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Sustainable Brewing: Uses for your Spent Grain

Chris Jensen · April 24


As a part of our Earth Week series on reducing the environmental impact on brewing, we’d like to talk about one of the easiest opportunities for a homebrewer: reusing your spent grain.

Both all grain and partial mash brewers end up with a surplus of leftover grain at the end of a brew session (all grain, high gravity brewers much more so!). Rather than send them to the landfill, we like to reuse them in various ways as they still have all kinds of nutritious goodness. Here are 3 of our favorite reuses:

  1. Make friends with chicken people! I posted my grains for free on CraigsList a while back and found several willing takers. Since then, I’ve given my grains to the same woman in my neighborhood every time I brew: I just send her an email on brew day and set them out on my front porch. She loves them because they make a cheap, nutritious meal for her chickens and I benefit because she brings me farm-fresh eggs every now and again. Yay!
  2. Make dog treats: grains have lots of proteins which can be good for Fido (note: be sure your grains do not include hops: they can be lethal to dogs!). My dog, Yampa, goes nuts for the delightful recipe we created together a couple years ago (recipe below; Yampa was the official taste tester). While you’re at it, I’m sure you could add a bit more flavor and make a great energy bar to take on your next hiking trip!
  3. Compost them: because of their makeup, spent grains make excellent compost for your garden…right up there with spent coffee grounds. Mix them in with your compost pile and watch your garden blossom. For bonus points, use the compost with your backyard hop farm to really close the loop!

What’s your favorite use of spent grain?

Spent Grain Dog Treat Recipe:

  • 6 Cups Spent Grain
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 chopped up apple

Variations: try adding nutmeg and cinnamon or cheese!



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