All-grain brewers know that dealing with disposing of 10+ pounds of spent grains after mashing can be a challenge. I know that on heavy brew weekends I have nearly filled my trashcan with the spent grains, and have often thought “there’s got to be something we can do with this.” Here are the Top 4 ideas for putting your spent grains to use.
For the avid gardener, spent grains make a great addition to the compost pile. Ensure that if using spent grains for compost, you keep it from going anaerobic, as the spent grains can become toxic. You can avoid this by stirring regularly to oxygenate the compost.
Alternatively, you can simply sprinkle the grain directly onto your lawn or garden. You may attract squirrels and birds with the spent grains, but the added benefit is that the animals will be eating the grains instead of your vegetable garden.
2.) Dog Biscuits
Dogs LOVE spent grains, and commercial dogfood is often made with spent grains. Follow this recipe for more information on making spent grain dog biscuits.
Hops are toxic to dogs, so make sure that you only use grains that have not come into contact with hops, i.e. directly after being completed from mashing.
There are countless recipes online for making spent grain bread, spent grain granola, spent grain muffins, etc. Here are some of the best recipes from the internet for baking ideas with spent grain.
- Spent Grain Bread
- Spent Grain Waffles
- Spent Grain Muffins
- Spent Grain Cookies
- Spent Grain Pizza Dough
4. Soap Making
While I’ve never tried it, soap making from spent grains can take the “shower beer” to a whole new level. Simply chop up the spent grain, follow the basic soap making process and add to your base when adding the essential oils. Instead of lavender, I would recommend aloe or cranberry essential oils.