The boyfriend and I are a tasty couple… I’m a baker, and he’s a homebrewer! In the past, we’ve thrown happy hour events where I’ve paired baked goods with his homebrew. But now I’m going to take it to another level: baking with the spent grains from his homebrew!
This weekend, he started up a batch of Nut Brown Ale. Normally, he just tosses the grains, but that seems like such a waste of a perfectly viable food product… So I set out to dry the grains and mill them in to flour, which I’ll be using this weekend to bake up something tasty!
There are multiple ways to use spent grain, including baking with the wet grains. But drying them out and milling them in to a flour prolongs the lifespan and allows you to add the spent grain to your favorite recipes!
Since spent grain flour has lost much of its natural protein, gluten, and sugar, it can’t be used for baking as a 1-to-1 substitute for all-purpose flour. However, it does have a high amount of fiber, so it can be subbed in to recipes in the same way you’d use other grain flours, meals, or other baking adjuncts! And the spent grain flour will lend a flavor to your baking similar to the recipe of the homebrew. 🙂
The process is pretty easy. The grains are spread on a baking sheet and dried out in a warm oven for 18-24 hours. Once they’re dry, they are ground in to a fine powder in a blender. (You can also use a food processor for this, but the suction action of the vortex in the blender will break down your grain more efficiently.)
With a 5-gallon batch of Nut Brown Ale, my spent grains yielded about 3 1/2 to 4 cups of flour. Your yield will vary based on the size and type of homebrew the spent grains are pulled from. And different types of homebrew will yield entirely different flavor profiles in your flour. So consider the flavor profile of your homebrew and your baking recipes to make sure they’ll meld well together!
Look back on Tuesday for a recipe using the spent grain flour from the Nut Brown Ale! 😀 Click below for the recipe! Have a question? Feel free to ask in the comments below! And thanks for reading! 🙂
Spent Grain Flour
You are going to need:
- Spent grains, drained
- Cookie sheet(s)
- Aluminum foil, preferably non-stick
To dry the spent grains:
First, preheat your oven to 175* F.
Line cookie sheets with aluminum foil, and spread your spent grains in a thin layer.
Place the cookie sheets in your oven to dry. This process will take at least 18 hours, up to 24 hours, depending on the moisture of your grains. Stir the grains every few hours to ensure even drying.
Once the grains are fully dry, either mill the grains or store in an airtight container to mill at a later date.
To mill the grain:
Fill your blender approximately half-full with the dry grains. With the lid on, blend on medium-high for 3 or 4 minutes, until the grains are processed in to a fine flour.
Repeat with the remaining grains.
Store in an airtight container with your other baking supplies. The dried flour will be shelf stable for several months, up to one year.