Sunday, February 12, 2012

What to do with my spent grain?

I tend to brew 2 five gallon batches at a time due to my system.  Normally I have 2 five gallon food grade buckets that I fill, cap and toss in the dumpster at work.  Plugging my nose as I dump them hopefull to keep the mysterious gases that grow in the bucket overnight at bay.

Now that my son is 2 years old and his appreciation for "Daddy's Drink" is growing, he wants to be involved in the brewing process.  This includes tossing out the old grain for the next batch.  He started helping by taking a sand shovel and attempting to transfer the spent grain into the trash bucket.  This normally resulted in a hosing of the garage floor at the end of the brew day.

Now that he older, he watches me take a bite of the grain before sparging.  I really don't know where this tradition came from.  It's not like I would ever take a bite and scream, "This is all wrong" and toss the grain.  I think this has evolved from a homebrew shop in San Diego called American Homebrew.  If you are local, you understand what I am talking about.  The helpful owner, for lack of better words, "Is lonely, very lonely" and loves to talk about beer to anyone that will listen.  This is unfortunate for the brewer that is in a hurry because he will talk and not ring up your purchase until the story is over.  This love for tasting the grain has been officially passed to Aydan, my son.  Anytime grain is within arms reach he will reach out for a bite.  New grain, spent grain it doesn't stop his need for a taste.  

I know that the amount of grain that I toss is terrible for the environment.  I understand that pigs, cows and other livestock can live off my brewing.  But living in a townhouse in Otay Ranch, I don't have the privilege of living next to these animals.  With Aydan's love for this treat I would love to make something out of them.   I've thought of making dog treats but they are so much work for a do that I do not own.  

So what do the others brewers do? 


  1. Nice Commentary on the LHBS - I always wondered if it was just me that noticed it.

    And I have yet to do this, but a fellow homebrewer told me that he posted his spent grain on craigslist and had 20 replies in an hour. People even offered to buy it. I guess it has enough sugar left and still plenty of protein that the animals love it.

    1. That is a great idea. Might have to put up a CL post

  2. I've looked at the bread recipe linked below about 20 times, but have just never done it. Peter Reinhart has a couple of books that are worth reading if you're interested in artisanal bread. Maybe you should give it a shot and be the guinea pig..

    The recipe below originally comes from his book "Whole Grain Breads"


Thanks for Commenting, Prost!