Beer n’ Food: Spent Grains

The comments from yesterday’s preppy post were really interesting. I’m surprised by the number of students who prep their meals. When I was a student, I usually had time to make a sandwich at my apartment or visit the dining hall between classes. I wish I still had access to an all-day, every-day salad bar with pre-cut, pre-washed veggies that wouldn’t spoil in my fridge. (Ahhhh, the things we take for granted…)

Today’s post is a hybrid of sorts. It’s about food, and it’s about beer. What’s not to love?

I want to shed light on spent grain. Spent grain is the leftover goo in the mash-kettle after being separated from the wort. Wort goes on to make the really good stuff (beer).

After separation, the spent grains are a “mixture of barley grain husk, pericarp and fragments of endosperm. The chemical composition of [spent grain] is dependent on the barley variety, harvest time and mashing conditions.” If you want to know more, check out Hydrolysis of Brewers’ Spent Grain by Carbohydrate Degrading Enzymes, which is the source of that info.


Brooklyn Brewery Grains

As you know, I’m the queen of leftovers, and there are plenty of ways to reuse these babies.


Sweetwater Brew

I usually prefer to talk about beer and food as it relates to cooking with beer or complimentary pairings, but I hope you enjoyed this unique blend of the two.

  • Would you try cookies/bread/bars made with spent grains?
  • If you plan on drinking a beer (or two) this weekend, which will you be enjoying?

21 Comments to “Beer n’ Food: Spent Grains”

  1. Thanks for the ping back Tiff. Can’t wait to find out how you like those bars. I also add the dried grain to my oatmeal when I cook it. Adds an interesting chewy texture. And there are some great recipes for spent grain in this month’s DRAFT magazine. Really fun stuff to experiment with. Enjoy!

  2. Hmm, that’s really interesting! I think I would try something made with spent grain..I’m not sure I would like it, but I’d try it haha.

  3. Interesting. Can’t wait to hear your review of the bars. I think I’ll be having a Blue Moon right after work today. Happy Friday!

  4. Um, hell yeah I would eat something made with spent grains! I like the idea of not wasting perfectly good leftovers. 😉 Chances are I’ll be drinking a Dogfish Head brew this weekend, likely one of the three 60 min IPAs or one of the Festina Peche I need to finish to make room for the Punkin Ale. 🙂 Happy Friday!

  5. I’d definitely try cookies or bars made from spent grain! I have no idea what they would taste like, but I’m all for trying new grain variations so I’d be curious to see.

  6. I would totally try something made from spent grain. Ya gotta give new things a try!

    I don’t drink much, but whenever Shipyard releases their pumpkinhead ale I go crazy. I’m currently on the hunt for it but haven’t had any luck yet. I can’t wait until I find some!

    • Good luck finding it! The last beer I was on a hunt for took quite a while to find. I actually had to call around to a little specialty shop or two until I found it. Funny thing is, that was about a month ago, and it’s still in my fridge. I guess it was just the thrill of the chase! haha

  7. @Anastasia: where do you live? I could recommend some other pumpkin beers that would blow Shipyard out of the water. About Shipyard though, they do 2 different pumpkin brews; the Pumpkinhead and then they do a Smashed Pumpkin Ale. The pumpkinhead is the lower ABV which generally rates pretty low in terms of pumpkin beers. The Smashed Pumpkin is the Imperial Version (read: higher ABV) and has much more pumpkin characteristics.

    @Tiff: something else you can do is make doggie biscuits with the spent grains … there was a recipe in the back of DRAFT magazine if I recall correctly. If I remember correctly, it involves peanut butter as the “glue” and some other goodies but it’s another idea for you.

    Also, I mentioned a couple of months ago that I was going to be taking a huge beer-cation … well I’m currently on it. I’ve already gone through NC, stopping in Winston-Salem (I swore I saw you running there … or someone who looks very similar) and in Asheville. I picked up some Olde Hickory and Pisgah. I’ll be coming back through NC on my way back to Virginia Beach. I’m going to make it a point to try some more NC brews!


  8. I probably won’t be drinking this weekend because by the time I get out of work, I’m going to need to dive right into homework, but there are some new ciders I want to try!

  9. I’d definitely try out a cookie with spent grains. How can a cookie be bad? 😉
    PS-I love that cow picture.

  10. Very interesting!! I’ve never heard of spent grains… totally new to me =) Love how people use it instead of throwing it away!!

  11. I think it’s awesome they find something to do with the leftovers. It’s sort of like Trader Joe’s with their cheap wine- it’s what they produce with used grapes that weren’t fully taken advantage of the first time around.

    I’ll be drinking beer tonight. I wish it would be good stuff. But the special is Miller Lite. Uhhhh….

  12. You just taught me something new today! Thanks! I really enjoy a good beer but don’t really know anything about how it’s made.

    I would definitely try cookies made with spent grains. I have to try everything at least once. And I would like to enjoy an ice cold Killians this weekend.

  13. I definitely plan on having a beer or two this weekend – or wine. I’ve yet to decide which will be my drink of choice. Either red velvet cupcake wine or 312 with an orange. 🙂

  14. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing! I would definitely give it a try! 🙂

  15. Hmm sounds interesting! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  16. I’ll be drinking wine this weekend…we’re going to a winery! 🙂 But beer is always a favorite!

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