Throwing out those precious beer grains after barely steeping them in hot water for 20 minutes seems like such a waste and tears at my environmentalist heartstrings. So, as with many environmentally conscious brewers, I’ve taken to re-purposing those “spent grains” in various ways. An co-worked and friend, whose husband homebrews, pointed me to the helpful resource Spent Grain Recipes and Homebrew Cooking Recipes. After doing a little digging, I also found the recipe Jasmine’s Spent Grain Beer Bread.
After a trip to the store, I grabbed my grains and got to work. First and foremost, though, Step 1 to anything related to homebrewing is, of course, “Relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew!”
Seldom being one to follow baking instructions to the letter, I improvised a bit on the aforementioned Jasmine’s recipe. For some odd reason, we seem to have three buckets of oats kicking around in our cupboard. Might as well put them to good use.
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup oats [this was my addition to the recipe]
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. yeast
3 cups spent grain (ground, in my case in a juicer)
1/4 cup honey (could use sugar, molasses, or LME)
1/4 cup butter (could use olive oil)
1 egg, beaten (or juiced, as it were)
up to 1 cup milk (varies, depending on how wet the grain is)
I blended the grains, honey, butter, egg, milk, and salt on low in our Living Well | Montel HealthMaster juicer. That thing’s a beast!
The following directions come from Jasmine’s Spent Grain Beer Bread except the bracketed parts:
Mix together dry, then wet [c.f. the juicer] ingredients until dough pulls away from sides of bowl and all ingredients are incorporated. Knead for 10 min by hand or 5 min by mixer.
Shape into ball and let rise in oiled bowl until double–about 90 min. Punch down and divide. I usually get 3 average sized loaves out of this. Let it rise again in greased loaf pans or cookie sheet until doubled, (or slightly more as this is dense bread, takes about 1 hr.). Score top of loaves.
Preheat oven. Bake at 350F for 40 min, until deep golden brown. Rotate pans halfway through. Let cool for 30 min on baking rack before slicing, or you’ll smush your bread before it finishes baking inside.
I still need to work on my scoring technique, but the bread came out great. There’s nothing like fresh-baked bread, especially when Nutella’s in the picture! Next time, instead of using baker’s yeast from a jar, I’ll harvest the yeast from the bottom of my fermenter after bottling.