Top Ten Uses for Spent Grain from your Homebrew

The spent grains from the porter. #bigbrewHere are my top ten uses for spent grain:

  1. Compost it when you compost your other homebrew ingredients.
  2. Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits. This requires grain, flour, peanut butter and an egg. Sounds like it is more than just a dog treat. Big Daddy would like that too! Someone is even selling their spent grain dog biscuits online.
  3. Alewife, a user on the MoreBeer.com forums, has a recipe for bread made with spent grains from an all-grain mash. She says that although this is a very rustic and rough bread, it is also very flavorful. Read the entire thread, though, because she does make some corrections further down.
  4. Alewife also has a pizza crust recipe she says is good. This same recipe can be adapted for focaccia, she says.
  5. Braukaiser.com has a recipe for Treberbrot, a German-style spent grain bread. The recipe says that the bread is best eaten with a beer and a spread of schmaltz, which is rendered fat with seasoning. Sounds delicious! It turns out that "treber" is the German word for spent grain. It makes me wonder if that is a true cognate with "trub." Probably so.
  6. Rob's Home Brew Supply also has a recipe for bread using spent grain. This one includes apple juice and molasses, so it is probably much sweeter than some of the others.
  7. According to ProBrewer.com, spent grain can be used as a growth medium for shitake mushrooms. It takes a bit of extra processing, but if you have the resources and ability, you might be able to turn a profit off your waste, or at least have a great meal.
  8. Deer love stuff like spent grain. As a photographer, that makes me want to spread some in the yard and wait with my camera. Attracting deer to one spot can also work as a against them eating your flowers and other garden plants. I once visited a winery that did this with their pressed grapes and they said it was very successful in redirecting the deer away from the vines. They spread the waste material at the edge of the woods and the deer were happy to nibble on that.
  9. Barnyard animals also love spent grain. Feed it to the cows, chickens, pigs, goats, and whatever other critters you tend.
  10. Back in my vegetarian days I used grains for lots of recipes, and substituting in spent grains for some of these would have worked very well. I might just try that for my lunches next week. Homemade veggie burgers come to mind. Yum!

Storing Spent Grain

Let's face it. Having brew day and baking day on the same day is nuts. If I were going to save my spent grain, I would put it in small sandwich bags and keep it in the freezer. Overnight in the refrigerator might be fine for a few days, but all that water and residual sugar that is left in the grain make it a great growth medium for molds and bacteria.

You could also dry the grain by using a dehydrator, but baking in the oven probably can be tricky, as even the lowest oven setting can change the chemical composition of the grain. However, you may love that roasted grain flavor, and if you are careful this can be a great way to go about it.

What are your uses for spent grain?

Spent Grain by deege@fermentarium.com.

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