Using Spent Brewing Grains

After brewing beer you have over 10lbs of grain plus the absorbed water, now what to do with it. A majority of the sugars and some proteins have been pulled out of the grain during the mashing process, so it will have a higher fiber to sugar ratio.


Compost – The majority of the grain gets added to my compost pile, I add a bag of grass clippings it the mix to help it compost.

Feeding Stock – The grains can be used to supplement the feed of several different animals such as Chickens, Cows, Pigs, Sheep, Fish or anything that eats grains. Feed it fresh so it will not mold and possibly harm the animals.

Make flower – Dry the grain then grind/mill. I use an oven on low to dry the grains on a baking sheet turning occasionally and testing to see if it has dried out. Once the grain is fully dry use a food processor to get the consistency that I want. If ground to a fine texture it can be used in place of whole grain flower. If using a grain mill it might need to be ran through twice.

Bake with it – Use the flower created above and start baking. Good for bread, cookies, dog biscuits, pizza dough, etc. We have noticed that bread we have baked with it tends to last longer before going stale.

Sour Dough – Try adding a cup of sourdough starter to cup or two of wet spent grain. Sending it through a food processor will give a better texture than leaving it whole. Our first loaf of spend grain sourdough had great flavor stayed moist for longer than traditional sourdough but did not have enough time to rise so it was a little dense.

Second beer – Mash the grain again to get more sugar out, this works best when making high gravity beers or larger batches.

Grow mushrooms – Spent grain is rich in nitrates and sulfates that help the mushrooms grow. First pasteurize the grain by heating it to 170F for 1-2hrs a pressure cooker might be the best option for this. Let cool and add your mushroom spawn. Shiitake and oyster mushrooms are good candidates for this.

Use for fuel – Can be used as a biomass for gasifiers or anaerobic digesters. Press into bricks and use it like fire wood.

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