For the longest time I’ve wanted to take our spent grain and make something beyond just bread. A very generous family friend gifted us with a grain mill that attaches to my kitchen aid stand mixer as a wedding gift back in August, and I’ve been dying to try it out ever since.
The other week my husband finally found time to brew again (a coffee doughnut stout- yum!) and I jumped right up to expand my spent grain abilities. Truth be told though, it was a bit more of a process than I realized.
Spent grains are wet, obviously, so before you run them through a grain mill they have to be dried. I thought I’d spread them out on a cookie sheet and leave them in the sun, but even that won’t dry them fast enough, and there’s a good chance they will grow mold before they ever dry out again. So into the oven they went.
We only brew one gallon batches, so this was probably at least half of our grain. I put two trays in the oven at 225 degrees and checked them around 45 minutes later. Gave them a quick stir around the pan and popped them back in for another hour. And another. Overall I’d said they had to stay in the oven about 3 1/2 to 4 hours before they dried out completely, with constant stirring. The tray on the bottom dried faster, so I swapped their locations once or twice as well.
After that, I just dumped them into our grain mill and let it do its thing. Slowly.
I made a vine video of the process, but it was so boring I don’t even want to share it. Pretty much just watched grainy “flour” fall into the bowl for quite some time. While that happened I started making a standard bread with grains mixed in, as well as a chocolate chip banana loaf with the grains. Both were a hit.
When it finally finished I was left with a small mason jar of flour like ground up grains. Not as fine as regular ground flour, and not nearly as fluffy as what you’re used to, but I used a fairly coarse setting. I used it to shape my bread loaf when it had risen, and found it worked pretty well for that, and I plan to use to to bread some chicken, instead of breadcrumbs.
It didn’t make a lot, but I think that will ultimately be a good thing. We’ll use a little at a time to flavor some things, but it’s definitely not a flour replacement for most dishes, so I don’t need to worry about running out. All in all, I’m calling this project a success!