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  • Writer's pictureLuke Nyswonger

Cheers to Diversity: ChatGPT's Role in Creating a Pride Month Witbier

June brings not only the start of summer but also the celebration of Pride Month, a time to revel in unity, embrace diversity, and express identity freely. In this spirit of celebration, I decided to blend my passion for homebrewing with my allyship for the LGBTQIA+ community by crafting a one-of-a-kind beer that personifies the vibrant colors of Pride.


Beyond simply sharing a homebrewing adventure, this Homebrewing.ai project serves a larger purpose. Throughout the crafting of this special beer, I have been guided by a desire to promote and support the vital work of Outright International.


This is an organization I learned more about through the advocacy efforts of the Global LGBTQIA+ Employees and Allies at Microsoft (GLEAM) employee resource group. Outright is an intersectional human rights organization dedicated to improving the lives of people who experience discrimination or abuse on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression worldwide. They strive for a world where everyone can live freely and equally, without fear of persecution due to their identity.


Pride Flag Design from Microsoft
Pride designs on GitHub @ https://github.com/microsoft/Pride

I urge you to join me in supporting Outright's mission, contributing in any way you can to ensure they continue their vital work. Whether it's donating directly, spreading the word by sharing this article, or simply taking the time to understand the struggles faced by the LGBTQIA+ community, your actions make a difference.

 

And now, let's embark on our brewing journey - a celebration of Pride in every sip.


Brewing with Pride, Powered by AI

In the spirit of stepping outside my comfort zone and creating something truly special, I decided to lean on AI technology to guide me through the recipe creation process. This endeavor began with an open mind, a goal to create a Pride-inspired beer, and no preconceived ideas about the final product. So, I turned to ChatGPT for inspiration. I pledged to myself to embrace the first idea it would generate, no matter how out of the box it might be.

Rainbow Pride Witbier

Prompt: Help me design a unique beer recipe in honor of Pride Month that expresses the colors of the Pride flag and uses unconventional ingredients.

As I expected, ChatGPT delivered a recipe suggestion that was both intriguing and challenging. It proposed a brew that I had never brewed (Belgian Witbier) and also incorporated ingredients and adjuncts I had never used before, specifically edible flowers. 🌺😮 This added a new layer of complexity to the project, pushing me to tap into ChatGPT's expansive corpus of knowledge once again for guidance on how to work with these novel ingredients. ChatGPT came up with a fitting title that I decided to stick with: Rainbow Witbier. Although I frequently find myself lost in the fascinating process of generating creative beer names with ChatGPT, I chose to devote my attention to other aspects of the beer design this time.


To build this recipe, I engaged in a back-and-forth dialogue with the AI using prompt engineering techniques for homebrewers, drilling down into the specifics of the style, the malt bill, the brewing process, and how to best use the edible flowers. It was a fascinating journey, with ChatGPT acting as an encyclopedic brewing assistant, helping me navigate through unfamiliar territories of brewing. Yes, there were times I went to the old-fashioned internet and discussion forums (e.g., HomebrewTalk) to validate some of the data I was getting, but for the most part I stuck to ChatGPT and my own knowledge of brewing.


AI generated artwork
Credit: Bing Image Creator

One thing I am very particular about is the yeast I use. Selecting the right yeast is crucial in brewing, as it can significantly impact the flavor, aroma, and overall profile of the beer. Yeast not only consumes sugars to produce alcohol but also creates a multitude of byproducts, each of which can impart distinct characteristics to the brew. This is why I often start with yeast suggestions when refining a recipe based on initial output from AI models like ChatGPT.


I'm a fan of Imperial Yeast as it comes down to their consistent quality and wide range of options. They offer a diverse selection of yeast strains, each providing unique attributes that allow me to experiment and tailor my brews to achieve the desired taste and complexity. Plus, their high cell counts ensure a healthy fermentation without worrying about yeast starters.


Prompt: I'm thinking of replacing your suggested yeast with B44 Whiteout in my Rainbow Witbier. How does this yeast perform in a Witbier style and what unique characteristics can it bring to my beer?

Screenshot of ChatGPT conversation about Witbier and Flowers

🌺Hops and Petals: Brewing with Edible Flowers

Crafting the Rainbow Witbier wasn't just about writing down a list of ingredients and following the brewing process. It also meant embarking on a deep-dive into the world of botanicals, understanding the unique characteristics, flavors, and aromas that each flower could impart to the beer. I found myself researching extensively, learning about which flowers would work best in a beer, how much to use, and importantly, where to source them from.


My quest took me to various locations - from local supermarkets like Whole Foods, Haagens, and QFC to craft stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby. In the end, I found my solution on Amazon (go figure). It offered a variety of edible flowers that were perfect for my brew, providing the convenience of doorstep delivery. This extensive research and journey gave me a newfound appreciation for the lengths homebrewers go to in pursuit of crafting the perfect brew.


AI generated artwork
Credit: Bing Image Creator

Having zeroed in on the assortment of edible flowers for my brew, the next challenge was to grasp the flavor profiles each would impart and narrow it down. Although the traditional route of making hop teas to test the flavor profiles was tempting, I decided to opt for a more innovative approach, leveraging AI only. AI offered the advantage of not only providing me with detailed descriptions of the taste and aroma of each flower but also an estimation of how these flavors might interact with the other components of my beer. In essence, AI became my virtual tasting guide, helping me navigate the uncharted waters of floral beer brewing.


Prompt: Imagine you are a master brewer and a sommelier, with an expertise in both the craft of brewing and the art of pairing flavors. I have a list of dried edible flowers: Rose buds, Rose petals, Lavender, Jasmine Flower, Yellow Chrysanthemum, Forget me not, Lily Flower, Red and Purple Gomphrena. For each of these flowers, please provide detailed information on their respective flavor and aroma profiles, suggest the color they could potentially impart in a beer, and give a recommendation score from 1-10 (with 10 being highly recommended) on how suitable they would be for inclusion in a Rainbow Witbier, a beer I am creating in honor of Pride Month. Consider how these flavors and aromas would complement a Belgian Witbier style, and align with the vibrancy and symbolism of the Pride flag.

By specifying that the AI model should behave as both a master brewer and a sommelier, the prompt guides the AI to provide insights and suggestions from both brewing and flavor pairing perspectives, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation of the ingredients. And providing a list of specific flowers allows the AI to focus on those ingredients and offer detailed insights for each one.

Screenshot of ChatGPT conversation about Witbier and Flowers

As part of my brewing exploration for the Rainbow Witbier, I found some inspiration from a 2014 National Homebrew Conference talk given by Mitch Steele, former brewmaster at Stone Brewing and renowned expert in IPAs. His presentation, titled "Herbs, Spices & Other Botanical Ingredients in Today’s Beer Recipes," provided a deep dive into the world of non-traditional beer additives. He discussed how brewers could innovatively incorporate botanicals to enhance flavor and aroma, without overpowering the fundamental characteristics of beer. His insights were particularly invaluable when deciding on the types and quantities of edible flowers to include in the Rainbow Witbier.


AI generated artwork
Credit: Bing Image Creator

Final Ingredients and Recipe

Starting with initial prompt generation, it took a few days to draft, test, and refine the prompts that would be the cornerstone of the project. This segued into the research phase, which spanned a few more days of diligent exploration and collation of information on various botanicals and their potential impacts on the brew. After a deep dive into the world of edible flowers and numerous discussions with ChatGPT, the recipe was refined and finalized. All in all, the process, from the first glimmers of inspiration to the decisive moment of committing to the brew, spanned a week and I would estimate it to be about 10-15 hours of total time (without brewing). This creative expedition was a perfect blend of technology and brewing artistry, adding a unique dimension to the craft of homebrewing.


The AI initially produced a recipe with a staggering seven pounds of seven different flowers. However, after extensive research and careful consideration, I scaled this down significantly to just 3 grams each of two flowers - Rose Buds and Jasmine. These botanicals were chosen for their potential to harmonize with the sweet orange peel and coriander in the brew. Starting with a smaller amount minimized risk while ensuring a novel and balanced flavor profile.


🏳️‍🌈 Recipe for Rainbow Witbier


AI generated beer labels
Bing Image Creator: Experimental Label Designs for Rainbow Witbier

Grains:

  • 4 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM)

  • 4 lbs Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM)

  • 1 lb Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM)

Hops:

  • 1 oz Hallertauer [4.2%] - Boil for 60 min

Botanical Adjuncts:

  • .5 oz Coriander Seed (Boil for 5 min)

  • .5 oz Orange Peel, Sweet (Boil for 5 min)

  • 3 grams Rose buds (Steep for 2 minutes)

  • 3 grams Jasmine Flower (Steep for 2 minutes)

Yeast:

Mash Schedule:

  • Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out

  • Mash In - Add 13.75 qt of water at 163.7 F for a 152.0 F mash for 75 min

  • Sparge with 3.5 gal water at 168.0 F

Instructions:

  1. Mash grains at 152 degrees for 75 minutes.

  2. Add the Hallertauer hops at the start of a 60-minute boil.

  3. With 5 minutes left in the boil, add the coriander seed and sweet orange peel.

  4. At flameout, add your edible flowers and steep for 2 minutes before cooling the wort. This will impart the color and delicate flavor of the flowers into the beer, symbolizing the diversity of the Pride flag. Do not overdo it!

  5. Cool the wort to around 68 F, then oxygenate and pitch the yeast.

  6. Ferment at 68-72 F for 2-3 weeks. No need to move to a secondary.

  7. Bottle or keg as usual.


Conclusion

Brewing the Rainbow Witbier has been an adventure that stretched my brewing skills and creativity. It represents more than just a unique beer; it's a tribute to the spirit of diversity, inclusion, and unapologetic self-expression that Pride Month embodies.


A Taste Test Awaits: The Rainbow Witbier is currently in the fermentation stage as I write this article. Rest assured; I'll share my tasting notes as soon as it's ready. And I'll communicate progress in the comments below.


Join me at Homebrewing.ai, where I continue to explore the intersection of homebrewing, technology, and tradition. Sign up for the newsletter and join the Facebook community to stay updated on new articles, exciting recipes, and groundbreaking homebrewing insights. Let's journey together in the pursuit of brewing innovation and community connection.


Here's to celebrating 🏳️‍🌈Pride, embracing equality, and enjoying good beer. Cheers! 🍻

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2 Comments


Luke Nyswonger
Luke Nyswonger
Jul 16, 2023

Here it is. The Rainbow Witbier brewed with coriander, sweet orange peel, rose buds, and jasmine. It turned out better than I had anticipated given that I had 1) never brewed this style as I don't typically drink it and 2) used edible flowers which I hadn't done before. It's definitely a witbier with a sweet and zesty aroma, subtle spice, and a nice wheat character. I will say that I'm going to brew this again and increase the amount of Jasmine next time. A good summer drinker I'll keep around!



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Luke Nyswonger
Luke Nyswonger
Jun 27, 2023

Brewed on 6/20/23. Original Gravity @ 1.047, right on target.


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