What to do with all that spent-grain!?
So you’ve probably brewed and love it, but each time you brew your own beer you are left with a huge bowl of spent grains….
If you start homebrewing a lot, you can end up with a great deal of the stuff. Many brewers just throw it away but if you want to keep brewing it is nice to know that all that goodness doesn’t need to go to waste. Here are a few useful ways to get more than beer out of your brew day!
Have a green thumb?
If you’re a keen gardener then spent grain can make wonderful compost. Spent brewing grain is classed as a nitrogenous waste (fresh = green matter) on the same level as grass clippings. This means that it will do best when layered with some carbonaceous waste (dry = brown matter) such as leaf matter or straw
One of the easiest ways to use spent grain as compost is to put it straight in the soil. You can dig a small ditch between vegetable rows or in flowerbeds, fill it halfway with spent grain and cover it with dirt. In this way, the microbes already in the garden can easily do their work on the newly arrived nutrients.
As long as your spent grains have been kept separate from any hops, they are safe for dog consumption – and combined with peanut butter make great tasting and healthy dog biscuits. Follow this easy recipe to craft some yummy treats for your furry four-legged friend!
Spent-Grain Dog Biscuits
• 250 grams spent grain
• 120 grams flour
• 2 Tbsp. peanut butter
• 1 egg
Use your spent grains as soon as possible after brew day. collect the leftover grains and either refrigerate or freeze them to avoid mold.
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
Roll out the mixture and use a cookie cutter to form the treats, or shape them by hand.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Turn the heat down to 90°C and bake for an additional 3 hours to dry them out.
Once cool, store them in an airtight container. Makes approx. 30 biscuits
A Treat for you…
Our favourite way to use spent grains is to make homemade granola. We find the crunch of the spent grains is light and crispy and lends itself really well to a granola. Why not see for yourself? It is really easy and just as tasty as the really expensive granola you can get in high-end bakeries or food stores.
The first step is to dry-out your spent grains. Place your spent grains in a large roasting pan and in the oven at the lowest possible temperature until all the moisture is gone, stirring occasionally.
We like to leave ours in the oven over-night as this is an easy way to have them well dried.
Home Brewtique Granola Recipe:
• 1/3 cup demerara sugar
• 70g unsalted butter
• ½ cup honey
• 2 cups rolled oats
• 4 cups spent grain (dried out in oven)
• 1 tbsp cinnamon
• 1 cup coconut flour (coconut flakes, or desiccated coconut)
• 200g roughly chopped hazelnuts , almonds and/or pecans
• 200g dried fruit such as dates, apricots and/or raisins
• 250g sunflower seeds
Mix all dry ingredients (except fruit) in a large bowl
Melt butter and mix together with honey
Add butter/honey mix to dry ingredients and mix well
Place in large baking tray in 180 C oven
Bake for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add your fruit and bake another 10-20 minutes giving a stir every 5 minutes until your granola is evenly browned.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Store in an airtight container.
This granola recipe is especially recommended for use with chocolate grains such as those found in the grain mix for our Milk Stout recipe.
What did you think? Have any other tweaks to the granola recipe you would recommend, or other uses for your spent grains? Share with your fellow brewers by commenting below. Thanks!