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Spent Grain Usage & Water Conservation

Question 1:
I am curious what others do with their spent grain after an all-grain brewing session?

I use to spread it in my back yard past the lawn’s edge in the nature area but mold would at times grow on top of it.
It never looked good so my wife stopped me from doing that…
&:wink:

Now I dump it into a large bucket with holes in the bottom then toss it later in the week into our yard waste container.
I don’t have a compost (not yet).

I have seen how local breweries state that their bread is made out of spent grains.

Thoughts?

Question 2: Does anyone recycle the water used for chilling the beer? If so how?

I dump my grain in with the mulch around the base of shrubs. It’s gotta rot at some point, right? Whenever I tried to bag it up, the smell got awful. Compost is probably the best answer.

Baking with spent grains just seems fussy to me… collecting, drying, and storing damp grain is the last thing I want to do after a 5 hour brew session.

I’ve got a compost pile in the backyard. I dump the mash tun there as I’m cleaning up. I found that if I left it in one hot pile it really started to smell bad within a day or two. If I stir it all into the pile of compost, there’s never been an issue. I do try to be careful and considerate of my neighbor cause my pile is within 15’ of their pool, so if they are out, I wait to dump and stir until they’ve gone in for the evening.

As for recycling the water used for chilling, I’ve seen a setup online somewhere that continually recirculates the chilling water via a pump in a bucket with ice. I’ve also seen it done with a two stage where the pump is in a bucket of water, strung to an immersion chiller in a bucket of ice water, strung to the chiller being used in the beer. I also seem to remember a few posts on here about recycling chilling water, I’ll dig around a bit and see if I can find any links.

:beers:
Rad

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I use a blue cooler and a fountain pump, fill with water and run about a bucket’s worth through your chiller. Add 20 # of ice to cooler put discharge end of chiller into cooler and let it run. Just make sure it’s a blue cooler, for some reason everyone say’s to use a blue cooler.:beers:

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I used to put it in with my compost, but it would stink up my whole yard and attract too many flies. Luckily our city started a curbside compost program last year, so it now goes in that bin.

I’ll collect some chilling water for mixing up cleanser and/or sanitizer.

for those of us lucky enough to have a well, I recycle my cooling water by recirculating it into the yard, very near the well. 100% recycled!

My water goes into my water collection barrels and used for irritating my garden between rain events in the summer. In winter I just use a snow and water bath. I through my spent grain in the compost smell like … Well compost.

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Grain gets spread around as mulch for the banana plants…cooling water goes into the swimming pool.

Guess which state I live in?

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I love the idea of baking bread with spent grain, but seriously, about a cup of spent grain is about all I can stand in a batch, and then the other two gallons goes in the composter. Or you can make a batch of doggie treats, which uses about 2 cups and makes about 100 of them. Just not practical, best to feed it to the goats or find a way to break it down naturally.

Great subject! Our sewer froze up… so today wasn’t a good day… Thats how I conserve water… Hey Brew Cat… would you quit irritating yet plants!! :smile: Sneezles61

My neighbours do have goats on their farm. I give the spent grains to them. The water. I feed the palm trees in my yard

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My wife’s obese miniature horse gets a couple of handfuls of the spent grains, and then the rest goes on a compost pile which eventually goes on the garden. I collect the first couple of 5 gallon buckets-full of water out of my plate chiller (which is the warmest) for cleaning equipment after I’m done brewing for the day. The rest, at this point, goes down the drain.

Guess I just rub them the wrong way

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If you dump your grain into a compact pile, its almost certain to go septic and smell bad. But if you keep the grain spread reasonably thin, it should maintain an aerobic condition and avoid smelling as bad.

If you have a compost pile, mixing the grain into the existing compost helps speed the conversion and the mixing activity also aerates the pile. Keeping the pile aerobic improves its digestion.

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I hadn’t turned my compost over in quite some time before I started AG brewing. My wife is very happy that I started brewing because now her compost pile gets turned over at least twice per month. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

:beers:
Rad

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I use the spent grains to make dog biscuits, our two mutts love them.

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I also put out the grain for the deer… They can smell hot lunch a mile away! I did give grain to a friend whom raised Kobe beef… Nope, I didn’t get a tasting… Sneezles61

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That sounds like my kind of gardening skills…

I think that I will just continue to dump the spent grains into the Yard Waste pick up and store the chiller run off water in an old scratched up 10 gallon Rubbermaid cooler which I recently replaced for my one hop plant outside my garage which is not on a water timer.

Thanks for sharing your feedback!!!

I compost mine as well. Like said above, mix it in well. If you keep your greens and browns right, and not too wet, it won’t stink.

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