Some Spent Grain Uses….

What Ales Ya: Craft beer ‘leftovers’ can be used again


Spent grain flatbread at Zuckfoltzfus Brewing Co. Zuckfoltzfus Brewing Co., 12 S. Market St., Mount Joy, uses its spent grain to make flatbread, which is served with a hummus trio.

Beer soaps from Union Barrel Works Amy Rupp of Union Barrel Works, 6 N. Reamstown Road, Reamstown, uses some of the spent grain from the brewing process to make a variety of beer soaps, which are sold at the brewery.

When making beer, there’s a mashing process in which grains (malt starches) and water combine to turn carbohydrates into sugars. Once that water’s removed, you’re left with what’s called “spent grain.”

Jason Deeds, a member of Lancaster Homebrewers and staff member at Lancaster Homebrew, 1920 Lincoln Highway East, didn’t want to just throw out the spent grain he produces when brewing an average of four batches of beer each month. So, instead, he uses the spent grain as compost in his garden to help his hops grow.

It turns out Deeds is among many local craft brewers — in-home or in-brewery — who have found creative uses for the spent grain left behind.

At St. Boniface Craft Brewing Co., 1701 W. Main St., Ephrata, staff gives its spent grains to a local poultry farmer who uses it as feed.

Tom Rupp of Union Barrel Works, 6 N. Reamstown Road, Reamstown, also gives the spent grain from its crafted beer to a local farmer. His wife, Amy, uses spent grain to make beer-themed soaps, such as “Pale Ale with Pumpkin Crunch” — a seasonally scented option — and “Pilsner with Monkey Farts” — with hints of banana. She sells the soaps at the brewery for $3 a bar.

Also, friends of the Rupps use the spent grain to make treats for their dogs, which is a common reuse. Deeds has two brewing friends who make dog treats with spent grain and the three dogs in Deeds’ household love them, he says.

“To be honest, I’ve tried them and they aren’t half-bad,” Deeds adds.

The spent grain at Lancaster Brewing Company, 302 N. Plum St., gets recycled as cattle feed and ingredients for dog biscuits.

But dogs and livestock are not the only benefactors of spent-grain reuse. Humans can partake, and they have, at Zuckfoltzfus Brewing Co., 12 S. Market St., Mount Joy, where spent-grain flatbread is served with a hummus trio and spent-grain pretzel nuggets are served with homemade red ale mustard.

“A local farmer picks up the bulk of the grains for feed,” says co-owner Karen Boyer, “but we also use them in our … appetizers.”

And Patrick Freer Jr. of Snitz Creek Brewery, 7 N. 9th St., Lebanon, gives the spent grain from its brewing to people who use it to make bread.


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