Question about "compost":
I don't really have much space for compost, but I have a corner of the house that we have not yet landscaped. It was just dirt (no plants, weeds, etc), so I started piling up and burying my spent grain, trub, dryhops, grass clippings and burying it (it gets a bit funky otherwise).
Will this produce dirt worth using or am I more harm than good?
that will work. it'll take a while (like a couple years) but it will work. some folks with stronger stomachs than I will do what they call 'sheet composting' where they just spread the compostables in an even sheet across the whole area to be enriched. but it is messy.
the idea situation is to build a pile, if you mix grass clippings with the food scraps, spent grain, etc it will hold down the smell somewhat, make sure it stays moist but not wet, and turn it every couple days you can have good dirt in a few months. if you get some worms or black soldier flies http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_soldier_fly
they can turn gunk into goods in a short time indeed. Our compost system is two bins made of cinder blocks next to each other. each one is about 2.5 feet square. We add our scraps and clippings to the left side and when it starts to get full (about 3-6 weeks for us) we clear out the dirt from the right side and flip the whole pile from the left into the right where it gets turned.
By doing it this way we allow a good amount of mass to build up and it can maintain heat while it works. The worms go nuts in there. when you turn the right side it's crawling with worms and bugs and stuff.
They also make various composting 'machines' that are big bins or one description or another that allow easy turning and thourough aeration of the 'pile'. aeration is vital to controling the smell as there are two kinds of composting process aerobic and anaerobic (sound familiar?) the anaerobic process makes nasty smells and the aerobic one makes less nasty smells.
hope this helps!