


This first solo brew was also the first recipe that called for the beer to go into a carboy for secondary fermentation.2

Amy's Sweet Stout

After two weeks in the carboy, we bottled, where it spent two more weeks bottle conditioning. Final gravity was 1.021; we figure that as about 4⅓% ABV. So… a sweet session stout?

Upon sampling that first bottle, there was some good news and bad news. The good news was that the mouthfeel and flavor were lovely; the bad news was that the beer hadn’t really carbonated at all. I suspect that what happened there was that the bottles were simply stored at too low of a temperature (in the basement, between 58-60°F). In an effort to salvage the beer, I moved those bottles to a warmer location in the house (66-68°F) and gently agitated them a couple of times over the next two weeks.

In the end, we didn’t have a great big frothy head, but we did get enough carbonation to say that we saved it. Thus…

Merry Xmas, love!


Dark Heart of Love, a sweet stout by Tilde Gravitywerks

Original Gravity 1.054
Final Gravity 1.021
ABV 4.33%
Attenuation 61.11%
IBU 13.54
SRM 37.03
Links Untappd
  1. Which was the target original gravity, so… nailed it. []
  2. I’ve come to realize that calling it “secondary fermentation” is a bit of a misnomer. It’s not like we’re pitching additional yeast. I mean, I suppose some more fermentation could be happening in there, but it seems more like a conditioning stage — like you’re giving the beer a chance to rest and clarify before actually bottling it. []

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night; weekend homebrewer. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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