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.
4 cups spent grain
2 cups flour
1 cup peanut butter (all natural) [I just used regular, crunchy]
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.