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What are some uses for spent grains - either a few pounds from a partial mash or the 10+ from an all-grain batch - that don't include just throwing the grains away?

If your answer is to include some sort of baked good, please describe how you dry, how much you dry, etc.

[Edit] One issue with recipe ideas is that they take very little grain. I'd also love some ideas for the pounds and pounds of spent grain.

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10 Answers 10

Dog biscuits, I'll try and find the recipe I used.

1/12/10 EDIT

Here is the recipe I use. I've modified it a bit from a common one that I found on line a couple years back.

4cups spent grain 4cups flour 2 Egg whites 1.5 cups Peanut Butter.

Mix it all up roll it out the best you can and then make shapes, rectangles whatever. I actually have a dogbone shaped cutter I use. Bake at 350 for 20-30minutes, until firmed up. They are ready to go. I store them frozen. But I have read of people then putting the treats in a 200F oven for several hours to really dry them out for storage. Its a bit of an art to find the right ingredient ratios. Alot depends on the residual moisture in the grain. SO jsut work with it, don't be afraid to add water or more flour depending on the feel of the "dough".

Note: Just make sure not to get any hops in the grains (this typically shouldn't happen) because they are harmful to dogs.

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I'd love to see the recipe for this –  hookedonwinter Jan 12 '10 at 3:27
1  
I'm totally doing this for my roommate's dog. "Hey Dante, want a stout treat? Do ya?" –  hookedonwinter Jan 12 '10 at 14:52

I dump grains out (way out) in the back yard. They are usually mostly gone the next morning. Don't know who (or more likely, what) takes them, but that's the point.

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If you are going to make the dog biscuits, you do need to dry them out. If you don't they get moldy in a few days. I put mine in the convection oven at 220 for 8 hours, you have to break a biscuit every few hours to make sure there is no more moisture.

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+1 for fast use. A suggestion when storing wet grain: Let them cool to room temperature for a few hours, then refrigerate (or freeze!) them in plastic freezer/sandwich bags. –  nrobey May 17 '13 at 21:48

I compost them. We have clay soil here, so I've found they really help loosen it up. The key is to make sure to put a few shovel loads of dirt on top of them -- just like you do for kitchen scraps, etc -- so that critters don't get to them. Ants also like the leftover sugar. But if you get your compost right, the grains really help it out.

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I compost them, they seem to break down fairly quickly. I don't know if they stink or not, there's a reason the compost pile is far from my house though.

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I let the grains cool then dump them on top of my hop hills since I grow my own hops. Whatever is left goes in the main bed of the garden. Don't let them cool too long, you mash tun will end up smelling like vomit.

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I've made bread, used them in compost, brought them down to my mother's place to give to the donkeys and horses.

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i live next door to a jackass, maybe i should throw mine over the fence between us! LOL –  Ugly Dude Jan 29 at 20:22

Bread.
By far the most common product of homebrewer's spent grains (don't fact-check me ;)).
With just 3 cups of (wet) grains, you can make a couple loaves of excellent bread.

Our recent recipe:

  • 3 cups of wet grains
    • (in this case they were 2 parts Crystal 120 and 1 part Special B)
  • 3-4 cups of flour (depending on grain's water content)
  • "a bit" of oil
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • a package of dry bakers yeast

Start yeast in warm water. Mix/kneed flour into grains. Enough flour so that the dough isn't sticky. Let the dough rise until it's doubled in size. Split into two. Bake at 375º for 30-40 min.

It turned out real tasty: sweet, dense but fluffy (if that's possible).
Your mileage may vary, as this was at high altitude (5,280 feet or so).

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Please, feel free to revise. Maybe we can come up with some different processes for different types of grains/breads. –  Taylor Jan 11 '10 at 23:43
    
I definitely want to try this. –  Jeremy Holovacs Jan 20 '12 at 20:47
    
I've been making bread for years, and recently started making homebrew. The remaining sugars and flavors make the bread phenominal. I suggest leaving it a little sticky, because it's fluffier after its final rise. –  nrobey May 17 '13 at 21:44
    
I know I am not supposed to ask followup questions, but I have to (I cant helpp myself sometimes, Im a rebel)... does this work with steeping grains from a packaged recipe too? or can you only do this with all grain brews? –  Ugly Dude Jan 29 at 20:19

I have a friend with chickens. They love the spent grain.

Sometimes, when there isn't too much, I throw it right on my lawn and rake it around.

If you want to make bread with grain just use any whole-grain recipe. I do not dry out the grains because it can mess up the wet to dry ratio of the recipe. Usually I take it out of the bag and make bread with it that day.

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I was thinking feeding it to chickens as well. It seems more and more common for people to keep chickens as pets in the city. –  Jordan Jan 11 '10 at 17:31
    
I have often wondered if I could dry the grain on my hot driveway, then use a hand spreader to put it on the lawn the next day. I am sure the wife and neighbors would think I had lost it if I raked it all out on my drive though. –  brewchez Jan 11 '10 at 18:43

Last summer my roommate was maintaining a compost heap. The grains would all go into that. The better I rinsed the grains, the less stinky this would become after a few days. Sort of a natural efficiency check.

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I get pretty good efficiency, but man those grains can really stink it up when its warm out. Same reaction going on as in that smell mash tun question floating around here. –  brewchez Jan 11 '10 at 15:05
    
Ya.. I was lazy with cleanup once. Gross. –  hookedonwinter Jan 11 '10 at 15:57
    
Its unfortunately been more than once for me. –  brewchez Jan 11 '10 at 18:44
    
I haven't gotten around to cleaning it yet... –  hookedonwinter Jan 11 '10 at 19:37

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