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  • Writer's pictureLuke Nyswonger

Crafting a Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) Beer with ChatGPT

As Summer winds down, I find myself already brewing with autumn and winter in mind. It's been a while since I embarked on the delightful task of crafting a pumpkin beer, and now seems like the ideal moment to reacquaint myself with my trusted brew kettle. I'm excitedly building out my seasonal offerings, not just with this comforting, autumn-inspired brew, but also with a hearty Winter Warmer beer and a unique Butterfinger-inspired peanut butter stout which I call Futter Binger. These additions are set to fill my kegerator, providing a diverse selection of flavors to enjoy as we get into Fall and Winter.


Every October, I look forward to the Elysian Great Pumpkin Beer Festival – a gourd-filled funfest that embodies the spirit of the season. Located in the heart of Seattle, this annual celebration brings together over 80 different pumpkin beers, with each brewery showcasing their unique take on this iconic fall staple. It's a carnival of sorts for the beer-loving community, complete with a giant pumpkin that's tapped cask-style, producing beer straight from its hollowed-out insides.


AI generated artwork
Bing Image Creator

While the festival is a wonderful cacophony of pumpkin and spice, what truly fascinates me is the creativity and innovation each brewer brings to their beer. This year, as the festival dates creep closer, I'm inspired to create my own fall-flavored masterpiece. And what better choice than a Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) beer? The last time I brewed a pumpkin beer was in 2015, so it's about time!


Instead of going at it alone, I decided to tap into artificial intelligence to help create the recipe. Specifically, I turned to ChatGPT, for some brewing assistance. This AI has proved to be a reliable companion in the past, generating creative and unique recipes based on my input.


I started by telling ChatGPT about my idea to brew a 5-gallon all-grain Pumpkin Spice Latte beer. I asked it to help design the recipe, providing a list of ingredients, their quantities, and a step-by-step brewing process.


Prompt: Design a unique pumpkin spice latte homebrewed beer with a distinctive flavor profile. The recipe should yield 5 gallons and be an all-grain recipe. I'm targeting an ABV of 7% or higher.

In response, ChatGPT outlined a recipe featuring 2-Row Barley, Munich Malt, Crystal Malt, and Biscuit Malt, along with East Kent Goldings and Willamette Hops. For the key fall flavors, it suggested a blend of pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, and cold-brewed coffee, with a touch of lactose to give that creamy 'latte' feel.


AI generated artwork
Bing Image Creator

After some back and forth using prompt engineering techniques for homebrewers, I had my recipe. The resulting beer is most closely aligned with a Brown Ale, specifically an English-style Brown Ale. The combination of Marris Otter, Munich Malt, Crystal Malt, Biscuit Malt, and a touch of Chocolate Malt gives it the malt-forward, slightly nutty, and caramel character typical of Brown Ales. The choice of hops, East Kent Goldings and Willamette, further places it in the realm of traditional English brewing. With the added coffee and subtle roasted notes from the chocolate malt, the beer truly embodies the essence of a Pumpkin Spice Latte.


Recipe: Gourd's Gold Goblet


Grains:

  • 9 lbs Marris Otter

  • 3 lbs Munich Malt

  • 1 lb Crystal Malt (60L for a caramel note)

  • 0.5 lb Biscuit Malt

  • 0.25 lb Chocolate Malt (for color and a touch of roasted flavor that complements coffee)

Hops:

  • 1 oz East Kent Goldings (Bittering - 60 minutes)

  • 0.5 oz Willamette Hops (Flavor - 15 minutes)

  • 0.5 oz Willamette Hops (Aroma - 5 minutes)

Additional:

  • 1 lb pureed pumpkin (canned or homemade, ensure it’s free from additives)

  • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice mix (adjust to taste)

  • 8 oz lactose (for the 'latte' creaminess)

  • 4 oz cold-brewed coffee concentrate (added at bottling/kegging time - adjust to your liking)

  • 1 pack of an English-style ale yeast (e.g., Imperial A09 Pub)

Directions:

  1. Mash: Combine your grains and maintain a mash temperature of around 152-154°F for 60 minutes.

  2. Sparge: Rinse the grains to extract the sugars.

  3. Boil: Start a 60-minute boil. Add the East Kent Goldings hops as the wort begins to boil.

  4. 45 minutes into the boil, add the Willamette hops for flavor.

  5. At 50 minutes, add the pureed pumpkin and lactose.

  6. At 55 minutes, introduce the pumpkin spice mix.

  7. With 5 minutes left in the boil, add the last addition of Willamette hops for aroma.

  8. After boiling, cool the wort quickly, then transfer it to your fermentation vessel.

  9. Fermentation: Pitch the yeast once the wort is around 68°F. Let it ferment at a stable temperature (65-70°F) for 1-2 weeks.

  10. Bottling/Kegging: Before transferring the beer to bottles or a keg, mix in the cold-brewed coffee concentrate. This ensures the coffee flavor remains prominent and doesn't get lost during fermentation.

  11. Allow bottled beer to carbonate for at least 2 weeks. If kegging, carbonate to your liking.


Note: This recipe could easily be adapted to a Porter or Stout base. These styles are known for their roasted malt character, which pairs exceptionally well with coffee, making them an excellent choice for a coffee-infused beer.


Conclusion

So, as we head into the fall season, consider brewing a pumpkin beer of your own. Whether it's a traditional pumpkin ale, a pumpkin spiced latte beer, or a completely new invention, the process of crafting a fall brew is a rewarding one. The combination of technology, creativity, and a love for brewing makes for a unique beer experience.

And remember, whether you're a seasoned brewer or just starting out, there’s always a new recipe or technique to discover.


Happy brewing, and maybe I'll see you at the Pumpkin festival! Cheers! 🍻🎃☕

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