Using Spent Brewing Grains


My husband is a home brewer, and a darn good one at that (I might be biased).  It’s a great way to get excellent craft brews at significantly below retail prices, but it leaves us with one problem – about 25lb of spent brewing grains.  I find this to be a ridiculous thing to waste, so we usually put it into the compost.  Unfortunately, just dumping 25lb (or more) of grains into the compost all at once absolutely reeks.  I’m talking crime scene investigation smells here people.  Even with daily turning, the stench takes about a week to go away.  So we’ve been looking for ways to 1) reduce the amount of grain that goes into the compost and 2) make what’s left more pleasant to us and our neighbors.

Step one: let’s dry these grains out a little bit:

My husband was kind enough to spread them out on a tarp for me in the hot summer sun.  I’m thinking after about a half day in 90+ weather it will be ready for the compost pile.

After semi-drying, we’ll put about 75% of it into the compost heap, along with a healthy dose of leaf mulch.  The rest of it will get re-spread for some extra drying.  I’m saving a few cups of it for dog biscuits, and the rest in a mason jar to feed to the chickens.  I’ve heard that spent grains should be no more than 20% of the feed ration for laying hens, so I’ll start them small.  I am excited to supplement their feed with something that is (effectively) free though.  And I’m hoping Jerry loves the spent grain dog treats.  I know he loves to get into any spills that Daddy makes on brew day!  Stay tuned for how that recipe turns out.

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