When the mash and the boil are finished and your wort is happily mixing with your yeast in the fermentor, what is there to do with the grains left over from the mash? Don’t just just them away. There is a fun and delicious use for spent grain that is being utilized by homebrewers all over the country, and that is to take your spent grains and make homemade bread with them.
Spent Grains still have nutrients and flavor even after their sugars have been converted for beer. They can easily be used to add character and a personal touch to homemade breads. You can even use them as a complimentary taste for your brew. Just save your grains by freezing them. Then, just as the beer finishes, you can make the bread with the grains that were originally used in the beer. Now you can serve them together to see if the flavors are similar or how they differ.
A quick search on the internet will show you how people are using mashed grains as a base for bread, but here are some things that will help you formulate recipes and get you on your way to making some tasty food.
1. The amount of spent grain should be no more than two thirds of the total dry ingredients. Flour will make up for the rest of the needed grains. The reason for this is that the spent grains do not have any ability to bond with the other ingredients. So if you use too much of it the bread will be crumbly or it may just fall apart.
2. If you don’t mind a few husks just throw the grains right in, If you would prefer to not have them, dry out the grains and either pulverize them in a food processor, or grind them again in your grain mill at a very fine setting.
3. Remember that the spent grains have a good amount of water in them that they soaked up during the mash so take that into account when adding liquids.
4. Be wary of roasted malts, they can add a harsh bitterness to your bread, so either make sure to not overuse them or counter act the bitterness with another flavor like sweetness.
So the next time you are finished making beer and you don’t want to just toss all that extra grain out. Turn the oven on and try making a loaf of bread to see how it turns out!
Here is a simple base recipe you can try or you can tweak to make your own. Happy brewing and then Happy baking!
Brewer’s Bread Recipe
|3||cups spent grain (wet, straight from the mash tun)|
|1.25||cups warm water|
|4-5||cups all purpose flour|
|1||packet dry active bakers yeast|
- Mix yeast water and sugar in a bowl to activate yeast. Allow 30 min for yeast to activate.
- Add yeast starter, salt, egg, spent grain, and milk in a bowl and slowely add flour.
- Knead dough until it is smooth and no longer sticky.
- Place dough in a large greased bowl and cover it with a towel. Wait for dough to rise and double in size then punch down the dough.
- Split your dough into the desired amount of loaves and place on a cookie sheet over a thin layer of cornmeal.
- Allow loaves to rise again and then score the loaves with a knife.
- Bake at 375ºF for 35 minutes or until the bread is desired color and a knife comes out clean after being inserted into the center.