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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Compostable?
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:28 AM   #1
Spludge
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Default Compostable?

I have a compost bin in my backyard. I have been throwing my spent grains form the mash tun, hops and yeast slurry in it.

I haven't given it much time, but is this a good practice or am I ruining the bin?

TIA


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Old 01-13-2011, 06:40 AM   #2
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Should definitely be compostable! There are some other good things you can do with spent grains, fyi. Using them in baking or making dog treats are good ideas to use up those grains as well!

I should probably do something more than throwing them out my window


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Old 01-13-2011, 06:57 AM   #3
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Brewing and composting are basically the same process, the difference being composting is less defined and the output is, well, less tasty.

Composting is essentially the breakdown of organic material by microbes, which is what brewing is. I have a compost pile, which loves my brewing leftovers. My understanding is the bin works better under more ideal cicumstances. Actually, my pile does too, but I care less, it will break down eventually, bins are designed to speed up the process.

From what I have read, brewing waste has a slightly low pH (acidic). There is also a balance of carbon to nitrogen that creates an ideal compost. Brewing waste is high in carbon. Adding a little lime (or fertilizer, which seems silly) should speed up the process. There are other sources high in nitrogen you can add, green grass clippings being one. Your bin probably came with a "recipe" for ideal compost.

The last thing you want to do is throw away, or flush your brewing waste. MIcrobreweries are on the cutting edge of going green, homebrewers should follow suit.
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:26 AM   #4
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I just bury my spent grains inside the earth that is going to be sowed some months later.
I use it as a pre-fertilizer.

I really don't know if it's good or not, but my plants seem to like it.
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:12 AM   #5
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The only thing you really need to be careful with is the spent hops. Make sure they are not accessible to any animals. If you mix the waste into your pile you shouldn't have any problems.
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:58 PM   #6
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You should make sure to give the compost bin some regular stirring, it isn't the grain I'd be worried about but all the extra moisture with potentially not enough oxygen. I don't know if you've ever smelled what a compost bin smells like when it goes anaerobic, but it really isn't pleasant. I personally through my grains on the ground to dry them out a bit, then rake them into my lawn the next day.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:19 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the info everyone. I think a little lime/fertilizer and a good stirring will help things out. No animals have access so hopefully will be safe.


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Jamil's ESB, Honey Raspberry,EdWort's Bavarian Hefe, Oatmeal Stout, Jamil's Amber Ale, BierMuncher's Belgian Wit, Red Ale, Kitchen Sink, Yeasty Beasty Hefe, American Pale, Zone Zero Black, Maibock

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