Spent Grain Cooking and Baking

So, I’ve been brewing again, which means I’ve been producing spent grains again. I don’t like to waste the grains, but disposing of them has become difficult. Until the spring, I was able to hand them over to my friend Mark, who has a worm farm and who used to sun-dry the grains to use them for worm farm bedding. However, after the Housing Office where we live decided to deem that, on the basis of the temporary (and, really, not so bad) smell outside the building, this practice was “harmful to other people.”

(This is pretty laughable, given the miasma that has begun to emanate from every lavatory in the building where my office is located: indeed, even at the exits to the first floor of the building bore the faint-but-distinct odor of feces last time I walked out there — at least 20 meters from the closest restroom, no less–but since the housing office fascists backed up the ban with the threat of eviction, and Mark has enough dried grains to last the year, we decided there would be no more drying of grains, at least not in the usual spot.)

That means, inevitably, I have to do something else with the spent grains I produce. While I certainly can’t use them all up, I am trying not to trash them all. (Especially since, on campus, we’re not provided with anywhere to put “food trash,” so it doesn’t even end up as pig feed or compost.) Therefore I’ve been looking into cooking and baking methods that allow me to use those grains for some other purpose.

You can easily find a lot of spent grain recipes online, but there are two sites I’ve made us of so far that have impressed me:

  • The first is a blogger here in Korea who has experimented with baking using the spent grains from her husband’s brewing adventures, over at 519 Kitchen. (The link is to her “spent grain”-tagged posts.) I’ve honestly only tried the cookie recipes, but they turned out pretty damned good, especially the nutella and peanut butter cookie recipes.
  • The other site I’ve come across lately is Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Spent Grain Chef blog, which has a plethora of excellent recipes for using up your spent grains. So far, I’ve tried both the pizza dough (which didn’t come out excellent, but I suspect that’s my fault) and the spent-grain falafels, which were outstanding. (I have plans to try the scones, the spent-grain veggie burgers, the pretzel rolls, and the spent-grain breaded fried chicken at some point, too.) The site also has a pretty enticing blog focused on cooking with beer, which has some pretty exciting recipes too.

If you’re more adventurous and don’t mind formulating your own recipes, there are a few more ideas over at the Wall Street Journal, too.

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