Experimental Coffee - Beer Yeast Fermentation

Fermentation is an integral point in the processing of coffee. For the majority of coffees, fermentation is a tool used to break down the sugary, gelatinous plant material (pectin) surrounding the coffee bean, once pulped. Specifically for washed coffees, it is not a means to enhance flavor or complexity but to remove the mucilage as quickly as possible before microbes are able to produce acids and esters that may be conceived as off flavors. 

Time is also extremely valuable to this equation as coffee fermentation typically  runs 12 to 24 hours, which is a very short compared to other processes like beer, cheese, wine, etc. Coffee is very malleable and porous after its pulped so too much time in the tank runs the risk of exposing it too much to all the microbial activity. With this experiment we wanted to use this to our advantage to allow the saison and ale yeast to produce compounds the coffee can absorb.

This process worked very similarly to the our hopped coffees, (Citra, Mosiac and El Dorado). These processes and can be considered a marinade for the coffee to sit in and absorb the wonderful flavors. These types of experimental fermentation are unique to Dark Matter Coffee and are part of our culinary approach to serving the best coffee in the world. 

If you need a little more help with understanding fermentation, read our previous blog post that helps to explain some of the fermentation and drying processes that are used. Also check out our other yeast experiments, using red wine and cuvee yeast on this blog post

Saison Yeast Fermented Coffee
Country: Guatemala 
Farm: San Jeronimo Miramar 
Cultivar: Catuai, Caturra 
Process: Fermented in Ale Yeast 
Notes: Cocoa Nibbs, Hazelnut, Currant

Country: Guatemala 
Farm: San Jeronimo Miramar 
Cultivar: Catuai, Caturra 
Process: Fermented in Saison Yeast 
Notes: Clementine, Thyme, Clover Honey 



Big Hugs Cast

#HugsCast is a time-elapse video of DMC brewing coffee at Half Acre Beer Balmoral, Star Lounge Coffee Bar, and Osmium Coffee Bar! We brewed 20 gallons of Unicorn Blood with Pink Himalayan Salt (Cubano style) 1 fluid ounce at a time!!!! All of this was done for the annual Big Hugs beer release!
December 10, 2016 by Kyle Hodges

Maplewoodstock 2016, Our 9th ANNIVERSARY PARTY!!

Maplewoodstock 2016

Come one, COME ALL to the 9th Anniversary party for Dark Matter Coffee!!

Maplewoodstock 2016 will happen on Saturday, July 9th from 12:00 - 8:00pm on Maplewood Street (between Iowa & Chicago Ave) 

We gathered a bunch of our music, beer and food friends to once again throw the best block party in Chicago, with ALL proceeds going to Hope For The Day!!! You read correctly, the food, music and beer are on DMC so that everyone's hard earned dollars can help make an impact through HFTD's amazing programs.

If you are unfamiliar with HFTD, they are a Chicago based non-profit that brings awareness to mental health and suicide prevention, both invaluable services that are greatly needed throughout the world. They provide resources, activities and help bring about legislative changes to not only people with mental illnesses but their friends and family who support them. DMC are proud partners with Hope For The Day and hope that you too will come and support their efforts. 

Speaking of party, have you looked at what is about to take place?? The music line-up, FOOD and THE DAMN BEER LIST?? It's all top notch and ready for you to come get down!! Now, there will be some rules put in place to make sure everyone is safe.


1.  If you plan to drink, you MUST HAVE A CURRENT ID stating that you are indeed 21+. No ID, no beer, NO EXCEPTIONS! 

2. This is a family friendly event, we encourage everyone to attend. There's even ice cream for the kids, thanks to Ruth & Phil's ice cream. (For BIG kids too!) 

3. Please bring extra water as the day will be hot. There will be some delicious water available, courtesy of our friends at Essentia Water but hey, more water won't hurt anyone! (Plus there are like plenty of places to deposit all that extra water, if you know what we mean ;) 

4. Food - We will have a large amount of FREE food from friends like Lockdown, Roots Pizza, Sauce & Bread Kitchen and Uncle Dougies. This food will be given out throughout the event, so please make sure to eat and also share with your fellow party people. 

5. No outside booze please! There will be plenty of beer for everyone so please, save the flasks and rare bombers of beer for after 8:00pm when our party ends. 

6. Finally, this is a block party celebrating our neighborhood. Which means the neighbors will be home. Don't worry, they are cool as sh*t and love having everyone over. That being said, please respect their space and stay within the parameters of the party. Only go in their lawn, patio, etc if you are invited. 



Band of Bohemia

Central State Brewing

Dark Horse Brewing

Devil's Trumpet

Forbidden Root Fine Botanic Beers

Goose Island

Half Acre Beer

Local Option Brier

Marz Brewing


Off Color Brewing

Penrose Brewing 

Perennial Artisan Ales 

Pipeworks Brewing 

Revolution Brewing   

Rockwell Brewing

Scratch Brewing

Virtue Cider

3 Floyd's 

18th Street Brewery



The Right Now - Black Bear Combo 

Wild Jesus & The Devil's Lettuce

J.A. Grimms & Blackknight - Ben Ezra

Buckingham Palace SVU - Malci & The Lobster Bisque  


Tim Zawada (Star Creature Universal Vibes) - Chuck Wren (Jump Up Records)

Sonorama DJs (Sonorama Records) Twinpeaks DJs (Press Pot Recordings)

NOT Beer

Essentia Water 



Roots Handmade Pizza

Phil & Ruth's Gourmet Ice Cream

Sauce & Bread Kitchen

Uncle Dougie's

June 24, 2016 by Kyle Hodges

Hop Fermented Coffee

Several years ago amidst the ice coffee mania we saw our friends Oddly Correct Coffee doing a really cool variant using a cold coffee extraction with dry hops. We always thought that was so rad and asked ourselves how we could riff on that idea. So we played with some dry hopping in pour overs Half Acre Beer one year when we were brewing coffee for ‪#‎BIGHUGS‬.

Coffee fermentation is a major focus for DMC, it's one of the many areas that separates us from our peers. More specifically, we are trying to grasp a better understanding of fermentation's nebulous process and then modifying our approach to achieve a desirable result . In this experiment, we wanted to see how the acids in hops would affect the microbiology present in fermentation tanks and more importantly, how the hop character would impact flavor. So exactly how does this hop fermented coffee process work? 

Hop pellets are potent little capsules that contain gargantuan levels of acidity, spice, and fruit. Managing the exact hop dosage is very important to get the desired effect in the final product. Catuai was chosen for this experiment because of its stability and consistency, two characteristics that helped to gain more control when conducting experiments. To make a long story short, the end result was essentially dry hopping three different fermentation tanks holding the Catuai, each with a different hop. Citra, El Dorado, and Mosaic hops were chosen because of their differing characteristics with spice, fruit and herbal notes . This will be an ongoing project we will continue to hone in on. Its difficult to say where this experiment will lead but we are excited to sink our teeth into this one for years to come!

These three coffees were released in 2016, the first dry hopped coffees being sold in the world, all with roaring success. We even decided to dry hop our Chocolate City iced coffee for several events, CBC Boston & Copenhagen, Lollapalooza and special offerings at our retail locations. Expect to see more hopped coffee releases, both iced and whole bean in 2017! 

El Dorado Hops

Country: Guatemala
Farm: San Jeronimo Miramar
Cultivar: Catuai
Hop: Fermented with El Dorado Hops
Notes: Cantaloupe, Honey, Milk Chocolate


Citra Hops

Country: Guatemala
Farm: San Jeronimo Miramar
Culivar: Catuai
Hops: Fermented with Citra Hops
Notes: Cocoa, Orange, Pineapple

Mosiac Hops

Country: Gautemala
Farm: San Jeronimo Miramar
Cultivar: Catuai
Hops: Fermented with Mosiac Hops
Notes: Plum, Pear, Lemongrass