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  • Writer's pictureLuke Nyswonger

Designing a Butterfinger-Inspired Stout with ChatGPT

Growing up in Kansas, summers were a magical blend of adventure and tranquility. As daylight stretched well into the evening, the world transformed into a playground. We engaged in countless rounds of flashlight tag, the darkness turning our backyards into thrilling battlefields. The rule was simple—don't let the beam of light catch you.


But amidst all these joys, there was one thing that made my summers truly exceptional—Homemade Butterfinger ice cream. On especially hot afternoons, I'd abandon my bike and games for the enticing coolness of homemade Butterfinger ice cream. Its peanut-buttery crunch and sweet chocolate layers were pure delight on a hot day. The homemade ice cream tradition evolved into trips to Dairy Queen for their Butterfinger Blizzard when it debuted in 1985. The swirl of creamy soft serve and chunks of crispy Butterfinger was an irresistible treat that would satiate my sweet tooth while cooling me down after a hot day of outdoor fun.


As I grew older, my summer interests evolved into a love for homebrewing. The brew pot replaced the ice cream maker, but my sweet tooth remained the same. This summer, while reminiscing about that homemade Butterfinger ice cream, I wondered, "Why not bring that nostalgia into my brew pot? What about a Butterfinger Stout?"


AI generated art
Bing Image Creator: Rich and Decadent Butterfinger Stout

The idea sparked excitement and immediately brought to mind Omnipollo's controversial Yellow Belly beer—a peanut butter biscuit stout shrouded in a unique packaging, a delightful example of beer ingenuity and one of my favorite imperial stouts. Designing a recipe to echo the nuances of a Butterfinger candy bar—crispety, crunchety, peanut-buttery goodness wrapped in a chocolatey coat—seemed daunting. I wanted a Stout that carried the essence of a Butterfinger while maintaining the backbone of a robust Stout.


Enter ChatGPT.


I've used ChatGPT as my brewing companion in the past, guiding me through recipe modifications and answering my brewing questions. This time, I leaned on its vast knowledge to help create a unique Butterfinger Stout recipe. I started by outlining the key flavors—chocolate, caramel, and peanut butter—and the challenge of incorporating them into a beer without turning it into an overly sweet dessert brew (I'm looking at you Milkshake IPA).


Here is the prompt I used to start the design process:

Prompt: Imagine a rich and indulgent Stout that captures the essence of a Butterfinger candy bar. Design a recipe for a Butterfinger Stout that combines the luscious flavors of chocolate, caramel, and peanut butter with the roasty backbone of a stout. Consider the malt bill, hop choices, adjuncts, and any additional flavorings or techniques that will help recreate the distinct taste and aroma of a Butterfinger. Get creative and craft a recipe that will make beer enthusiasts crave the unique experience of sipping on a Butterfinger Stout.

With every interaction, ChatGPT offered ingredient suggestions, brewing techniques, and even proposed ways to tweak my existing stout recipe. The process was iterative—asking, adjusting, refining. Through this back-and-forth prompting, I crafted a recipe that combined a robust malt bill, a hazy-forward yeast from my favorite vendor, and a careful selection of adjuncts. I chose to avoid adding real Butterfinger bars, even though the AI called for it!


The recipe is adventurous, bold, and a testament to the interplay of nostalgic inspiration and modern AI. As I look forward to the brewing (and tasting) adventure ahead, I can't help but feel a sense of child-like excitement. I'm eager to experience the beer that encapsulates a cherished summer memory, inspired by a childhood favorite, and brought to life with AI. And this one might be great poured over ice cream!


🍫 Butterfinger Stout Recipe 🍺


For the Malt bill:

  • 10 lbs Maris Otter (base malt that provides a rich malt flavor)

  • 2 lbs Flaked Oats (for creaminess and mouthfeel)

  • 1 lb Chocolate Malt (provides a strong chocolate flavor)

  • 0.75 lb Roasted Barley (provides roastiness and color)

  • 0.50 lb Caramel Malt 45L (for some sweetness and caramel flavor)

  • 0.50 lb Special B Malt (for additional depth and dark fruit undertones)

Hops:

  • 1.00 oz Magnum [12.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min

  • 0.50 oz Fuggle [4.75 %] - Boil 15.0 min

Yeast:

  • 1 pkg A10 Darkness (emphasizes the roasted and caramel malt, leaving a sweet and full-bodied beer)

Adjuncts and other additions:

  • 1.00 lbs Lactose - Boil for 10 min (adds sweetness and body)

  • 1.00 lb Peanut Butter Powder - Add to secondary (provides the peanut butter character)

  • 8.00 oz Cacao Nibs - Add to secondary (enhances the chocolate character)

Mash at 154°F for 60 minutes. Boil for 60 minutes, following the schedule for hop and lactose additions. Cool the wort and pitch your yeast. Allow fermentation to proceed at 68-70°F. Once fermentation is near completion, "dry-peanut" and "dry-chocolate" in secondary with the peanut butter powder and cacao nibs respectively.


Conclusion


ChatGPT proved to be an incredible resource for this creative brewing endeavor, allowing me to combine my love for homebrewing with a sweet slice of nostalgia. This summer, as I take a sip of my Butterfinger Stout, I won't just be reminiscing about the good old days; I'll be living them.


To continue your journey into the exciting world of brewing with AI, don't forget to subscribe to Homebrewing.ai. You'll receive a wealth of resources, insights, and brewing inspirations. And join our community on the Homebrewing.ai Facebook group where you can share your brewing adventures and learn from fellow brewing enthusiasts.


Happy Brewing! 🍻






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Luke Nyswonger
Luke Nyswonger
Aug 05, 2023


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Luke Nyswonger
Luke Nyswonger
Aug 05, 2023

Brewed on 8/5/23.



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