Spent grain recipes to bake amazing sweet goods


For every Gallon of water weighing 8.34 Lb, you need on average about 2.5 Lb of grain to brew a craft beer. This means grains account for 30% of the weight of the finished beer. That’s a lot of grains! Up to 85% of the brewing waste. After water, this is the most important ingredient in quantity in your beer composition.

It’s also close to 50% of the cost of making beer. So, of course, you want to use it as best you can. The good news is that it doesn’t have to end up in your compost – although it’s a smart way to adjust the nitrogen of the soil in your garden.

In this article you will find 5 amazing spent grain recipes that will show you how to re-use the large quantity of malt needed every time you brew a batch of beer at home, saving you money, providing you with food that is healthy and delicious.

Why spent grain shouldn’t be called spent grain?

spent grain recipes use the malt after mashingBy now, you most likely know what is called spent grain – the malt that has been used in all-grain brewing to produce the wort during the mashing process – You can read about mashing and the different basic steps for making beer in my previous article.

Because it has transferred to the wort all the sugars and nutrients needed for the beer fermentation, in this sense, we can say, it is “spent”, however, spent grain still contains many nutritious components that can be used nicely in many ways for further consumption.

The benefits of consuming spent grain – high in proteins and fibers, but lower in calories

As most of the starch and the sugars have been extracted in the mashing process, it contains half of the calories of most flours or whole grains. Also, the components of the grain have been partially broken down by the malting process and are therefore more easily digestible by the body.

Besides, it is still an excellent food additive,  as it contains numerous nutrients and minerals:

AMINO ACIDS – Arginine, Glycine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Phenylalanine, Proline, Serine, Tryptophan, Tyrosine, Valine

MINERALS – Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Selenium, Zinc

Lastly, spent grain is rich in dietary fibers, for that reason it is an ideal supplement to healthy baking recipes.


Below is the nutritional value of spent grain:

Calories: 200-240 per cup of dry grain

Crude protein (indigestible protein): 25-30%

Crude fiber (indigestible fiber): 12-19%

Dietary fiber: 50-60%

Nitrogen-free sugars and carbohydrates: 40-50%

How to process spent grain and keep all its qualities

Be aware that wet grain has a very short life – 24 hours or so. As it starts becoming sour, it can cause serious digestive problems, for humans and animals. The grain will keep in an air-tight container in your fridge for up to a week. It can be frozen in plastic bags if you intend to keep it longer. The grain can stay in your freezer for up to 6 months.

Depending on your recipe, you will need to process your spent grain in 3 different ways.

If the recipe calls for WET GRAIN, it may be used as-is, when most of the liquid has been drained, or it may be used after just pressing the grain to get rid of more liquid.spent grain needs to be dried in the oven right away

If the recipe calls for DRIED GRAIN, this can be done on a cookie sheet. Spread a relatively thin layer of the grain, about ¼” and dry it in a 180F oven for a couple of hours, or until the grain is completely dry. As this process requires lots of energy, I suggest you only dry the amount you need for your recipes, and pressing out as much liquid as possible will reduce drying time.

If the recipe calls for SPENT GRAIN FLOUR, simply finely grind the dried grain with a food processor or a flour mill.

Certain spent grain recipes affinities you should know

Different types of beers call for different types of malts with specific flavors that will be more suited for certain recipes and not others. Wheat malt will be perfect for bread, pale ale mash will work nicely for cookies, and dark specialty malts will be delicious with chocolate preparations.

The last factor you want to keep in mind is that since brewing malt is particularly rich in fibers, coming from the grain husks, it will impart a certain chewiness to your baked product. This may be desirable for cookies or granola bars, but not finer-textured bread.

These baked desserts and energy bars are just incredible!

Not only they are delicious and will make your friends and relatives begging for more, but they are incredibly nutritious and healthy.

1. Chocolate Spent Grain Brownie

these brownies are one the best spent grain recipesFor this recipe

FROM A DARK BEER such as a Stout or a Porter.

Yields Approximately 12 large brownies

What’s not to like? These brownies have complex, intense chocolate flavors enhanced by the natural goodness of caramel-like, toasted, coffee-like malts. The perfect blend of rich pleasure and healthy quality. What I like about this recipe is that because it’s not too sweet, you can taste all the layers of different flavors and textures.

1 cup spent grain (wet, pressed)

2 ounces semi-sweet dark chocolate

1 stick butter, melted

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 cup of organic unbleached white flour

1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup of organic raw sugar

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

Optional: one cup of chocolate chips and/ or a half cup of chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Use a blender to process together spent grain, and dark chocolate with all the wet ingredients – melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract. Blend for one minute or so. It will remain a little chunky.

In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients – white flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and sea salt.

Add the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, and mix well, with a spatula, until all ingredients are moist. Do not over mix.

Add chocolate chips and/ or chopped nuts if you choose to at this time. Stir gently.

Pour the batter into a buttered 10” square pan or 7×11” pan.

Bake for 45 minutes or slightly more, when the brownies have risen, and a toothpick comes out clean.

2. Spent Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies

these choco-chip cookies are one of the best spent grain recipesFor this recipe,

FROM AN ALE BARLEY BASE MALT, such as Pilsner malt, or Maris-Otter

Will yield about 24 two-inch cookies

Another classic to delight the whole family. Except, these unique choco-chip cookies are better for you. You will love their inside chewy character and their outside slight crunchiness.

1 cup of spent grain

1 cup of brown cane sugar, preferably organic

¾ cup of butter, melted

1 egg

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 cup of white flour, preferably organic

½ teaspoon of baking soda

½ teaspoon of sea salt

2 cups of chocolate chips

Optional: one cup of chopped nuts and/ or dried fruit, in this case, reduce chocolate chips to 1 cup


Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix well the spent grain with sugar, melted butter, egg, and vanilla extract, using a wooden spoon.

In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, and salt.

Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients. You may need to use your hand at this point. Add the chocolate chips and/ or the chopped nuts/ dried fruit. Do not overmix.

Refrigerate for 20 mn.

Scoop with an ice-cream scoop and form balls that you will spread 3” apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 12 minutes or so. These cookies will be slightly more sticky than regular cookies. Let cool for about 10 minutes and remove them from the sheet.

3. Spent Grain Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

these oatmeal cookies are one of the best spent grain recipesFor this recipe,


Will yield about 24 two-inch cookies

Chewiness and Flakiness are the trademarks of this irresistible cookie recipe. It’s all about the texture in this one. The fibers of the spent grain add an extra layer of texture. Use your favorite type of raisins, those are natural sweeteners and rich in antioxidants and minerals. Experiment with golden, or brown raisins, or even “currants”, actually also called black Corinth raisins.

1 cup of spent grain flour

½ cup of white flour, preferably organic

1 ½ cup of rolled oats

1 cup of raisins

½ teaspoon of sea salt

½ teaspoon of baking soda

8 tablespoons of butter, soft, at room temperature

1 cup of brown cane sugar, preferably organic

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


Preheat oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit

In a large bowl, mix by hand all the dry ingredients – white flour, spent grain flour, raisins, salt, and baking soda.

In a separate bowl, with a blender, mix butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extra. Do not overmix.

Combine both mixtures.

Using an ice-cream scoop, drop cookies 3” apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake about 12 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown. Let cool for about 10 minutes and remove them from the sheet.

4. No-bake Honey Cranberry Almond Energy Bars

these honey cranberry bars are one of the best spent grain recipesFor this recipe,

FROM ANY TYPE OF BARLEY OR WHEAT MALT – dark malt is better with chocolate

Yields one dozen 6 by 3-inch bars.

A perfect snack when you need a quick, healthy, tasty boost of energy with plenty of proteins, carbs, and fibers. This is a basic recipe that can be interpreted with various ingredients. Toasted oats and spent grains are the base, they stick together with the sweeteners. From there you can get creative and add whatever nuts and dried fruit you’d like, respecting the same proportions. If you’d like to prepare these bars with chocolate, or peanuts and peanut butter do so! These bars are so easy to make.

2 cups of rolled oats, toasted

2 cups of dried spent grain, toasted

½ cup + 1 tablespoon of honey

½ cup of brown cane sugar, preferably organic

½ cup + 1 tablespoon of butter

½ teaspoon of sea salt

½ cup of dried cranberries

½ cup of almonds, toasted and chopped

¼ cup of unsweetened shredded coconut


In a large bowl, mix oats, grains with the almonds, cranberries, and coconut.

In a small pan slowly heat the honey, sugar, butter, and salt. Cook for 5 minutes. It must be gently boiling, you will obtain a caramel. Add this into the dry ingredients while still hot, a small amount at the time, mixing well.

Drop the granola into a parchment-lined deep 7×11” dish. Let cool, but do not refrigerate.

When at room temperature, the granola can be cut into bars. Refrigerated it will keep longer than a week to 10 days.

5. Spent grain Granola

this granola is one of the best spent grain recipesFor this recipe,


Makes about 6 cups (about 2 pounds)

Making homemade granola is a great way to put to use a large amount of spent grain you end up with every time you brew beer. There are many variations of granola. I like almonds and pecans, coconut flakes, raisins, but any seeds such as sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, flax or nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, or fruit such as dried papaya, pineapple, apple … will work great.

3 cups of spent grain

1 cup of rolled oats

½ cup of sliced almonds

¼ cup of sunflower seeds

½ cup of pecan nuts

½ teaspoon of sea salt

½ cup of honey

½ cup of coconut oil, in liquid form.

½ cup of raisins


Preheat your oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients – grains, oats, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds.

Pour the honey and the coconut oil. If the oil has solidified, warm it up in a small pan at low temperature to make it liquid again. Mix all the ingredients well.

Spread the granola evenly on a cookie sheet.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. The granola is done when it is fully dried and slightly browned.

In a large bowl, add the fruit while the granola is still hot.

Let it cool and store it in an airtight container. It will keep for up to 4 weeks.

Share your spent grain recipes with friends and family and with your brewing community

I hope these recipes will satisfy all the people you love to please. Delicious treats, don’t get any better than this, they’re made with homebrew spent grain, quality ingredients such as:

  • cane sugar
  • local honey as opposed to mass-produced or imported
  • unbleached, preferably organic wheat flour
  • quality bittersweet or unsweetened dark chocolate

Do you have any recipes you would like to share? As always, I welcome your comments and questions.

Cheers and to our health,



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