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Extra Edition: Spent Grain Doggie Treats!

Spent grain from my brew in a bag session.

Spent grain from my brew in a bag session.

Spent Grain Dog Treats

The following recipe came from the home brewer’s forum that I frequent at www.homebrewtalk.com and is put there by one of the members who, in turn, gives credit to another member and they all go by screen names, so it may not matter to them if I credit them, but it was added by Schweaty and credited to Beerrific. No, really!

So, If you are or know a brewer and can get your hands on some used or “spent” brewing grains, then you can make these easily at home, The spent grains typically are barley, wheat and sometimes rye. It doesn’t really matter, unless it’s something you or your animals may be allergic to; in which case: never mind! If okay for you and your pets, then cheers!

NOTE: If your grains are wet or have been frozen and thawed, wrap them in cheesecloth and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. I didn’t do this with my second batch and had to add more flour. It was sticky and much harder to work with. I’m going to dehydrate the rest of what I pulled out of the freezer and turn it into a coarse flour, using my food processor.

Ingredients:

4 cups spent grain

2 cups flour

1 cup peanut butter (all natural) [I just used regular, crunchy]

2 eggs

Directions:

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Press down into a dense layer on a large cookie sheet.

Score almost all the way through into the shapes you want.

Scored before baking.

Scored before baking.

Bake for about half an hour at 350F to solidify them. Loosen them from the sheet, break the biscuits apart and return them, loosely spread out on the cookie sheet, to the oven at 225F for 3 to 4 hours (or until they are really dry) to prevent mold growth. Store in an airtight container to keep them dry and mold-free.

My notes: You can roll these out and use cookie cutters or you can flatten them out on a sheet pan and score them whatever size suits your pets. After baking, I used a dough cutter to cut them through.

Using a dough cutter to finish cutting after baking.

Using a dough cutter to finish cutting after baking.

They were still kind of holding on to each other, so I used kitchen shears to snip them apart.  I put them back in the oven on 200F for an hour, checked on them, moved them around a bit and put them back in for another hour. Definitely still a little chewy.

Doggie treats after baking.

Doggie treats after baking.

After two hours at 200F, I felt these were dry enough and let them cool overnight. I bagged them up in the morning and, after giving the dogs a few, I had over 1-1/2 lbs.  I have a fairly large dog (pit mix) and a small dog (Morkie-Maltese/Yorkie mix). The big dog loves these. The small one is a little finicky, but ate one when I broke it down small enough for Her Highness! Oh, and yes, I have tried them. I admit it. Honestly…kind of like granola.

Close-up. See those grains?

Close-up. See those grains?

 

8/22/14 For my batch today, I thawed some grain from the freezer and spread it out to dry in a 250F oven for about an hour, stirring around every twenty minutes and spreading back out. Cooled to room temperature. When I added the other ingredients, it was a bit dry. For this recipe, it seems like a happy medium is required for the grain to blend with the other ingredients and provide the right texture…not too moist and not too dry. On a suggestion from another recipe, I tried the dough hook on my KitchenAid mixer. I think the batter beater works better. And I added 1/3 cup honey.

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Day 83 Brew Day Costa Cocoa Milk Stout

Ingredients for Costa Cocoa Milk Stout

Ingredients for Costa Cocoa Milk Stout

Brew Day 3/8/14   I think I am far enough along to breeze through the basic details. The basic brew went well, except I added 1 lb of lactose instead of 8 oz. From what I have heard, that should not be a problem. Maybe a slightly higher gravity. I started the grain steep with 3 gallons of water @ 155 for 30 minutes. I did do my little mini sparge set up. I used a bottling bucket with hose and gravity drained 2 gallons of water @ 168F over the grain sock.

Mini sparge for the grain sock. Hey, why not?!

Mini sparge for the grain sock. Hey, why not?!

Creative little mini sparge

Creative little mini sparge

Boiled for 60 minutes following directions for additions. Ice bath chilled to 125F, added 1 gallon of cold water to top-off at 5-1/2 gallons. Temp was still at 100F. So I returned the bottling bucket that I’m fermenting in, to the ice bath.

The Boil

The Boil

When I got it to 75F, I pulled a sample for specific gravity check and pitched the yeast (I rehydrated the Safale s-04 yeast in 4 0z of 75F water). Popped on the lid and airlock and I aerated for 5 minutes. Finished shortly after 5 pm.

I checked the OG with my new refractometer: 1.063/1.064 (those numbers are SO small!) and hydrometer: 1.060 at 80F, adjusted to 1.062…so, pretty close to each other. The original specs called for 1.053. I imagine the difference can be accounted for with the extra lactose and maybe a little better efficiency on the grain steep resulting from the mini sparge technique(?).

The hydrometer OG check

The hydrometer OG check

Update 3/9/13   9 p.m.   The wort began to ferment late last night and became pretty strong by this morning. I was away from the house for several hours and returned to find a very small amount of krausen in the airlock. It may not be necessary, but I went ahead and set up a blow off. I have 1 quart of cold brewed Kona blend coffee in the refrigerator. That will be added at bottling, after a secondary on Costa Rican chocolate nibs. This brew will eventually be “Costa Kona Mocha Latte Stout”. Did I mention that I love sitting here and writing and being able to hear the blow off chugging away in the next room? Yeah…love it. And having a glass of my homebrew Citra Citrus American Wheat doesn’t suck, either!

Citra Citrus American Wheat...Man, I love this beer!

Citra Citrus American Wheat…Man, I love this beer!

By the way, the strawberry blonde is continuing to clear in secondary. I’m thinking it should be ready to bottle by next weekend. The small batch of Plain Jane Blonde is in a plastic bucket, so I can’t see it; but I assume it is at least as clear as the strawberry. Maybe I’ll bottle that later this week, just to break things up a  bit. There’s about 6 gallons of strawberry, so that’s going to take awhile. The plain is only about a gallon and a half.

Strawberry Blonde Ale, secondary for clarification.

Strawberry Blonde Ale, secondary for clarification.

I hadn’t thought about it before now, but I’ll need to do some math on the corn sugar amount for bottling these blondes, since both are substantially off from the 5 gallon mark.

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Day 69 Sampling Big Dark Stout

I bottled Big Dark Stout on 12/20/13 and I know I tried it sometime in the past, but I can’t find my notes at the moment. I do recall that I thought it had a sourness that I did not expect or like. I brewed this beer with grain and malt that was given to me…it was probably two years old but still sealed. I milled the grain (well, I cracked it up in a food processor) and everything looked pretty good. I figured the worst case scenario would be a second tier beer. So, it’s been about 5 weeks in the bottles now and I feel like the fruitiness has passed. I’m not sure how to describe it now…”meh” comes to mind. But it has improved. Decent head, nondescript aroma, good color. With more bottle time, it might make it just past “meh” to “hmmm”. In looking back through my notes, I did find that I used a half a vanilla bean in primary fermentation (this was a half batch of beer)…that might be the fruity flavor that has mellowed. Next time I use vanilla, I will probably either use it in the last 10 minutes of the boil or wait until secondary to add it. I’ll research more and get a consensus of when is best. I believe I was hoping it might help elevate this 2nd tier beer to something a little better than that…and it may yet succeed. Let’s see what another month does for it. By the way, I had also forgotten that this brew was one I had trouble getting a good OG reading on, but my best guess was that the beer was going to be in the 7.75 to 8% ABV range. So…22 ounces later…wee!

Bottling Big Dark Stout...with a little help!

Bottling Big Dark Stout…with a little help!

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