What do you do with your spent grains?

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Toxxyc

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I just bag and trash it. I've tried spreading it on my flower beds - attracts flies and turns into maggots. I've dug holes and buried it, but going through a 25kg bag of malt a week means I don't have enough space to dig any more holes in my little yard. Composting doesn't work, it stinks BAD, and drying it is a nightmare, so now I just dump it.
 

Brooothru

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Our neighbors across the county road have a small coop. I can't believe I never thought about giving them the spent grains. They used to have horses that would chow down on my brew day discards but the horses (and 2-3 cows) have been gone from the property for a few years now. I've just been dumping them into our garden, but am worried that it may be making the soil too acid, since our garden productivity has been down the last couple of years.

We did get a fancy new composter for Christmas from our daughter in Florida, who's really into organic gardening. She tells me that the grains, in combination with garden debris, grass clipping and weeds, plus autumn leaves in the fall, will produce some amazing soil adjuncts. I think she was especially targeting my spent grains for composting, rather than bagging and trashing them for the landfill.
 
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I pull some to make into dog treats, some go to our chickens, we have 10 so they take care of a decent amount. the rest go in the garden or on the edge of the woods where they compost and some other animals take advantage of them. 15gal batches so 40lbs per brew on average. never thought to say anything to the neighbors, they have horses, but they are weird ppl so i try to avoid them.
 

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I’ve been keeping our local deer herd happy and healthy here in Michigan. Those critters dig through 2 foot of snow just to get at all that spent grain. Kinda funny though, the resident ducks and geese kind of shun the piles. Oh well, always fun to watch the local fauna.
 

Brooothru

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I pull some to make into dog treats, some go to our chickens, we have 10 so they take care of a decent amount. the rest go in the garden or on the edge of the woods where they compost and some other animals take advantage of them. 15gal batches so 40lbs per brew on average. never thought to say anything to the neighbors, they have horses, but they are weird ppl so i try to avoid them.
Sadly, though a wildlife lover, the deer population here has been out of control for decades, so the last thing I want to do is attract more wild life. I can see what are most likely deer tracks in the freshly fallen snow in our yard as well as what I think are fox foot prints across our patio. I know there's a local den since our neighbor's chickens are routinely harassed by a fox. Last summer my next door neighbor caught a black bear on video out for an early morning stroll across our adjoining yards. Then there's the usual assortment of rabbits, squirrels and ground hogs, as well as an occasional skunk. Development keeps putting additional stress on their habitat, but I'm not looking to encourage their propagation.
 
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I dont blame you there, i have 25 acres on the side of a very small mountain in central PA. we have had black bear, fox, raccoon, coyote and all the typical wildlife around the house. I archery hunt on my property so i have to remember that when i put grains out for animals as baiting is illegal. I only hunt for food so deer are the only ones that fall into that category for me. the black bear decided he wanted to smash our bird feeder last year so i guess its time to get a new one.
 

Dr_Jeff

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When I lived in the city,
For a while I would put them into flower beds and work the grain into the soil, then after the plants came up, I couldn't do that. Once I was redoing a flower bed and told my wife that I was going to put a bunch of mash into the bed and she told me not to do it because, it wouldn't help and would be harmful, I knew she was wrong, she was gone to the store, I dumped that mash in and mixed the soil real good. Several months later, the flower bed was doing great, she says, "wow the flower bed is doing great", and I told her what I had done, she never told me not to again.
Another time, I would dump them in a pile near the back of the yard, kinda a compost pile, and I found my little dog out the chowing down several times over the next week, I noticed it smelling bad and spread the stuff out into the flower bed. I was also concerned that the rats from the field were feeding there too.
For another period of time I had several different people that had chickens and they would come by and pick up the bags of mash and would always leave a dozen or two or three of eggs in return. One fellow had fancy chickens and the eggs would always be pastel colors and looked like Easter eggs.
Now I live in the country and dump them at the edge of the woods. There is a man that lives nearby that I haven't met that keeps chickens, but with COVID, I don't want to go knocking on his door and be asking if he wants it.
Also with my current job role, I don't get to brew anywhere near as often as I used to. Now it's at best four times a year, realistically one or two.
 

Brooothru

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I dont blame you there, i have 25 acres on the side of a very small mountain in central PA. we have had black bear, fox, raccoon, coyote and all the typical wildlife around the house. I archery hunt on my property so i have to remember that when i put grains out for animals as baiting is illegal. I only hunt for food so deer are the only ones that fall into that category for me. the black bear decided he wanted to smash our bird feeder last year so i guess its time to get a new one.
For the most part ours are just nuisance deer that know where and when the green shoots are coming up in the garden. Where we live it's legal to harvest a nuisance deer, even out of hunting season. The neighbor with the chickens always said the best deterrent for a nuisance deer is a freezer and a 30.06. I can't disagree, but as 'settled' as our part of the county has gotten in the 35 years we've lived here, it wouldn't be safe to discharge even a .22 short. But a bow? Well now, that has possibilities....
 

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Interesting as I've read where the spent grain, et al, are used a feed, given to a farm, etc. I dump them in my garden. In the spring I will till the grain into the harsh, clay soil we call "ground" around here.

So far, I haven't seen any animal interested in the spent grain. Birds ignore. A da*n destructive rabbit ignores. A few years ago a gopher ignored.
 

Birrofilo

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I wait a few days so that hopefully the grains get a bit dryer, then put them in compostable shoppers, then put the shoppers (which are quite fragile especially with wet content) in a cardboard box and go to the organic trash can. If the compostable shoppers want to break, I let the entire cardboard box in the can, that's OK.
 

Coldies

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I throw them in my canyon about 100 yards from my house, they’re usually gone within a few days. The rodents, rabbits, birds and coyotes make short work of them.
 

Toxxyc

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To those who feed their dogs these biscuits - what does their **** look like? Sorry for the question, but my dogs get the most violent shits from, I guess, all the added fiber and it's a nightmare to clean up when they've gotten into the spent grains.
 

DHOMD

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I compost

But in the past have dried and mixed with honey and nuts for granola bars
Also works great as hog feed
 

jtgoral

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I freeze some for later bread dough addition. The rest I use as 'in situ' compost.
 
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To those who feed their dogs these biscuits - what does their **** look like? Sorry for the question, but my dogs get the most violent shits from, I guess, all the added fiber and it's a nightmare to clean up when they've gotten into the spent grains.
I have a fairly large dog and it doesnt seem to effect him. hes about 80lb .. not sure if this makes a difference or maybe yours is sensitive to something in them.
 

VirginiaHops1

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I bag and throw them away. I wish I had a better use for them, like a nearby farm or something I could feed the animals. I made dog treats with them one time. My dog loved them. But somehow they ended up with too much moisture in them because they molded and I eventually had to throw half of them away. I probably needed to bake longer or higher temp, but I haven't been able to bring myself to do it again.
 

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One item of (unverifiable) Appalachian folklore is that "revenuers" would select targets for surveillance by the health of their pigs. The brewers fed them spent grain, and the distillers corn, from their wort/mash. If some dirt poor feller has fat pigs, he's a-brewin somewhere.
 

DuncB

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I save some of the grains and dry out a small quantity and have it with my breakfast porridge!

First time I typed the above it read as if I was drying out the composted grains and having them in my porridge.
 

DuncB

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I save some of the grains and dry out a small quantity and have it with my breakfast porridge!

First time I typed the above it read as if I was drying out the composted grains and having them in my porridge.
 

Toxxyc

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I have a fairly large dog and it doesnt seem to effect him. hes about 80lb .. not sure if this makes a difference or maybe yours is sensitive to something in them.
I got a German Shepherd Dog and a Golden Retriever, both of them get the shits from the grains. Maybe the South African dogs are just sissies? :D
 

schivvers

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My 8 year old daughter and I make dog treats that she is hoping to sell at local shops for her first lesson in small business.
 

JeffD

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I use them as mulch around tomato plants and other plantings. They seem to help reduce the weeds and I haven't had any problems with deer or other critters eating the grains. I don't know why that is, but it's been OK so far (2 years).
 

IslandLizard

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I got a German Shepherd Dog and a Golden Retriever, both of them get the shits from the grains. Maybe the South African dogs are just sissies? :D
It may take a few times for them to get used to the new ingredient? It's just a shitty proposition until they do. ;)

Don't forget, dogs always claim to have a digestive system second to none.
 

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Where I currently live, you have to separate compostables into a compostable bag and drop it in the bin down the street, so that’s where mine goes.

At the previous house, I made bread with a few cups from each batch, then composted the rest until I had way too much compost and ended up dumping it - in with the yard waste pickup for summer and regular trash the rest of the year.
 

IslandLizard

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I usually save out some (wet) spent grain,* keeping it in the fridge if I won't get to it right away, and bake bread with it. I just mix in enough flour to get a non-knead dough, let it rise once and pour it into well greased and floured baking tins, proof and bake. It has a large percentage of spent grain in it and is wonderful! It needs either a good amount of yeast or longer time.

The wet spent grain seems to get better after a day (or 2) in the fridge.

The rest goes on the compost heap in the backyard. It's always fun picking the pieces of my cpvc manifold out.

* Mind, do not use spent grain that has rice hulls or oat hulls in it (or malted oats). They make it inedible, rice hulls are like razor blades in the mouth, and oat hulls are like chewing leather.
 
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If anyone is mixing spent hops with the spent grains, the hops can have some very bad effects on dogs.

Brooo Brother
absolutely.. i read quite some time ago that hops can be very bay for dogs... something like hyperthermia if i recall, probably 10 years ago when i looked into it so i cant say for sure. but yeah definitely only use the grains.
 

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Compost and dog biscuits. If I ever start a local brewery they'll be going to a local dog biscuit shop.

Dog biscuits has only been a few times, I hate shoving my fist into peanut butter... Compost, I only have a single rotating bin for my raised beds. Small backyard in Florida suburb.
 

Brooothru

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I guess I'm lucky in this regard.. I live on a lake with noisy AF Canada geese. Depending on how many are around, 10-12 lbs of grain will be gone within the hour.
Yeah, but they leave a lot of 'recycled' grains behind when they depart. 😉

How's that simile for "rapid" go...."Like grain through a goose?"

Brooo Brother
 

firerat

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At my old townhouse most would go to the trash. I had no backyard and my dog only ate so many treats.

Now that I actually have a "yard" I might start composting at least some once I get a garden growing.
 

crazyjake19

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I dump mine back by the woods and hope some wildlife will snack on them. I've noticed this time of year that not much bothers to eat them.

In the past, I've made dog treats, breads, and granola bars (my favorite) with the spent grain. Usually, I just don't have the time since my brew days are also used for smoking meats or working on other projects as well.
 

Grizwold1

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Do you live in a city? Put them in a plastic bag, then into a box. Wrap with gift wrap and a ribbon and leave in in the back seat of your car while you are grocery shopping. Likely gone when you return. (Apologies--this was probably suggested already somewhere in the past 4 pages.)
 
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