Notes from the Brewer’s Wife-Spent Grain Beer Bread

November 21, 2016
We are talking today about grain remains.
I’m sure you read the title and said, “What is she talking about?”
Spent grains are the mashed ingredients left over after the beer brewing process. My husband, who is a rather accomplished home brewer, has massive amounts after he brews. Previously, we’ve just fed the whole grains to our chickens, but I began to wonder if they had another use. After all, it is recycling, and I hate to throw things out. Why should the chickens get all the fun?

This is what the pot of grain looks like

It closely resembles the interior of a farm house loaf.

After a massive internet search, I came up with the following recipe. 

Spent Grain Beer Bread

Spent grain beer bread is an economical and tasty way to use up the grains left over from beer mash.

  • Prep Time: 80h
  • Total Time: 45h
  • Serves: 8
  • Yield: 2 loaves
  • Category:


  • 3 cups of spent grain (wet)
  • 2 ⁄2 cups warm water (~100 F)
  • 1 (1 tablespoon) package dry bakers yeast
  • 1 ⁄3 cup sugar (white or brown)
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1/3 cup powdered dry milk
  • 1/3 cup molasses


  1. Proof yeast in mixture of water and sugar (make a starter). It should foam and bubble. Put spent grain in large mixer bowl. Mix in starter, and start adding flour. Keep adding flour until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. (You may find that you need more than the flour listed on the ingredients). Place dough in a large bowl, cover with a clean towel, and let rise until doubled. Punch down dough, and either:. A) Split into two loaves and place in greased bread pans. B) Form into a round loaf and place on cookie sheet with a thin layer of corn meal under the loaf. Allow loaf(ves) to double in size, bake in 375 F oven 40-55 minutes until browned . This is a sticky dough from the use of the molasses, so you will need to test for doneness by using a broom straw or skewer. Baking time will depend on your oven and also the humidity outside. T
. One really interesting thing about this bread, it is different every time you make it depending on the type of beer brewed. I made this with the remnants of an IPA (India Pale Ale) but if my husband brewed a porter, I bet the bread would be more similar to a pumpernickel in flavor. There are many possibilities.
This was well received by the children and made a great breakfast with some butter and my friend, Jen’s homemade mulberry jam.
We hope your family has a terrific Thanksgiving holiday and it is spent with those you hold dear.
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