Soil and Compost forum: Spent brewers grains

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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jul 6, 2015 4:09 PM CST
DH brews small batches of beer and gave me the spent brewers grains to use in the garden. The grains were crushed and steeped for about 30 minutes. How can I use in the garden to get the most from them?
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
Jul 7, 2015 3:37 PM CST
I think that really depends on the quantity you have and the area you could use them in. The best thing would likely be to work them into your compost if you have one going. I don't know the composition of spent brewers grains ( @RickCorey ) but someone here can probably investigate that for you. Green Grin!

If they are highly nitrogenous you could put them around heavy feeders, and mulch over them (which is what I do with alfalfa pellets for example). But "grains" makes me think maybe they are more carbonaceous and in that instance working them into the compost would be preferrable.

That's just my opinion, and a fairly uninformed one at that. Whistling Hilarious! Hilarious!

*watches thread*
[Last edited by kylaluaz - Jul 7, 2015 3:37 PM (+)]
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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jul 7, 2015 3:42 PM CST
I have maybe 5 or 6 cups of the grains. I was thinking of doing some spot composting with them in the garden bed. I just dug up a clump of irises and noticed the soil needs some work. I don't think I'll put all of it in one spot although I could do some smaller spot composting sites. Plan is to dig a hole, dump some in and cover back up with soil. My compost pile is currently covered with weeds (my pile doesn't get hot) - lots of work just to mix in the grains at the moment.
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
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dirtdorphins
Jul 7, 2015 8:56 PM CST
hmmmm....to get the most from them, feed them to the hens and eat the eggs and spread the poo Hilarious!
sorry--I will go back to lurking now
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jul 8, 2015 8:04 AM CST
Dirt - would definitely do that if I had chickens. I did toss a couple of handfuls in my worm bins but didn't want to overdo since the grains can start fermenting pretty quickly. But thanks for the suggestion!
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Jul 22, 2015 6:27 PM CST
Spot composting sounds spot-on.

Yeah, "grain" SOUNDS like a brown, but my theory is that almost anything humans eat has a lot of N in it.

>> crushed and steeped for about 30 minutes.

Were they fermented with the yeast? If you have the entire "wort" (is that the word?) available, it probably ha a lot of yeast in it, and yeast are HIGH in N.

>> My compost pile is currently covered with weeds (my pile doesn't get hot) - lots of work just to mix in the grains at the moment.

Aww, think of all those tiny compost-critters working their little hearts out for you, and you aren't using their product!

Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jul 22, 2015 6:32 PM CST
Hilarious!
I did spot compost them. After reading other threads about smelly grains, I didn't want to hold on to them too long. I don't think they had the yeast with them but after a couple of days they were starting to smell rather vinegary, like they were starting to ferment. He offered the sloppy yeast after transferring the brew and I declined but it did go out on the big yard waste pile so some worms will definitely be happy. He's planning on brewing another batch this weekend (I think) so I'll get the compost pile ready for that.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jul 22, 2015 7:17 PM CST
Mmmmmmm ... compost AND beer!

Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jul 23, 2015 8:20 AM CST
Two of humankind's best friends...
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jul 23, 2015 11:19 AM CST
You know how cartoons used to show beer or liquor in kegs marked "XXX"?

There was some archeological dig somewhere where they came up with pottery fragments marked that way. They might have laughed about it, but testing residue on the shards showed that fermented grain and yeast had dried in it 10-20 centuries before.

Maybe "XXX" really did mean "booze" back then!
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jul 23, 2015 11:23 AM CST
Now you've got me curious - had to quickly look it up. The number of Xs designates the alcohol content according to some. Where it originated, I didn't look far enough but at least 19th century Britain. Maybe a Roman thing?
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jul 23, 2015 12:46 PM CST
Oh, WOW!! It is a real thing??

Kewl!

Warning: do not attempt any Google search with "XXX" in the search terms.

I had forgotten the other popular usage for "XXX" ratings.

GROSS!!

Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jul 23, 2015 2:07 PM CST
Hilarious! You have to add the word "liquor" or similar or the cops will come knocking on your door.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jul 23, 2015 7:10 PM CST
I'll come quietly, officer.

Is this about the blah blah blah I have hidden in the shed?
No? Forget I said anything about it.

Did you finally link my name to the anonymous website that advocates the violent overthrow of DISH TV? Nooo?? Umm, it must have been posted by someone else with the same name.

I can explain that cache of blah blah blah in the crawl space. It's, umm, "for self defense". You don't have to go look at it.

It wasn't about that at all? Gee is my face red.

What did I do wrong, then?

...

OK, I'll buy two tickets to the Police and Firefighter's Ball. Have a nice day!

Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jul 24, 2015 7:30 AM CST
And how do you explain the compost tea aeration setup???
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jul 24, 2015 11:30 AM CST
Maybe say I was cooking up a batch of moonshine, if they look like they don't know the difference between fermentation and aerobic composting.

Oh, wait. That's illegal too.

Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jul 24, 2015 1:13 PM CST
Reminds me that I do need to empty out my worm compost.
Name: Paul
Madison, IN (Zone 6a)
delab
Jul 24, 2015 7:42 PM CST
I hate to take from your compost pile, but from first hand experience, make bread with the spent grains. There are plenty of recipes out there for all of the grains from all of the types of beers that are brewed. Make a couple of loaves first, if it doesn't work for you, then compost.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
Jul 26, 2015 9:46 AM CST
I have seen the recipes for making bread with spent grains. They do look delicious and I do love bread but I only eat 1 or 2 slices per week. I'm more of a gardener than a baker.
Name: Tom Cagle
SE-OH (Zone 6a)
Old, fat, and gardening in OH
Coppice
Jul 27, 2015 11:07 AM CST
Making beer, wine, cider for home consumption is not illegal. Distilling it however is.

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