Making Flour from Spent Grain

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.

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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. 

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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!

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