The “Dear Zymurgy” section of our magazine features a column called “Brew Dog,” where our members send in photos of their trusted brew companions and we pick one to feature.
The previous Brew Dog was Frank, the “best dog, friend and brewing assistant for over eight years.” His favorite part of the day was getting a big bowl of spent grains, which got us thinking about other ways you can reward your four-legged pal.
It feels like a waste to throw out your spent grains. When saving them, the majority of homebrewers seem to compost them, feed them to their dogs, or use them to make flour for bread. I like all of these ideas, but what about making dog treats?
If you don’t homebrew, many breweries donate their spent grains, so just show up with a big bin and fill up!
A few notes before beginning:
- DO NOT use grains that have been in contact with hops. Hops have been shown to be toxic to dogs.
- Store the grains in a large pot or bin after mashing.
- If you’re not going to use all the grains, you can store them in the refrigerator for later use to ensure they don’t get moldy.
Peanut Butter-Banana Dog Treats
Recipe provided by Amber DeGrace, which can be found in “New Life For Spent Grains,” May/June 2011 Zymurgy
- 6 cups spent grains
- 6 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 banana, cut into small pieces
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl (I usually mix in my stock kettle because the qunaitity is so large). The dough will be thick and sticky. Lightly spray one or two cookie sheets with baking spray and press the mixture into them. Score treats however you like; I usually create three rows length-wise. If your dog likes their treats fancy, you can use cookie cutters to create shapes. Make sure you score it now so they can be broken when baking is complete.
Bake in a 350°F (176°C) oven for 30 minutes or until they begin to harden. Remove the trays and finish cutting the treats where you scored them. Put the trays back in the oven, turn down to 200°F (93°C) and bake for 5 to 10 hours. The treats will be done when they are complete dry in the center. If you are unsure whether the treats are ready, break one in half. It should not be gooey inside because this will cause it to mold quickly. Store treats in a sealed bag in the refrigerator and reward your canine friends for all their hard work during brew day.