A lot of home brewers will have plenty of spent grain left over and may be left wondering what to do with it.
While you may be pleased with your homebrew, you should be thinking about saving that spent grain and using it within a couple of days.
Even if you do not feel confident using the spent grain yourself, you should be able to find someone that can and they may share their creation with you.
Perhaps the easy option would be to throw it away but there are so many delicious ways you can prepare them.
In this guide, we will look at what you can make with spent grain and provide five delicious ways you can prepare them.
From baking Treberbrot bread to creating granola, pizza dough, banana bread, and even pancakes.
Baking Treberbrot Bread
As prolific bakers, the Germans have their own bread which they bake from spent grain.
Treberbrot has 125g each of spent grains, bread flour, and whole wheat flour which is mixed with 160ml of warm water, a teaspoon of active dry yeast, and a quarter-teaspoon of salt.
Mix the ingredients together then knead for ten minutes and allow the dough to rise to double its volume. Knock the dough down then form it into a loaf for a second rise after half an hour.
Cut some slits into the dough with a sharp knife and bake at 420°F for around 40 minutes. Add some water every five minutes during the first 20 minutes with a spray bottle. This added moisture will help the crust form.
The finished loaf should look golden brown and you can then remove it from the oven and let it cool. If your homebrew is ready too, the bread should go really well when sliced and spread with some soft butter.
Creating Pizza Dough
There are many variations of a pizza recipe, and that includes the dough.
While there are so many different toppings you could use and slight variations on a pizza sauce, you could create a pizza dough using spent grain.
Plus, a well-cooked pizza goes really well with a home-brewed beer too. Whisk together two cups of all-purpose flour with a teaspoon of sugar, and two teaspoons of bread yeast.
Add a cup of spent grain then gradually add a tablespoon of olive oil and two-thirds of a cup of warm water.
Once you have a sticky, soft uniform dough ball, you can stop adding water though try to judge whether you need more water or a few more sprinkles of flour to get the doubt just how you like it.
Rub the dough ball with a teaspoon of olive oil to grease it up and then leave it in a bowl covered with a clean towel to rise at room temperature for between two and three hours.
Next, knead the dough ball on a dusted surface and press it into a flattish circle though you may need a rolling pin as spent grain pizza dough does not tend to be that stretchy.
Once the dough is the right thickness and size, heat up the oven with a baking stone until both are very hot, and pour on pizza sauce, your toppings of choice, and cheese.
The crust should be crispy and the pizza should go really well with a cold beer.
Loaded Grain Pancakes
Loaded grain pancakes are not only delicious, but they are fairly healthy too compared to most pancake recipes.
While pancakes can be created with buttermilk and a typical recipe will include plain flour, wholewheat flour can work too.
Even spent grain while wet can still be used, though after a couple of hours, it can take on a sour flavor which does lend itself well to sourdough bread.
For Loaded Grain Pancakes, you will need to ensure that the spent grain is processed to a uniform consistency, yet they can be used as they are if you like a coarser consistency.
By using spent grain like you would whole wheat flour, you can create a healthier variation of a popular recipe.
That would mean using less white flour and doubles up as a great way to use up spent grain that you may otherwise have thrown away.
The spent grain as whole wheat flour also adds some complexity to the taste which you can double up on.
Try adding pieces of fruit to the top of the batter that will caramelize when you flip and fry that side, think apples, peaches, and bananas.
Use around one and a quarter cups of whole wheat flour and whisk it with a third of a cup of cornmeal, a tablespoon of sugar, two teaspoons of baking powder, and a teaspoon of salt.
For the wet ingredients, whisk together two egg yolks, four tablespoons of melted, cooled butter, half a cup of yogurt, and three-quarters of a cup of whole milk.
Once smooth, combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and let them rest for around five minutes to thicken.
You want a thick batter which is a characteristic of whole wheat flour as it absorbs more liquid compared to white flour.
Do not forget the egg whites which are whisked to stiff peaks and folded into the batter gently to add a lightness to the batter. Cut your fruit of choice into thin slices and then heat up a greased cast-iron pan.
Drop a tablespoon-sized scoop of batter into the griddle then dot some fruit slices over the top. Once bubbles are appearing, flip the pancakes over and make sure that the fruit caramelizes.
A Batch Of Banana Bread
As soon as you work out how to create spent grain flour, there are so many baking recipes you should want to create.
One of those is Banana Bread which uses a cup of spent grain flour which is sifted with three-quarters of a cup of all-purpose flour. A
dd in two teaspoons of baking powder and half a teaspoon of salt then set aside.
Cream together three-quarters of a cup of sugar and five tablespoons of butter for the base of your batter.
Next, add in two lightly beaten eggs and two exceedingly ripe bananas until it is all incorporated.
In two, maybe three parts, add in the flour mixture then fold in half a cup of chopped walnuts or pecans.
Bake the batter for an hour at 350°F in a buttered loaf tin and you should have delicious, nutritious banana bread.
Spent Grain Granola
Creating your own granola can seem like an ordeal yet it is so rewarding when you use your own spent grain. Make sure that the spent grain has been drained then cooled and squeezed so that it is as dry as possible.
You will need around two cups of spent grain which you can mix in a bowl with a cup of rolled oats, and then your favorite granola components.
That could mean sliced almonds, chopped pecans, chopped walnuts, banana chips, dried cherries, dried cranberries, and other dried fruit like raisins and sultanas.
Try to use around half a cup each of sliced nuts, seeds, and the dried fruit of your choice.
Mix in half a cup of sunflower oil, three-quarters of a cup of dark maple syrup, a teaspoon each of cinnamon and ginger, half a teaspoon of cardamom, and a quarter teaspoon of salt.
Spread the mixture evenly on a lined baking sheet and bake at 375°F for between 40 and 50 minutes, though stirring and rotating the pan a couple of times. Once totally cool, pour the granola mixture into a jar or airtight container.
It can be so tempting to simply throw away spent grain as it has mainly performed its job once the home brewing process has been completed. However, do not throw it away just yet as you can still use it for some really nutritious recipes.
It does need to be used quickly so draw out as much of the moisture as possible and then use some pantry ingredients to create pancakes or use up a couple of very ripe bananas for banana bread. As a treat, you may even want to create pizza dough.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does Spent Grain Last For?
Spent grain needs to be used quickly before it loses its nutritional value and goes bad. In humid, warm conditions, the spent grain may begin to smell which is a sign that it is on the turn.
That means that spent grain should be used within just two days of being picked up. One way to prolong spent grain is to dry a batch until it is less than 12% moisture and that should help preserve it for longer.
How Good For You Is Spent Grain?
In comparison to white flour, flour made from spent grain is much healthier and more nutritious. It may not look pretty and it may need some work before you can use it but you should certainly use it instead of throwing it away.
Spent grain should resemble crumbly oatmeal as it contains wheat, rye, barley, and oats from your beer-making. The spent grain should be good for you as it still contains fiber, proteins, and fats which make great cooking components.