Ask Rachel: Brewing Byproducts?

Brewing ByProducts


I've recently gotten into brewing my own beer, and I'm wondering if there's anything I can do with the byproducts. I hate throwing stuff away.

Dear Anonymous Brewer,

Congratulations on your recent endeavor! Brewing beer (cider, wine, mead, or soda-pop) is a fun, fairly cost-effective hobby - often with delicious results. Brewing beer does generate a bunch of leftovers, though, and I can totally relate to your 3R's (Reduce/Reuse/Recycle) mentality. If you're looking for a relatively easy solution to most brewing byproducts, look into composting. If you're interested in something more, read on.

In order to determine what you can make with your brewing byproducts, let's break down what they are for most batches:

1. Yeast sludge (trub) left in the bottom of your primary fermenter

If you live in a house with a Septic Tank - flush your trub down the toilet, like you might flush Rid-X or some similar product. Some people also save trub in order to wash and separate yeast for use in another batch. Check out a simple method for re-using yeast here.

2. Sanitizing solution

Depending on the type you use, sanitizing solution can be reused several times. Fill your bottling bucket with sanitizing solution and sanitize all tools needed for brewing, then pour off that solution into your primary fermenter to get it ready to go. Siphon the solution from your primary fermenter into your secondary fermenter and fill all the way to the top. Even though you won't be using the secondary for a little while, the solution can sit in the carboy and keep it ready to go.

3. Grains leftover from the mash

This byproduct excites me the most. In my own most recent brewing experience, I used the spent grain from the Porter brew in my baking. It's fairly straightforward to work with, and I've made totally edible bread and cookies.

Spent-Grain Bread

Spent Grain Bread

Spent-Grain Cookies

Spent Grain Cookies

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About The Author
Rachel Hamm
Rachel Hamm
Rachel once gave a particularly confident guy a quadratic equation to solve, the solutions of which were the digits in her phone number.