What do you do with your spent grains?

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mongoose33

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I give my spent grain to a friend who has chickens. She says the chickens love it. Of course, she wants to give me back something in exchange, but I told her to just donate to a food bank instead.

Early on I dumped them in the garden where they just lay and did nothing. I thought something would come by and consume them, but no. Same with when i dumped them in the woods behind the house.

Composting or dog biscuits seems like the best use if you can't find someone with chickens....
 

kh54s10

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I used to have a large compost pile. Birds and animals never went near the pile of grain. I have spread it out thinly on the lawn, trashed and made bread with a very tiny amount of what I have produced.

Those making bread and dog treats, what percentage did you use and what did you do with the rest?
 

catalanotte

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Find friends with chickens or see if a local brewery will let you add them to their cart before a farmer picks up. I get a fresh supply of eggs from a friend in return for my grains.

While the bread and dog treats sound interesting, I cant imagine working through a bag of 40 lbs of wet grain 2-4 cups at a time.
 

Brewbuzzard

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I used to have a large compost pile. Birds and animals never went near the pile of grain. I have spread it out thinly on the lawn, trashed and made bread with a very tiny amount of what I have produced.

Those making bread and dog treats, what percentage did you use and what did you do with the rest?
See post 14 for recipe
 

Brewbuzzard

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i dump mine in my planter bed....must go somewhere because i've been dumping 20lbs a week for 7 years, and it's still not full....i know i get huge (don't know they're called when as big as your thumb)....they must like it....

edit: grubs was what i was trying to think of....
Grubs are bad for your flower bed and yard. They mature into those brown bugs that pester you at night. They are also known as June bugs down south. The only thing they're good for is fish bate. As for my spent grains I toss them out in the large easement behind the house and let the return to nature.
 

bracconiere

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Grubs are bad for your flower bed and yard. They mature into
Those brown bugs that pester you at night. They are also known as June bugs down south. The only thing they're good for is fishing bate.

my hope of the spent grains being good for my tobacco plants didn't work out either....but it would have been cool if it was! ;)
 

bracconiere

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What do you do with the tobacco leaves, roll cigars? I love cigars?

well i didn't have luck getting my starts this year...but usually i roll some cigars, shred the rest for cigarettes....i got, one year, 3 months of blissful independent cigarette smoking! was great....i also grind into dry snuff for sniffing....still got about a years worth of it left, but i have trouble giving up the cig's for dry snuff, can't snort enough.....


edit: i like chewing the green leaves too, tastes better then cured chew.....at least to me....
 

kh54s10

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See post 14 for recipe
I wasn't asking for percentages in a recipe. I was asking how much people use for bread and dog treats etc. out of a batch of spent grain. I dried almost half of one batch. That would be enough for 8-10 loaves of bread. What do you do with the rest???
 

SirHC_

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Food process 1-1.5 c with the milk for my favorite pancake or waffle recipe. Tastes very similar to IHOP harvest grain and nut pancakes, my favorite. The waffle version is similar to the Kodiak power waffles my kids love, though the price tag is steep...
Or I just let them cool and rake into the grass. The dont stink at all as long as I rake them in well. I suspect the worms like them.
Even works in a suburban neighborhood! I just hate sending them to the landfill. If we had yearround free yardwaste pickup,that would be my choice. we only get it spring and fall.
 

Knightshade

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Unlike every single other person here, I don't have a back forty, chickens, neighbors with chickens, goats, neighbors with goats, desire to bake with them, a large compost pile, or knowledge of where the closest hungry pig is. I do, however, live in a suburban neighborhood with trash collection. Included is yard debris pick-up. So I dump grains in there. They will absolutely sour very quick let. The hotter the quicker so I keep the bin at the side of the house and hold breath if I need to open or move the thing.
Same, with not having a back forty, suburban neighborhood with weekly trash collection. My lot is 1/8 acre, which is not that big. Just trying to not contribute more to the landfill if I don't have to.
 

HomebodyBrews

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1. Make spent grain "flour": get a rimmed baking sheet (or 3) and spread 4 cups of spent grain on each sheet, this should get you about 1/4" deep which is usually half the depth of a standard rimmed baking sheet. Put them in the oven on the lowest setting you can get your oven to stay at (mine is 190ºF) and after two or three hours gently turn the grains over without spilling them all over the oven. Then leave them drying out with the oven on overnight. In the morning they should be crispy, kind of like an annoyingly healthy cereal. Throw them in a food processor and blitz them until they are a fine powder. This can be used to replace up to 15% of your standard flour. Because they've had most of the starches removed, doing so increases the fiber and protein content in whatever you're baking. I've heard numbers as high as a 50% increase in fiber and protein. I have made a sourdough starter which is far more robust than the one I had made from whole wheat flour, and I use it in breads and pizza dough.
2. Dog treats: 4 cups wet brewing grain, 4 cups AP flour, 1 cup peanut butter, 1 overripe banana, 2 eggs. Mix until it forms a paste. Grease a rimmed baking sheet with bacon grease (butter, oil of some sort, but dogs will not hate you if you use bacon grease) then spread the mixture evenly over the baking sheet. Precut your dog treats, bake for 2 hours at 350º, then lower the temperature to its lowest setting and let dry out for 10 hours or until crispy.
3: Compost the rest.
I do the dog treats minus bacon grease (which I have plenty of) and banana. Definitely gonna try this recipe..maybe flour too. Thanks!!
 

matt_m

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I've given a couple buckets to a friend with chickens. I usually have them late Sunday mornings and he has a job where he doesn't get many Sunday mornings off though so most ends up in compost from spring through fall. Like someone else said they sour pretty quick. Winter they go in the trash since the compost bins are usually too frozen.

Probably going to have to stop composting though as I have 2 large bins behind our shed and they just finished a new house on the vacant lot that was behind us for the last 6 years. I'm sure its only a matter of time before the new neighbors complain.
 

balrog

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Compost bin
Must stir
Must add "brown" as the spent grains are "green" in compost terms and you want a balance (leaves are "brown")

As long as you stir, they compost just fine.

A good rule of thumb here is to use a 2:1 ratio of green matter to brown matter. Too much green waste — especially where wet grain is concerned — will likely create a very ripe spoiling mess. If this is of concern or you find the smell too strong add more brown matter.Oct 28, 2015
 

doogie

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How about a variation of smata67's procedure.

I let the grains cool, dump in a contractor bag, place the bag in a suitable box of the cardboard persuasion, wrap it shut with duct packing tape and subsequently toss it in the oversized green roll out garbage bin. Works quite well. I bet that's what everyone else is doing, but are too ashamed to admit it. place the box on your front porch and wait for porch pirates to dispose of it for you.
 

balto charlie

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I have a 20 gallon shop vac bottom (top went to appliance heaven years ago) and I dump spent grains in that, roll it into the garage, let it cool overnight, then strap that to a two-wheeler and take it to the chickens.

Usually - even now in the heat of summer - the garage stays cool enough that the grains don't start stinking overnight, but give it another 24 hours and it gets pretty darned rank...

Cheers!
You ride your bike with the spent grains? Or put them on a handtruck and haul them.
 

day_trippr

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"Vernacular Matters?" :D

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Hadn't even occurred to me that "two wheeler" means "bicycle" to some...

Cheers!
 

bracconiere

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two wheeler, bicycle, handtruck....some people call it a dolly....


the thought of someone straping their spent grain to a bike, and tossing it around like a paper boy cracks me up!
 

day_trippr

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My stout burns 42 pounds of grain. Still damp it has to weigh more.
That'd be tricky to move with a bike :D

Cheers!
 

day_trippr

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I don't know much about the neighbors chickens. This is their second dozen - the first ones kept flying the coop and wandering all over the neighborhood which was highly entertaining - when I was resetting 80 feet of paving stone walkway they'd come over to visit and peck at the stone dust and poop everywhere :) But between the coyotes and foxes they were whittled down to zero in a few months.

This batch has four freakishly huge hens, four middlings, and four smallish, many different strains, and their flight feathers are kept clipped so they can't get over the ~4' pen fencing. Which has been amazingly effective, not one of them has escaped once. The rate that flock plows through the spent grains is a bit amazing - they only take time out to find grit, then they're all back on the grains again...

Cheers!
 

sibelman

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I let the grains cool, dump in a contractor bag, place the bag in a suitable box of the cardboard persuasion, wrap it shut with duct tape and subsequently toss it in the oversized green roll out garbage bin. Works quite well. I bet that's what everyone else is doing, but are too ashamed to admit it.
At my old place I called our compost heap the "guilt reduction pile." The spent grains may have attracted some rats. Nowadays, my yard is too tiny. But our town does curbside weekly yard debris pickup, including kitchen scraps. When I brew just before pickup day, there's no odor problem.

btw, I freely admit that I've put a ton in the landfill when local or curbside composting wasn't happening.
 

Brooothru

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Definitely compostible with the right mix of other yard/food scraps. Sometimes too I just put dried grains and hop dust into my fertilizer spreader to feed my lawn.
Last fall I started dumping grains in our garden (roughly 40' x 30'). Probably 6 batches of 12#-15# each. Before the first frost I tilled them in, and then tilled twice this spring before planting. It's been a weird growing season, warm with plenty of rain early followed by virtually no rain and every day 90s F from mid-June to August. Squash and beans have been a disaster, but tomatoes and peppers are doing really good. I'm thinking the spent grains have made the soil too acidic.

Brooo Brother
 

kestrelbrewing

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Squash and beans have been a disaster, but tomatoes and peppers are doing really good. I'm thinking the spent grains have made the soil too acidic.
I put it in the compost and my tomatoes went nuts. We have 8 plants, 4 roma and 4 some kind of round heirloom. We are currently at 50 lbs of tomatoes and another three weeks worth ripening.
 

Brooothru

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I put it in the compost and my tomatoes went nuts. We have 8 plants, 4 roma and 4 some kind of round heirloom. We are currently at 50 lbs of tomatoes and another three weeks worth ripening.
Similar results. Tomatoes have gone absolutely nuts. Peppers are looking good. But zucchini, butternut and yellow squash, eggplant, all dying on the vine. Beans are covered in black spots. Lettuce, kale and spinach have been average at best but are already dying out early. Garden herbs are suffering, though patio basil and rosemary are fairing well (gotta' have that basil!).

Locally for farmers the corn has been bursting the silos. Damp June, hot and dry July looks to have provided a bumper corn harvest. Haven't been venturing out much to the Farmers' Markets, though the local grocers seem to be adequately stocked with veggies of unknown origin.
 

kestrelbrewing

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Similar results. Tomatoes have gone absolutely nuts. Peppers are looking good. But zucchini, butternut and yellow squash, eggplant, all dying on the vine. Beans are covered in black spots. Lettuce, kale and spinach have been average at best but are already dying out early. Garden herbs are suffering, though patio basil and rosemary are fairing well (gotta' have that basil!).

Locally for farmers the corn has been bursting the silos. Damp June, hot and dry July looks to have provided a bumper corn harvest. Haven't been venturing out much to the Farmers' Markets, though the local grocers seem to be adequately stocked with veggies of unknown origin.
I have two composting bins and based on this I think I am going to start using one for acidic compost with brewing grains, and one with regular food waste/yard waste mix. Either that or pay closer attention to how I rotate through the planting beds and let tomatoes and peppers eat up the acidity then run peas through to pump some nitrogen back into the soil, and finish with beans/squash/etc.

I do wonder about the idea of trying to offset the acidity of the brewing grains with used coffee grounds which, if I remember correctly, are more alkaline and could hypothetically offset the grain acidity.
 

Brooothru

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I have two composting bins and based on this I think I am going to start using one for acidic compost with brewing grains, and one with regular food waste/yard waste mix. Either that or pay closer attention to how I rotate through the planting beds and let tomatoes and peppers eat up the acidity then run peas through to pump some nitrogen back into the soil, and finish with beans/squash/etc.

I do wonder about the idea of trying to offset the acidity of the brewing grains with used coffee grounds which, if I remember correctly, are more alkaline and could hypothetically offset the grain acidity.
Simply adding peat moss to the mix would help as well. I used to add a cubic yard of compressed peat in the fall before I tilled, but we've been traveling in the fall for the last three years and I never got around to doing it. Looks like we'll be staying close to home this year, so I'll likely lay down peat across the whole garden while limiting grains to only the section where we plant the acid lovers. I'd let it go fallow for a year in an attempt for the garden to recover and heal itself, but SWMBO'd would never allow it!
 

kestrelbrewing

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Simply adding peat moss to the mix would help as well. I used to add a cubic yard of compressed peat in the fall before I tilled, but we've been traveling in the fall for the last three years and I never got around to doing it. Looks like we'll be staying close to home this year, so I'll likely lay down peat across the whole garden while limiting grains to only the section where we plant the acid lovers. I'd let it go fallow for a year in an attempt for the garden to recover and heal itself, but SWMBO'd would never allow it!
Well, the way the world works these days here's what you can expect to happen: You will dutifully treat your soil with an inordinate amount of care creating the perfect environment , then you will plant the perfect seeds and tend to them far more attentively than you would have normally, and then about two weeks before things start being ready to harvest, a cure/vaccine will be discovered and you will win a two month cruise after which you will return to a mess of rotting produce and super happy weeds. ;)

On a serious note, I have been doing a rotation based on an article I read about restorative farming. I have been wondering about getting 2 or 3 chickens but have held off because it would require a higher fence. Based on the comments in this thread, I think I'll be building a 5' high fence and picking up a few chickens.
 
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