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What to do with Spent Grains.

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Flight0011, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. When I first got in to home brewing I always wondered what I could do with my spent grains besides just throw them away? I started to compost them but then I realised there has to be more I can do. Right now I feed it to my chickens. I am however, curious about what other people do with there spent grains.

    What do you do with yours?
    Darthballs likes this.
  2. ThreeFishes

    ThreeFishes Champion (810) Florida Jan 8, 2013 Verified

  3. pweis909

    pweis909 Champion (750) Wisconsin Aug 13, 2005 Verified

    I feed them to my garden via the compost bin. What can I say? I don't have chickens.

    Once or twice I put a cup or so in a loaf of bread, but I didn't like picking husks out of my teeth. I suppose I could make spent grain flour but anything that calls for drying the spent grain seems like a waste of energy to me. I'd rather just make flour out of whole grain.
    Flight0011 and thedarkestlord like this.
  4. psnydez86

    psnydez86 Savant (470) Pennsylvania Jan 4, 2012 Verified

    I like them for my garden but a half cup
    Is a nice addition to a Stromboli/Pizza crust....especially with bacon... But...bacon...mmmmmmmmmm
  5. I bring them to work and leave them in a big pile on the ground. A few days later they are all gone. A certain group of birds that honk love them.
  6. JrGtr

    JrGtr Savant (450) Massachusetts Apr 13, 2006 Verified

    I'll generally make bread with some of them, and compost/ Mulch with the rest. I saw a recipe for dog biscuits using them at one point, maybe I'll try that sometime for friends' dogs.
  7. billandsuz

    billandsuz Savant (460) New York Sep 1, 2004

    deer are a pest in these parts of upstate NY. like most people, the site of deer devouring 10 pounds of fresh seed in my bird feeder is enough to burst a vessel.

    but i still put spent grains out back and will happily watch them chow down. it might be 10 degrees. they're not all bad after all.
  8. I love to see deer sitting next to the mashed potatoes, with a nice homebrew to wash it all down!
  9. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (480) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    Compost. I think if you take 3/4 of the good stuff out of grain the remaining 1/4 is sawdust. I've heard you can put them in a sliced open bag in the garrage to promote oyster mushrooms to grow. I don't know enough about mushrooms to avoid the color-inducing ones.

    For me, I try to conserve waste not by reusing my grains, but by trying to reuse that 30+ gal of water I run through my wort chiller.
  10. Ejayz

    Ejayz Savant (325) Iowa May 15, 2011

    I recently made spent grain flour for breads/pretzels. I just scooped some into the food dehydrator let it run for 24 hours then ground it up in the blender. I was able to make 2 pounds of flour now if I could just bake!! I also put some under the bushes out front and the birds love it!!!
  11. FremontBar

    FremontBar Savant (315) Arizona Feb 1, 2013

    I compost most of it, not a big fan of spent grain bread, but I do also make dog biscuits from the Brooklyn Brew Shop recipe mentioned above, our dog likes it, she also likes shit.
  12. WickedSluggy

    WickedSluggy Advocate (520) Texas Nov 21, 2008 Verified

    There is easily a ton of spent grain in my yard. Lots of hops too.
  13. pweis909

    pweis909 Champion (750) Wisconsin Aug 13, 2005 Verified

    I had a student do a senior thesis project on growing oyster mushrooms, about three years back. He tried several different media and did not have much luck with spent barley. I was paying attention to that result for obvious reasons, but other than that, I have not retained the details. IIRC, he was sterilizing the spent grains in an autoclave to avoid infection by mold, so that is another consideration that costs some energy. This doesn't mean it can't be done; mostly, it probably means I was a lousy thesis advisor.:oops:
    inchrisin likes this.
  14. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Advocate (690) Colorado Jan 20, 2012

    I wish my memory was better, I read a recipe for spent grain granola bars. it works great for pizza crust too.
  15. tommyguz

    tommyguz Champion (895) Pennsylvania May 14, 2008 Verified

    My wife made dog biscuits. I will have to find the recipe. The dog liked them, but then again what doesn't the dog like. We also make pizza dough
  16. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Champion (810) Texas May 21, 2010

    I just spread them around the property where we brew, never in the same place twice, and not too thick (I don't just dump them, I spread them). There's no compost heap, but I think this allows them to go back into the soil anyway, and probably feeds a bunch of squirrels or birds at the same time.

    I've made bread once but wasn't impressed. I should try a different recipe or tweak the one I used a little.
  17. I use a Corona Mill to grind my grain and brew in a bag, so my spent grains quite a bit more on the flour side than most I suspect. I usually reserve a couple of quart containers out of most batches to combine with bananas, and egg, some oatmeal and a bit of flour for so nice bran muffins. The muffins have never been more moist and cake-like as they are since incorporation a couple of cups of the spent grain into the recipe. The rest of the spent grain goes into the compost pile, and hopefully into my tomatoes and peppers.
    inchrisin likes this.
  18. Like you, I feed it to my brewing partner's chickens.
  19. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (480) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    For some reason I see Andy from Shaw Shank Redemption in the middle of his back yard. He looks carefully both ways to make sure nobody's watching and puts his hands in his pockets. After a moment he pulls out two fistfuls of spent grains and quickly scatters them across the nearby grass. He looks both ways again, and quickly walks off. :cool:
    AlCaponeJunior likes this.
  20. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Champion (810) Texas May 21, 2010

    could you post that recipe?
  21. jamescain

    jamescain Advocate (695) Texas Jul 14, 2009 Verified

  22. How do you make the pizza dough?
  23. Reneejane

    Reneejane Savant (490) Illinois Jan 15, 2004

    I compost, but, I'm watching this thread to see if there are any good ideas out there. It fills up a composter but fast (high gravity beers though...), I do reuse my wort chiller water, because I take the outflow and use it to fill my carboy with 5 gallons of sanitizer, fiill my 10 gal. mash tun with wash water and another pot with wash water, and I use camp soap to wash out them if I do the wash outside, that nicely recycles water.
    Flight0011 and inchrisin like this.
  24. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (480) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    I know that some people are fortunate enough to have their gig set up in their attached garage. They open the garage door while cooking, and when they go to chilling they are able to transfer into a washing machine. There was a video on AG brewing that gave me this idea, but I couldn't find it quickly. I gave up.
    Reneejane likes this.
  25. ElPadrone

    ElPadrone Aficionado (105) Texas Oct 20, 2009

    Dog Biscuits for sure, a little spent grain and some peanut butter baked on really low heat to let them dry out, the dogs go nuts!!
  26. Seeing all the responses got the gears spinning. Im thinking of a spent grain dough using a harvested yeast from a recient batch of beer, although I dont know weather I would make a bread or a pizza out of it... Besides that I just use my chiller water to water the garden and the lawn
  27. utahbeerdude

    utahbeerdude Advocate (500) Utah May 2, 2006

    Compost pile. There is a male pheasant that hangs around in the winter; he occasionally gets in the pile and chows down.
  28. Reneejane

    Reneejane Savant (490) Illinois Jan 15, 2004

    Beer yeast vs bread yeast is incredibly slow, so it might take days to rise dough.
  29. cracker

    cracker Savant (405) Pennsylvania May 2, 2004

    I just toss it in my neighbor's yard...
  30. basscram

    basscram Savant (385) Maine Mar 29, 2006

    put em in the backyard with my dogs where there is dirt. They eat the spent grains. When I'm done brewing I tell the dogs " Eat your barley!" They sure nuff do cause the next day you know what happens :) when cleanup time happens. It's animal feed.
    Flight0011 likes this.
  31. oregonskibum

    oregonskibum Advocate (500) Oregon Mar 14, 2009

    Just a warning to be careful about how many biscuits you give your dog. We did the same thing - once. After a couple days of having 1-2 biscuits per day, our dog got terrible constipation. According to our vet, too much grain in a dog's diet can cause this problem.

    All my spent grain goes into the compost pile.
  32. I once tasted my spent grains and to be honest I've chewed wallpaper with more flavour.If you're getting anything like reasonable extraction then by definition there won't be much left.They aren't termed "spent grains" for nothing!
    Good for compost or animal feed , that's all.
    kjyost likes this.
  33. honkey

    honkey Savant (320) Alabama Aug 28, 2010

    Dogs don't actually get nutrients from grain. It is used as a filler in cheap dog foods. I stay away from grains completely for my dog. She eats a raw meat diet.