Spent grain dog treats

by Steph Weber - March 28th, 2011
Categories: brew, cook

Last month, I got a puppy. Here she is!

Libby! Shepherd/pit mix, 4 ½ months, 26 lb, crazy-ass mo fo

I had heard of people making doggie biscuits out of spent grain, and seeing as we rocket through about 8-or-so lb of malt every week, I had to try making them. It’s really, really simple. All you need is:

4 cups spent grain
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs

First time making these was after brewing ESB, so needless to say, Libby is one very lucky puppy. I used chunky peanut butter, but I’d say smooth would work just as well.

Mix everything together in a large bowl. This will work your forearms and triceps nicely (it’ll be really thick and pasty). Press the batter down with your hands onto a large, ungreased, rimmed baking sheet. Cut the batter into whatever shape you want. I just cut mine into squares to make things simple. Make sure to cut all the way through to the bottom, it’ll make your life easier later.

Bake at 350° F for about 30-45 minutes, or until they’re solidified. Loosen them from the sheet and break them apart (here’s where you’ll be glad that you cut them before baking them). Return the biscuits to the baking sheet, spreading them out evenly.

Reduce the temperature to 250° F and return them to the oven for another couple hours, until they’re completely dried out (you want to remove all moisture so they don’t get moldy). Remove the treats from the oven and allow them to cool completely on the baking sheet. Store them in an airtight container.

My dog went nuts for these! Probably because of the peanut butter. We stuck one in her Kong toy and she went berserk trying to get at it.

By the way, these don’t really taste great to humans. I know because I tried them. Very bland. Nice and crunchy though. Perhaps if we had poorer brewhouse efficiency (we usually get around 85-87% efficiency), our spent grain would still have enough sugar left behind to make these taste sweeter.

This really makes me want to try making spent grain human treats too. I smell an experiment coming on…

11 Responses to Spent grain dog treats

  1. I’ve done a few of my experiments in using up spent grain (since I just hate to throw that much stuff out).

    I tried adding the grains to bread once. The result was tasty, but because the spent grains were so wet, the dough ended up having way too much moisture in it, so the bread was *dense* and heavy. So, but be sure to cut way back on the amount of water you would normally add to the dough.

    I had better results making granola. I just throw in as much grain as I could fit in my biggest baking pan and add nice amount of sweetener (so far, maple syrup, honey or agave) and a generous dose of spices (clove, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, etc). Also nice to add are raisins and chunks of nuts.

    Then I bake on a fairly low temperature (200-300F or so) for a long time. Usually brewing has ended fairly late, so I turn off the oven and leave the pan in there overnight to let it dry, before roasting it some more in the morning. The result is quite yummy, I find, though sometime a bit too fibrous — good sprinkled on cereal or yogurt, but a bit intense on its own.

    One word of caution, though: watch out if you have toasted/roasted grains in your grain bill. Biting down on some of those is likely to crack your teeth in half! I had a batch like that recently that I ended up grinding up into flour in my vitamix. It makes *excellent* pancakes…


    The result

  2. They look too good to feed to the dog! :P


  3. I definitely like the idea of using the spent grain in bread. I might try using spent grain in my beer bread recipe. Imagine that, spent grain in beer bread! I think my brain would explode!

    I like the granola idea as well. The consistency of these dog treats was similar to crunchy granola bars (like Nature Valley bars), so I’m thinking if I added some form of sugar and other flavorings, they could be pretty bitchin granola bars.

  4. We trade spent grain for milk with a dairy farmer. Cows appreciated it. Small quantities can be fed to chickens.

  5. That’s great that you have a deal with a farmer!

    We compost our spent grain. Our vegetable/hop garden sure appreciates it!

  6. [...] Biscuits like these Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply. Name [...]

  7. The fella made these for the pooch but cussed up a storm due to the “ungreased” cookie sheet recommendation. It was quite difficult to free them from the sheet. Will try using parchment next time.

    Is it weird that *I* (a full-fledged human, I assure you) like to eat these dog treats? Wholesome! Yummo!

  8. e-signature payday loans

    bookmarked your web site and most likely come back back if a lot of is posted on this subject

  9. My son is currently an ‘entrepreneur.’ It is exactly what you’re called whenever you do not have a career.
    The right way to get things done is just not to mind who contains the credit for doing them.

  10. My puppy (pound rescue) looks like your puppy! Beautiful, but with longer legs. She likes peanut butter, but she loves fish. Has anybody tried this recipe with fish?

  11. I’ve made these twice now from the spent grains my husband has in his brew process. When I don’t want to make the biscuits right away I freeze the grains in a bag. My dog will do just about every trick under the sun to get one of these “cookies”. Our family friend tried to eat one too but said it was too bland and crispy…. It was fun to watch him try though! Thanks for the recipe!