In May 2013 Bob started making his own beer at home. What started as a little project costing $150 turned into a whole hobby for him. He’s brewed a few batches in 2013 and bought lots more equipment and one major change he made recently was going from using grain and syrup to using ‘all-grain’. This basically means we have a TON of spent grain from making beer to dispose of.
As we’re not people that throw things away lightly Bob mentioned some people use it make dog cookies and I researched and have tried a few different recipes and come up with a good recipe that I thought I’d share today! What is important to remember is that there are NO HOPS in the spent grain. Hops are toxic to dogs. Whilst they are usually added later in the beer making process I just wanted to ensure nobody is putting the spent hops in there too. There is also no beer smell or alcohol in these. The grain is from the first part of the beer making process and most of the grain sugars are released to the beer wort so this is basically just fiber. Yummy scrummy dog loving fiber.
Beer Grain Dog Cookies
- 2 Cups of spent beer-grain
- 4 Cups Flour
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 cup Pumpkin or peanut butter
- water or broth/gravy
- Mix everything together WELL, adding liquid as needed to make a dough.
- Roll onto floured surface till 1/4″ thick, cut with cookie cutters (nothing fancy here just the outline, I used round pastry cutters)
- Bake at 350° for approx 40 minutes.
- Leave to cool in oven so they firm up nicely
- Give to slobbering dogs
The pumpkin ones are good but peanut butter seems to hold the dough together better, more oil I guess. Any more grain that 2:1 ratio and the dough just falls apart so if you’re reducing or using different ingredients I’d always recommend 1 cup grain to 2 cups flour. Now they aren’t the nicest LOOKING cookies, but boy do the dogs LOVE them! Mine know when I’m making cookies and stick to the kitchen like glue till they are done. Pixel loves his cookies! He sits there forever till you give it him, drooling, with a little fidgeting trying to figure out what you want him to do so he can have it!
Sky isn’t so patient anymore, and the old lady just decides to take it when SHE feels like. She looks wide eyed and rabid here… I swear these are like crack to dogs! Pixel gets the medium ones and Sky gets the smaller ones. She’s smaller, and older and doesn’t DO much anymore so she requires less calories 😉
Now I know you’re probably thinking… wait… you said Bob had a ton of grain and you just used TWO CUPS.. what happened to the rest? Yep you’re right I use about 2 cups a WEEK for these cookies so what we do is wait for the grain to cool, and bag it up. This bag is sitting in my fridge right now and will last about 2 weeks unopened, but I’ll be using it this weekend to make more cookies!
The rest of the bags get frozen. Now Bob has made a couple of batches of beer lately, and I’ve been slacking in the biscuits making department so I’ve got quite the stock in the freezer! Plus one batch we only had the large gallon bags… so that’s going to be fun defrosting and using that. I put them in the baggies around 3-4 cups worth and take one bag out as needed. One bag has about 4 cups in so two batches or 2-3 weeks worth, depending how good the dogs are 😉
Yes that’s a WHOLE shelf and a half of my freezer dedicated to spent grain! Those dogs better be hungry 😉
You can also use the grain for bread but as I haven’t made bread in years I haven’t ventured into that area yet. Perhaps one day soon I will! Definitely if this grain collection keeps piling up. Bob brewed AGAIN recently and I told him to throw out all but 2 small bags. Nowhere to store it! I figure I have about 8-10 weeks before he’s brewing again so I better get busy 🙂
Do you make your own dog biscuits?