Spent Grain Beer Bread for Homebrewers

I just started homebrewing and felt really bad about just throwing out the grains from my brews. I was sure there was something I could do with the spent grain, so I googled and found a recipe to make some bread. If you want to retain a lot of the grain flavor in the bread, this is the recipe to start with. Here’s how it went for me.

First things first, I opened a brew that my friend gave me. It was several years old (yes, I said years), so it formed a huge head which eventually settled into a scary monkey face.

With that out of the way, I pulled my grains out of the freezer where I had been storing them for about 5 days. After I brewed, I actually dried the grains for a few hours in direct sunlight, and then when the sun was gone, I put them in the oven on the lowest setting for about 5 hours to get them nice and dry.

I threw some grains into the coffee grinder and got them nice and fine. I think I went a little too fine and will leave them more hearty next time. I also didn’t have the 3 cups of grains that the recipe called for, only about 2.5. I filled the remaining 1/2 cup with whole wheat flour instead.

This was the only recipe that I found online that called for an egg, so here’s a nice pretty shot of it all beaten up.

Jasmine’s recipe called for sugar, but I used honey instead. I’m pretty sure the 1/4 cup was not enough, so I’d up that to at least 1/2 cup next time, or at least use the honey in addition to the sugar. She gave the option of 1/4 cup of butter or olive oil, and I chose butter. For the milk, I substituted almond milk (original flavor).

After adding all the ingredients to the mix, it looked like this and I could tell it needed more moisture.

I added another cup of milk and that didn’t do much to help, so I added two more for a total of 4 cups of milk to give it some moisture. Finally, I was able to get it to look like this.

I’m pretty sure the lack of moisture came from me drying my grains instead of using them wet like Jasmine did. At any rate, it was time to put the ball in the oiled bowl and let it rise for 90 minutes. When that was done, I split it into 3 loaves and let it rise for another hour. I made a time lapse of the rising with one photo every minute.

I’m not sure what happened during this phase, but it really didn’t rise as much as I think it should have. My guess is that the yeast weren’t working hard enough, or there wasn’t enough sugar for them to eat. Another reason why I will be doubling the honey for the next batch.

I rubbed some water on the top of each loaf and scored them, then threw them in the oven for 50 minutes. They came out looking just slightly larger than when they went in.

As you can see, this is really dense bread. It smells like the wort when I was boiling on brew day, and that’s a great smell. The best part is that it even tastes like it smells! It’s pretty sweet bread, but not overpowering as if it were cake. You probably wouldn’t want to make a sandwich out of it, but it was definitely amazing with a little butter or honey on a thin slice. Better yet, try it with a little honey butter and it’s a really nice treat.

Thanks to Jasmine for the recipe. Happy baking and brewing!

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