Author Topic: All grain homebrewers: what do you do with your spent grains?  (Read 5419 times)

Worsted Skeins

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 381
This is new territory for me as the Rye Pale Ale my husband made today is his first all grain attempt (as opposed to using malt extract and some grains).  I followed instructions online, squeezing some of the excess water out of the mash, then running the spent grains through a food processor. Tomorrow I will make bread with some; the rest I froze in half cup quantities for further experimentation.

I cannot see drying the mash in the oven for seven hours and then grinding a flour (as suggested by the Brooklyn Brew Shop's blog).  I do have a dehydrator, but the thought of grinding this stuff seems like a dreadful waste of time.

No dogs in the house so I won't be making dog biscuits.  I did see a recipe for cheddar/spent grain scones that look good.  I can see how they might be used in meat loaf.  Other ideas beyond the compost bin?


Rezdent

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 815
  • Location: Central Texas
Re: All grain homebrewers: what do you do with your spent grains?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2014, 02:37:48 PM »
Do you know anyone who raises chickens or pigs?  Sometimes our neighbor sends stuff like this our way.  It's a treat for the chickens.  We give our neighbor eggs when we have extra.

Erica/NWEdible

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 881
    • Northwest Edible Life - life on garden time
Re: All grain homebrewers: what do you do with your spent grains?
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2014, 02:44:44 PM »
Feed them to your chickens! What? You don't have chickens? Totally get chickens. ;)

brewer12345

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1383
Re: All grain homebrewers: what do you do with your spent grains?
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2014, 07:05:38 PM »
I use maybe 3 cups of spent grains in a 100% whole wheat bread recipe that usually makes 2 loafs. I just toss them into the dough without grinding them up any further.  For even tastier bread, I use some wort in place of the water or milk the recipe calls for.  The rest of the grains go into the composter, where they break down pretty quickly.  I also toss my yeast cakes in the composter after racking the beer.

FrugalSpendthrift

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 210
Re: All grain homebrewers: what do you do with your spent grains?
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2014, 07:26:30 PM »
It all goes into the compost.

brewer12345

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1383
Re: All grain homebrewers: what do you do with your spent grains?
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2014, 07:31:07 PM »
Feed them to your chickens! What? You don't have chickens? Totally get chickens. ;)

Tell me about chickens.  DD the younger desperately wants chickens.  In a household with dogs, guinea pigs, fish, and a backyard beehive, I am less than enthusiastic.  What do you do with them while you are travelling?  How much work are they?  Do they destroy/smell up/otherwise render unusable a large portion of your yard?  What about predators (our yard backs to open space teeming with raccoons, foxes, coyotes and even the odd mountain lion)?  How much shit do you have to shovel?

Erica/NWEdible

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 881
    • Northwest Edible Life - life on garden time
Re: All grain homebrewers: what do you do with your spent grains?
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2014, 11:25:26 PM »
Feed them to your chickens! What? You don't have chickens? Totally get chickens. ;)

Tell me about chickens.  DD the younger desperately wants chickens.  In a household with dogs, guinea pigs, fish, and a backyard beehive, I am less than enthusiastic.  What do you do with them while you are travelling?  How much work are they?  Do they destroy/smell up/otherwise render unusable a large portion of your yard?  What about predators (our yard backs to open space teeming with raccoons, foxes, coyotes and even the odd mountain lion)?  How much shit do you have to shovel?

They are probably about as much work as guinea pigs. Far less than dogs. Our neighbors are eager to check in on the hens for the eggs. Properly managed, they should not smell. If they free range, they will eat anything you think is good to eat and quite a bit you'd never think to eat. Combining free range hens with veggie gardening is tricky. Also, anywhere they can go, they will poop on it. Predation: Hey, everyone loves chicken! And that includes raccoons. And foxes. Chickens are pretty good at staying alive, but must have secure fencing in the evenings especially. A rooster will help a protect a flock if that's an option in your area. So will a properly trained LGD. Typically, the (untrained with livestock) household or neighborhood dog gets em more than wildlife, but they are a prey animal. I shovel very little shit. We use a method called "deep litter" that lets the poop compost in place with the bedding. About twice a year, I haul it out, use it to amend the veggie beds and make the worms and broccoli super happy.

brewer12345

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1383
Re: All grain homebrewers: what do you do with your spent grains?
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2014, 06:57:05 AM »
Thanks, Erica.  I will have to give it some thought.  Can you recommend a good book on the subject?

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: All grain homebrewers: what do you do with your spent grains?
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2014, 07:33:58 AM »
I dried mine once to use in granola. was pretty good, but no way am I spending all day with the oven on to dry everything out during the summer. and that was only 2 lbs, I can't imagine drying grains for a full 5 gallons

Erica/NWEdible

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 881
    • Northwest Edible Life - life on garden time
Re: All grain homebrewers: what do you do with your spent grains?
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2014, 08:09:19 AM »
Thanks, Erica.  I will have to give it some thought.  Can you recommend a good book on the subject?
Storey's Guide To Raising Chickens (http://www.amazon.com/Storeys-Guide-Raising-Chickens-Edition/dp/1603424695) is the bible of chicken keeping. Backyard Chickens is the web's best resource. All chicken keepers eventually end up on the BYC forums looking up something or other. (http://www.backyardchickens.com/). I am not really an animal person and not really sentimental and honestly, I can't imagine my little mini homestead without chickens at this point. I'll probably have them forever.

Hedge_87

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 661
  • Age: 33
  • Location: South central ks
Re: All grain homebrewers: what do you do with your spent grains?
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2014, 08:21:21 AM »
Feed them to your chickens! What? You don't have chickens? Totally get chickens. ;)
What do the numbers look like for cost per dozen eggs? I get farm fresh eggs from a guy at work for $2 a dozen.  DW really wants chickens is why I ask I'm not completely sold on them just yet. How many would you have to have to get ~2 dozen a week? I do realize there are fringe benefits to having them like free compost and they eat a lot of bugs and they are fun to have around.

brewer12345

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1383
Re: All grain homebrewers: what do you do with your spent grains?
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2014, 08:37:31 AM »
Thanks, Erica.  I will have to give it some thought.  Can you recommend a good book on the subject?
Storey's Guide To Raising Chickens (http://www.amazon.com/Storeys-Guide-Raising-Chickens-Edition/dp/1603424695) is the bible of chicken keeping. Backyard Chickens is the web's best resource. All chicken keepers eventually end up on the BYC forums looking up something or other. (http://www.backyardchickens.com/). I am not really an animal person and not really sentimental and honestly, I can't imagine my little mini homestead without chickens at this point. I'll probably have them forever.

Thanks.  I ordered a copy of the book.  This year's addition was the beehive, and I did not want more voluntary complications in life beyond that.  I will have to read and think about it.  We know several suburbanites nearby who keep chickens and DD the younger's riding teacher has a ton and would be a font of knowledge if we chose to go that way.

Erica/NWEdible

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 881
    • Northwest Edible Life - life on garden time
Re: All grain homebrewers: what do you do with your spent grains?
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2014, 09:27:58 AM »
Feed them to your chickens! What? You don't have chickens? Totally get chickens. ;)
What do the numbers look like for cost per dozen eggs? I get farm fresh eggs from a guy at work for $2 a dozen.  DW really wants chickens is why I ask I'm not completely sold on them just yet. How many would you have to have to get ~2 dozen a week? I do realize there are fringe benefits to having them like free compost and they eat a lot of bugs and they are fun to have around.
Not great. On a purely financial analysis, if you can get quality free-range or similar eggs for $2 a dozen you should just keep buying from your coworker. Our-of-pocket just on feed is about $60 a month but we have a lot of hens. Figure 1/4 pound feed per bird per day as a rough estimate. 5-6 birds will get you 2 dozen eggs a week but they are a bit seasonal, so in the spring and summer you'll get more, and in winter less. And there are times hens don't lay - until about 3-4 months of age, after about 3-4 years of age, and during a seasonal molt. And you have to keep feeding them (or send them to stockpot camp) during these times. I wouldn't say the "urban chicken" phenomenon is really a financially savvy thing on eggs alone. My $$ benefit is more in compost, soil amendments and greater sustainability for my rather large garden. 

EDIT: misremembered feed conversion. Updated to more accurate estimate.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2014, 11:00:06 AM by Erica/NWEdible »

Hedge_87

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 661
  • Age: 33
  • Location: South central ks
Re: All grain homebrewers: what do you do with your spent grains?
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2014, 09:39:48 AM »
Thanks Erica. My grandparents used to have a Hobby farm where they would just move the chicken coop over a particular garden patch and fence it in around the garden. Every year it would get moved to a new patch and the previous one would be planted. This seemed to work great for them however they had 20 acres to playou with. It obviously wouldn't work in a back yard setting. I wish they would have kept it going long enough for me to learn all their secrets but I was just to young to do much more than help gather eggs and pick up potatoes while grandpa was digging (both found memories though).

Worsted Skeins

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 381
Re: All grain homebrewers: what do you do with your spent grains?
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2014, 10:49:38 AM »
I love the idea of chickens--but don't see them happening in my life. 

Dough made with some spent grains is rising.  I'll report back.

brewer12345

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1383
Re: All grain homebrewers: what do you do with your spent grains?
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2014, 11:02:36 AM »
I love the idea of chickens--but don't see them happening in my life. 

Dough made with some spent grains is rising.  I'll report back.

As a tip (possibly for future breads), I find that the addition of some wheat gluten to spent grain breads helps a lot because the grains themselves dilute the gluten in the flour.

Worsted Skeins

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 381
Re: All grain homebrewers: what do you do with your spent grains?
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2014, 01:26:58 PM »
As a tip (possibly for future breads), I find that the addition of some wheat gluten to spent grain breads helps a lot because the grains themselves dilute the gluten in the flour.

I just pulled two gorgeous round loaves out of the oven. While I did not add additional gluten, I did run the dough hook of my Kitchenaid mixer a few minutes longer than I normally would.  That was one of those tips I had read online.

jkitiara

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 131
  • Location: San Francisco
    • My journal: The Most Expensive City in the US and How I Got Here
Re: All grain homebrewers: what do you do with your spent grains?
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2014, 01:37:46 PM »
Years ago I posted a recipe on my beer blog about they bread I make after the hubby makes homebrew:

http://www.beeratjoes.com/index.php/beer-dinners/spent-grain-beer-bread/

You can freeze any leftover spent grain if you don't brew all that often.

MgoSam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3647
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: All grain homebrewers: what do you do with your spent grains?
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2014, 01:46:33 PM »
I've heard that they can be toxic for your dog so please don't do that. Or if you might, ensure that it won't harm your dog.

brewer12345

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1383
Re: All grain homebrewers: what do you do with your spent grains?
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2014, 01:47:31 PM »
I've heard that they can be toxic for your dog so please don't do that. Or if you might, ensure that it won't harm your dog.

Hops that have been boiled are toxic to dogs.  Grains are benign.