What to do with spent grains?

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Brewfawx

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Hey all,

Im looking for something to do to repurpose my spent grains after brew day. I dont have livestock or chickens, so is there anything I can do with my grains?


Fawx
 

Abrayton

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There is a brewery near me that makes pizza dough from spent grains. Pretty good pizza
 

JONNYROTTEN

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I made dog biscuits once. My dog took one bite and that was it. Threw the rest away.
Now the grains go in the compost pile or woods.

Oddly enough when I dump my the hot grains out back my dog eats them like shes on crack. Puked a few times from stuffing herself. I need to kick leaves and dirt over the pile so she wont eat them
 

Harry482

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I compost it in the garden. I had killer tomatoes last year. It really helps to aerate / loosen the soil too.
 

tgolanos

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Most of mine go into the compost, but I freeze about a third of the grains in tupperware so I can bake with it.

My neighbor has a few chickens so I might ask him one day if he wants some.
 

bobeer

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right now with all the snow on the ground I put the grain out for the birds and other animals. I usually make a batch of dog treats or give them to friends who have chickens.
 

kh54s10

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I keep hearing about people putting the grains out and birds and animals eating them. It has never happened in my 7 3/4 years of brewing. Maybe worms. I once saw a bird land on the pile, look around a bit then scurry away about 3 feet and dig in the leaf litter. I never even saw any animal prints. I live in suburbs though so no deer etc.

Compost, Give to an animal farm, bake with them (but this will only use a very little)

I hope that people feeding them to animals don't use this as the bulk of the diet. Most of the feed value has been turned into beer..........
 

LittleRiver

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...animals eating them. It has never happened in my 7 3/4 years of brewing...I live in suburbs though so no deer etc...
I have a healthy population of deer, wild turkeys, and lots of other things on the property. Spent grains dumped in the woods do a disappearing act.
 

Miraculix

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Wouldn't eat it or use it in food. It's basically like hay, not digestible, everything good went into the beer, leaving you with the husks. Why would I want to eat husks?
 
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Wouldn't eat it or use it in food. It's basically like hay, not digestible, everything good went into the beer, leaving you with the husks. Why would I want to eat husks?
From 'Feeds and Feeding' a textbook from days gone by: On a dry matter basis(best way to compare different feed sources) used brewers grains have 16% fiber, 5% ash(minerals), 23% crude protein, and 50% Nitrogen Free Extract (mostly carbohydrates). So there's plenty of feed value left which is why it is a good feed source.
Having said that, a friend's goats wouldn't touch them. I mostly compost them which makes a great compost. This time of year my compost pile is mostly spent grains and coffee grounds. You do need to add a little lime or wood ashes to counteract all the acidity, or they start to smell when things unfreeze.
 

mashpaddled

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Recipes with a lot of specialty malt go into bread or waffles otherwise the grain usually goes into the compost because it makes great compost.

This winter I've been dumping it directly onto the empty garden bed, which needs to get turned before spring planting. It's become quite the popular place for neighborhood squirrels.
 

balrog

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I'm w @JimRausch , esp the winter compost part--it doth freeze here in NE and I have to wait until Spring for it to get going again but it does make good compost. I really wanted to make pretzel with the stuff but all the recipes used so very little (1 cup in a batch of pretzels), an many recipes said to food process it to grind the husks which is just too much more work than I was willing to do.
 

Miraculix

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Fiber. It makes you poop.
If you're under 5 or over 50, it's a glorious thing. :)
Don't know... recent research showed that mainly the solluble fibre and resistant starches are important for your gut, and we get not enough of this with our normal diet. What was also shown was that unsolluble fibre, and espacially those of grain husks, can damage your collon and lead to inflammation if present in excess..... so I just wouldn't.
 

lump42

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I've tried baking with mine, but the husks are too large and get sharp after its baked. Also, a bit too wet for my liking. I plan on getting a dehydrator and then spent grain back through my mill on the tightest setting. I'm hoping it takes it to a coarse flower.

Right now, I freeze some for my BIL, who puts it out right before deer season. The rest goes into the compost bin in the garden.
 

kh54s10

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Tried something new today. I poured out the grain on the lawn and raked it into the grass. It is St. Augustine grass. For those up north, this grass has runners with blades coming off them. There is a lot of space under the blades, among the runners. Where the grass was thick, the grain just disappeared.

BTW the birds aren't paying attention to it at all.....
 

Rockn_M

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I dump mine in the woods behind my house for the deer to eat. I'll take a deer or two in the fall and then enjoy venison backstrap with a cold glass of homebrew made from the grains that fed the deer that is now feeding me.
It's the circle of life
 

Tom13a

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I used to have a dairy farm and the cows loved them!!! Sold out of that and now my friend takes them to feed the deer
 

MaxStout

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Tried something new today. I poured out the grain on the lawn and raked it into the grass. It is St. Augustine grass. For those up north, this grass has runners with blades coming off them. There is a lot of space under the blades, among the runners. Where the grass was thick, the grain just disappeared.

BTW the birds aren't paying attention to it at all.....
I tried feeding it to the songbirds, no luck here, either. But we have a large number of mallards that stay the winter and hang out along the nearby creek. My neighbor takes it off my hands for that. The ducks go crazy for spent grain.
 

IslandLizard

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Use in bread, about 50/50 fresh wet spent grain / white bread flour. Plus plenty of baker's yeast. I rarely measure any of it, just go by feel and looks. It becomes a mixable/pourable dough, but way too sticky for hand kneading. It holds shape when proofing in baking tins, then into a 450-500F degree convection oven. I usually make 6-8 loaves at a time to make it worth the effort and cleanup. Wonderful!

If I can't get to baking right away or the next morning, I save a few containers of the spent grain in the fridge. It becomes even better, not sure why, maybe the lacto.

Just don't use spent grain when you've mixed in rice hulls, they are like razor blades in your mouth.
 

IslandLizard

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I tried feeding it to the songbirds, no luck here, either. But we have a large number of mallards that stay the winter and hang out along the nearby creek. My neighbor takes it off my hands for that. The ducks go crazy for spent grain.
Ducks, that's a good idea! We also have large gaggles of Canadian geese, I should try some with them. They are messy though...

I sometimes take it to a small local farm and feed it to their goats, they love it. The pig is spoiled, she won't eat it, at least not when I'm watching her.

I've put heaps in the backyard for wildlife, but no takers. We don't have deer here.
So I compost whatever is leftover, mixing brown leaves in and grass clippings.
 

MaxStout

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Use in bread, about 50/50 fresh wet spent grain / white bread flour. Plus plenty of baker's yeast. I rarely measure any of it, just go by feel and looks. It becomes a mixable/pourable dough, but way too sticky for hand kneading. It holds shape when proofing in baking tins, then into a 450-500F degree convection oven. I usually make 6-8 loaves at a time to make it worth the effort and cleanup. Wonderful!

If I can't get to baking right away or the next morning, I save a few containers of the spent grain in the fridge. It becomes even better, not sure why, maybe the lacto.

Just don't use spent grain when you've mixed in rice hulls, they are like razor blades in your mouth.
I like to make simple no-knead breads in a small dutch oven. I've thought about adding some spent grain for extra butt-scratchers, maybe I will with the next one.
 

DiscDuffer

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A herd of deer sleeps about 300 yards away from where I dump my spent grain, no takers. Dumped old grain there once and there where two herds eating it.
 

lump42

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Use in bread, about 50/50 fresh wet spent grain / white bread flour. Plus plenty of baker's yeast. I rarely measure any of it, just go by feel and looks. It becomes a mixable/pourable dough, but way too sticky for hand kneading. It holds shape when proofing in baking tins, then into a 450-500F degree convection oven. I usually make 6-8 loaves at a time to make it worth the effort and cleanup. Wonderful!

If I can't get to baking right away or the next morning, I save a few containers of the spent grain in the fridge. It becomes even better, not sure why, maybe the lacto.

Just don't use spent grain when you've mixed in rice hulls, they are like razor blades in your mouth.
Do you have any issues with the barley husks in the grain? The few time I've tried spent grain bread, it was like some one place little needles in my mouth.
 

IslandLizard

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Do you have any issues with the barley husks in the grain? The few time I've tried spent grain bread, it was like some one place little needles in my mouth.
No, never had any issue with barley husks. They are fully hydrated after an hour mash and sitting around in clinging wort for hours to days. But there is a certain texture, that may be an acquired taste. For a similar reason I cannot stand most factory white bread.

What you're describing sounds more like rice hulls.
 

kh54s10

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I have dried my spent grain, crushed it a little more with a rolling pin, and use only about 1/5 the grain to the flour called for. That seems to be plenty for my purposes.
 

lump42

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No, never had any issue with barley husks. They are fully hydrated after an hour mash and sitting around in clinging wort for hours to days. But there is a certain texture, that may be an acquired taste. For a similar reason I cannot stand most factory white bread.

What you're describing sounds more like rice hulls.
It's the same experience you described with rice hulls, but once the barley husk is baked, it dries out and get sharp. Maybe it's just an acquired thing like you mentioned. We just got a new oven with dehydrator setting, I'm planning on trying it out as kh54s10 described, either using a rolling pin, food processor, grain mill cranked down to crush the husks smaller and try baking again.

Added benefit if I can effectively dry it out, I can use it in mushroom growing too.
 

Hoppy2bmerry

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When the weather is good for baking I’ll bake a couple loaves of spentgrain bread, perhaps give them to someone to bake dog treats. Hate just wasting them.
 

SirHC_

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I bake bread with them, but not with stout/porter grains. tried that once and only once. I do send them through the food processor for a while first to make the bread easier to sell to my kids.
Otherwise I put them on the garden, in the compost, or just rake them into the lawn.
 

jrgtr42

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What was also shown was that unsolluble fibre, and espacially those of grain husks, can damage your collon and lead to inflammation if present in excess..... so I just wouldn't.
That's why you don't use it to excess.
I bake with it - I have a recipe for bread that needs 6 cups of flour, I sub in a cup to a cup and a half of spent grains. Same with a pizza dough I have, half to 3/4 cup to 4 (I think ) cups of flour.
The rest goes in my garden or compost bin.
 

Miraculix

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That's why you don't use it to excess.
I bake with it - I have a recipe for bread that needs 6 cups of flour, I sub in a cup to a cup and a half of spent grains. Same with a pizza dough I have, half to 3/4 cup to 4 (I think ) cups of flour.
The rest goes in my garden or compost bin.
Well, in excess might be less than we think it would be.
 

Silver_Is_Money

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A small portion of cooled spent grain goes to my chickens, and they love it. The rest gets spewn across my back yard. The deer love it also.
 

jason613

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I make dog biscuits with peanut butter, egg and some flour...i don't have a dog, but everyone i give them to say that their dog loves them
 
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I made dog biscuits once. My dog took one bite and that was it. Threw the rest away.
Now the grains go in the compost pile or woods.

Oddly enough when I dump my the hot grains out back my dog eats them like shes on crack. Puked a few times from stuffing herself. I need to kick leaves and dirt over the pile so she wont eat them
Johnny make sure there are no hops in that grain!!!! Otherwise you'll have a dead dog in a few hours. [emoji22]
 

Kirkwooder

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I keep a flock of about a dozen laying hens year round. I turn mine into eggs. Yes, those are really my chickens in my avatar.
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I also raise chickens, turkeys, ducks, and quail for meat in the summer. They all love it! I have made dog biscuits, bread and crackers with it as well.

Spent grain doesn't last long around here.
 
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