When brewing beer, a common byproduct of the process is spent grain. Spent grain can be a powerful source of nutrients, but it can also be a bulky waste product that clogs up your kitchen and takes up valuable space in your garbage can. Before you can start thinking about what to do with spent grain from brewing beer, you need to know what to do with it.
Spent grain has a variety of uses beyond simply feeding your chickens, and it is a great way to repurpose a byproduct of your brew day into something useful. From using it in your garden to making soap and other household products, here are 10 creative ways to reuse spent grain.
One very common use for spent grain is as an organic composting fertilizer. Composting can be a great way to use up spent grain and get rid of odors at the same time.
Spent grain will also break down faster when it is combined with other ingredients, like coffee grounds or citrus peel. You can also add it to your garden soil directly as a slow-release fertilizer or mulch.
Get Rid of Spent Grain Odor
If you have a small brewery or brew all of your own beer, you know that the spent grain can get pretty smelly. There are a few ways to help remove this odor from your kitchen and garden. One way is to mix it with water and let it soak for about three days before throwing it out.
Another option is to mix the spent grain in a compost pile or use it as mulch in the garden. These methods are not ideal if you have large amounts of spent grain, but they may help if you need to get rid of the smell caused by brewing smaller batches at home.
What to do with spent grain from brewing beer
Use it to make dog treats
Spent grain is a good way to get your dog (or any pet, for that matter) to eat something healthy. You can mix the spent grain with other ingredients to make a treat for your pup. Try adding some honey, peanut butter, and milk or other goodies for a sweet treat that will keep them going on long walks.
Use to make bread
Treberbrot in German, these dense, German rye loaves are made with a mixture of spent grains and fresh ground flour.
Stock Feed for pigs, horses, cows, goats, and sheep
If you have animals or livestock, you can use spent grain to feed them. Spent grain is a great source of protein for animals and an excellent way to get rid of the byproduct.
If you have pigs, horses, cows, or other farm animals, consider using your spent grain as feed. It’s a way to make their diet more diverse while also ridding yourself of that bulky waste product.
Use to Grow Mushrooms
One way to reuse spent grain is by growing mushrooms. Spent grain is a perfect medium for the mushroom mycelium to grow and spread.
The mycelium will break down the grains, turning them into nutrient-rich compost. You can also cultivate edible mushrooms like shiitake or oyster on spent grain, too.
Use it as an additive in your compost
As a byproduct of the brewing process spent grain is a rich source of nutrients. These nutrients can be used in your compost.
Adding spent grain to your compost will not only provide extra nitrogen and carbon, but it will also make your compost less “hot” (less likely to cook all your plants). In other words, adding spent grain produces compost that’s better for plants.
If you want to use spent grain in a productive way, consider using it as an additive in your compost. Spent grain can be added to other organic materials and used as an amendment to improve the quality of your garden soil.
The benefit is twofold; not only does it add nutrients but it also adds air pockets that will make the soil more porous and less dense. These air pockets make for better drainage, which helps with water retention.
Feed your garden
Spent grain is rich in nutrients, so it can be used as a fertilizer for your garden. It may not work for all plants, but it’s an easy way to create a sustainable system of recycling. Mix the spent grain with some water and you have yourself a compost tea that can be sprayed or sprinkled on your plants.
If you have a garden, you may be able to use spent grain as a fertilizer. While spent grain is typically nutrient-rich, it can also contain residual sugars from the brewing process.
This means that if you feed your garden with spent grain, the plants may suffer from a sugar imbalance. If this happens, make sure to add an acidic fertilizer to balance out the pH levels in order to avoid plant death.
Use it as fertilizer for your plants
Spent grain is a great source of nutrients for your plants, and it will help them grow strong and healthy. It’s also a natural fertilizer that won’t harm the soil, meaning you’ll get some extra value out of it.
If you have a large quantity of spent grain, then you can mix it with other organic materials like manure or leaves to make your own fertilizer blend.
You can also use it as a top-dressing in your garden and fertilize individual plants by sprinkling it on the surface of the ground around the plant. Spent grain can be used for this purpose as well; just pour some into a small pile near the base of the plant and cover with soil.
Brewing spent grain is a great natural fertilizer for plants. Plants can be grown in a variety of ways with spent grain, including growing plants in spent grain or mixing spent grain into your garden soil or potting mix. You can also use it as a top dressing for your soil to provide nutrients for plants as they grow.
Feed your chickens
If you have chickens, spent grain is a great source of nutrients. Chickens are omnivores and they will eat grains, so they will readily eat spent grain as well. The grain provides a valuable nutrient that is not found in other types of food, so it would be wise to feed your chickens this byproduct of brewing beer.
One of the most popular ways to reuse spent grain is to feed it to your chickens. Chickens are omnivores, meaning they can eat almost anything, including bread and cereal. Because of this, many brewers will toss the spent grain into their chicken coop as a food source.
If you want to reuse your spent grain in the kitchen, you can always make soap. Spent grain is a great source of fat and lye for a vegan soap recipe.
Brewers often use spent grain to make soap. It is a natural source of lye and has been used for centuries to create pure, homemade soaps. One benefit of using spent grain to make soap is that it is an environmentally-friendly alternative to animal fats or petroleum jelly that are traditionally used in soap making.
Spent grain soaps are delicious smelling and can be easily made with just a few ingredients. The only downsides are that you need access to large quantities of spent barley malt, which can be difficult to find; and the soap can take a few weeks to cure before being ready for sale.
Make Beer Bricks
There are plenty of ways to repurpose spent grain, but one of the most creative is to use it to make your own bricks. When wet, the spent grain forms a perfect brick that you can use in your garden or as an insulator for your chicken coop. The process is easy and takes only a few days.
First, shape the wet grain into a ball and let it dry in the sun for two days. After it has dried, add water until it gets mashed potato consistency, and then allow it to dry again for another day. Finally, pack the dough into molds so they resemble bricks and wait another day until they harden.
Steps to make beer bricks
One of the most popular ways to reuse spent grain is to make homebrew bricks. These bricks are relatively easy to make and they’re a great way to use up left over grains.
- To start, you need to pick out your grains, place them in a shallow container with lukewarm water, and let them soak for about 30 minutes.
- After soaking, you’ll then need to drain the grains and spread them out on an oven-safe tray lined with parchment paper.
- Use some kind of weight – like a plate or a can of beans or food – to press down on the grains so that they pack together and become dense.
- Next, you’ll want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and then bake the brick for about two hours until it becomes hard enough that it won’t crumble easily when you try and break it apart.
- You don’t need any fancy equipment for this process as all you really need is parchment paper, an oven-safe tray, and some water.
- You can also experiment with different types of grains as well as different ratios (1 part spent grain:2 parts water) depending on how stiff you want your final product to be.
- And while not everyone has an oven at home these days, many people do have access to community spaces where they can pop in their used spent grain brick instead of throwing it away. Or if you have an outdoor fire pit, this might work as well
Create Molasses from Spent Mash
One of the most popular uses of spent grain is in the making of molasses. All you have to do is wait for your mash to finish fermenting and then decant the liquid from the top. Next, put all the leftover solids into a pot and heat it until it starts to smell like maple syrup or brown sugar. Once that has happened, pour in some water and stir until you get a thick consistency.
This is an excellent way to use up both leftovers from brewing beer as well as extract sugars that would be burned off during boiling anyways. The result is a sweet, rich mixture full of flavor that, according to one reddit user, can be used as an ice cream topping, in coffee, or with bread pudding.
One of the most popular uses for spent grain is to make a sweetener called molasses. Molasses typically comes from sugar cane, but you can create it at home with your spent grain.
Molasses tastes very similar to light brown sugar and is used as an ingredient in many recipes, like gingerbread and ginger cookies. While you can always buy molasses from the grocery store, making your own will help save on costs but also give you a sense of accomplishment in being able to reuse ingredients that would otherwise go to waste.
If you are new to brewing beer or if you don’t have access to malted barley, keep reading for other ways you can use your spent grain.
Cover Seeds in Spent Grain
One of the simplest ways to reuse spent grain is by covering your seeds when preparing to plant them. This will help to keep moisture in and may also provide extra nutrients for the seeds.
If you have a garden, spent grain is a great way to prevent weeds. Simply cover the seeds in your garden with spent grain and water. As the seeds start to grow, they’ll use up the nutrients in the spent grain and create compost that will fertilize your garden. If you don’t have a garden or don’t want to use it for this purpose, you can also use it as fertilizer for your lawn.
Spent grain can be used as a fuel source to generate electricity. The process requires you to dry the spent grain before burning it in a generator. It’s not always easy to find someone to dry your spent grain, but there are plenty of DIY tutorials online that show you how to do things like make your own dehydrator or stovetop smoker for making dried spent grain.
If you have a garden but have never used spent grain before, it is a great way to fertilize your plants and make electricity in the process. Spent grain is high in nitrogen, which is what most plants need to grow.
After you bake the spent grain to dry out any moisture, you can place it on your garden and start generating electricity for your home. It may not sound like the most efficient way to make electricity, but the process is fairly straightforward.
How long is spent grain good for?
Spent grain has a long shelf life, making it a valuable resource for any homebrewer. But how long is spent grain good for? Well, it all depends on how you store or use the spent grain.
If you are using the spent grain as animal feed (as most homebrewers do), then it is best to store the spent grain in either an airtight container or freezer bag and keep it in your freezer. This will keep the grains fresh and usable for up to 2-3 months after brewing.
However, if you are planning on using the spent grain as compost or fertilizer, then it is best not to freeze the grains but to let them sit around until they have been used up. This will allow the spent grains to break down more naturally into soil nutrients.
Where in the process is the brewer’s spent grain discarded?
After the last steeping and sparging processes are complete, the brewer’s spent grain starts to become discardable. This is because the spent grain becomes saturated with the sugars extracted from the malted barley. The result is that the brewer’s spent grain is of no use to a brewer again.
However, the spent grain is rich in protein, fiber, and fat but has very little sugar since it has been used for alcohol production.
This is where reconditioning comes in. If a brewer can get their hands on brewer’s spent grain, then they can treat it a little differently. The spent grain can be sent back to the malting process again and used to make malt again. The process is called reconditioning, and it has many benefits for brewers.
Thus, after the final mashing and lautering stages, the brewer has two basic choices for where to put their spent grain. They can either feed it to livestock, or they can feed it to microbes to begin the process of converting it back into fermentable sugars.
While the decision to use brewer’s spent grain as livestock feed or to feed it to microbes to begin the process of turning it into sugar is based on the end-use of the spent grain, there are a few general categories of spent grain that can be used for either.
These categories are called the “degree of utilization” or degree of “uptake” of the spent grain. The degree of utilization of brewer’s spent grain ranges from 20% to 100%. The higher the degree of utilization, the more the spent grain can be used for its original purpose. When deciding where to put spent grain, it is important to understand the degree of utilization of the different options.
How can I save my spent grains?
You can save the spent grains by freezing or drying them. If you are drying or freezing spent grains, be sure to place the spent grain in an air-tight container first. This will help keep the grains from going bad before you can use them.
Can you eat brewers’ spent grain?
Yes, it is very nutritious for humans and animals. It has less carbohydrates and more protein and fiber.
One of the most popular ways to reuse brewers’ spent grain is to feed it to your chickens. They can eat it as is, but you can also mix it with their feed or water.
Brewers spent grain provides a unique source of protein and fat that chickens can’t get anywhere else. Chickens will eat the spent grain by themselves, but adding it to their feed will help them thrive.
Can chickens eat spent grain from brewing?
One use for spent grain is to feed it to your chickens. Chickens are omnivores, so brewing grain is a great source of protein and vitamins for them. The spent grain will not provide a significant amount of nutrition, but it can be enough to supplement the chicken feed you give them. You can also put the spent grain in their litter to help with odor control.
Spent grain is a byproduct of the brewing process that has many potential uses. The key is knowing what to do with it, and this article highlights 10 creative ways to reuse spent grain.
Don’t get an anxiety disorder by imagining what to do with the spent grain! Reuse it! Spent grain can be used to make all sorts of things. From compost to dog treats, there are a variety of ways you can put that spent grain to good use. You can even use it to brew a different type of beer.
You may have noticed that the amount of grain being produced by the craft beer industry is increasing. And with that increase, so goes the amount of spent grain that breweries are having to find other uses for. While some breweries sell their spent grain as livestock feed, others are using it to produce biogas, generate compost and even produce electricity.
What is spent grain?
Spent grain is the leftover product from brewing beer. It’s full of nutrients and flavor, making it a great ingredient for all sorts of recipes.
How do I store spent grain?
The type of storage you need depends on how you plan to use your spent grain. When stored in a dry and cool spot, spent grain has a shelf life of up to two months. Spent grains can also be frozen in airtight containers or bags for up to six months and thawed as needed.
What should I do with it if my chickens won’t eat it?
There are several other things that you can do with spent grain besides feeding it to your chickens, including using it in composting, as fertilizer for your garden, or even adding it to your pet’s diet.
What are ways I can use spent grain?
1. Use to make bread: Treberbrot in German, these dense, German rye loaves are made with a mixture of spent grains and fresh ground flour.
2. Add to your compost pile: Spent grain is high in nitrogen content and may help speed up the decomposition process in your compost pile.
3. Use as a pizza crust: If you want to keep things simple, there’s nothing wrong with using spent grain as an alternative to regular dough.
4. Make soap: Ingredients like oatmeal, honey, and milk can be mixed with spent grain for a gentle, natural soap that is safe for even sensitive skin that might have been irritated by beer ingredients like hops or yeast.
5. Cook them into pancakes: The old adage says that the best way to eat your wheat is in the form of pancakes!
6. Feed it to chickens: Chickens will love this high protein food source and most commercial poultry feeds contain some form of cornmeal which you could use instead of spending grain if need be.
7. Feed it to ducks: Ducks are not only tasty but they also provide excellent service by eating slugs, snails, and insects from your garden plot without pesticides or herbicides being used!
8. Give it away! A great way to get rid of spent grain is simply giving it away.