I brew a fair bit of beer in my spare time. There are basically two ways to make your own beer- the first uses pre-prepared malted grain extract, and is about as complicated as pouring a jug of molasses into boiling water and leaving it for an hour. That’s the way that I started, and I made some satisfying beers. This summer, though, I started making beer from whole grain. The process takes longer, but I enjoy the feeling of control, and I really like the beer that I make.
One side benefit of brewing beer from grain is the large quantity of “spent grain” left over. I generally use between 10 and 15 pounds of grain every time I brew, and the brewing process only removes the sugar and a few proteins. Most of the nourishing complex carbohydrates and proteins are left behind in the husk.
There are many breweries across the country that are beginning to market “spent grain” recipes in their pubs. Many suggest that they do so to “recycle” and be eco-concious. I suspect that most are hoping to hit a double: get the benefits of good marketing that come from being perceived as environmentally friendly, and save money on flour down at the pub.
In any case, brewing results in a pile of spent grain. It’s great for composting, but it’s tasty to eat as well. There are not a lot of spent grain recipes out there, even on brewing websites, so I’ve adapted a few whole grain recipes for my own ends. This is one such recipe: