So I brew a lot and when you brew a lot you end up with a lot of spent grain. Like piles and piles of it. I was having a hard time disposing of all of it because I felt bad throwing it away. I also live in a “green neighborhood”. Probably not the best idea to throw usable stuff in the landfill. So I adopted this strange behavior with my spent grains after brewing my beer. I pitched it outside for the birds. But with the piles and piles of spent grain, it was beginning to look like my own personal landfill. I was sharing my dilemma with my friend, Nicole, who mentioned that we had a mutual friend who also brewed beer and used the spent grain to make dog cookies. This was a great idea as Boomer was always trying to steal my beer, why not make him his own beer flavored cookies!
I quickly researched a recipe online and found several to choose from.
This recipe was inspired by Beer and Baking.com
4 cups spent grain
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup peanut butter (all natural)
1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. I find it easier to knead the dough on the counter top after I get all the ingredients mixed. There is just something about using your hands to mix dough that a spoon or even a mixer can’t do.
2. Roll the dough out about ½ inch (0.127 cm) and then cut a shape out of them.
3. Put the biscuits into a pre-heated oven at 350 F degrees (176 C).
4. Bake for about 45 mins.
5. Turn off oven for 30 mins and then reheat at 225 F (107 C) and bake for 2 hours. I usually turn the biscuits over on the cookie tray while I am waiting for the over temperature go down.
6. After the two hours turn off the oven and let the biscuits sit in the oven overnight. This is the final drying step for the biscuits.
Below are some of my recommendations that I find useful after baking several batches of dog treats.
1. After brewing, I leave the grains in a bowl in the refrigerator overnight. I have made the biscuits right after I am done brewing and the dough is too wet and sticky. It resulted in me adding much more flour to get the dough the right consistency.
2. When rolling out the biscuit dough make sure it is about an ½” (0.127 cm) thick before cutting into biscuit shapes. The thicker the biscuit the longer it will take to finish baking. You could also run the risk of not baking all the way through and mold can develop.
3. I recommend using the least shaped cookie cutter you can find. I started out with a star shape cutter and it was a pain to get the dough out of the cutter. The dough is very dry and it makes keeping the biscuit in one piece pretty difficult. I used a heart shape later and that worked much better. Plus it lets Boomer know I love him with each cookie I give him. As if he needed to be told more than the 100 times a day I already do tell him.
4. Bake the biscuits for as long as you can without burning them. When you see the bake times listed above, it may seem excessive but you want to be sure to get the entire biscuit completely dry to prevent molding.
After baking the biscuits I gave a few to Boomer for the official tasting. He loved them! In fact, he chooses them over his normal dog treats which is great because I know what is in the biscuits and who knows what they put in those store bought treats.
I shared a few biscuits with Nicole’s dog who has a certain dislike for me. I visit weekly with Nicole for dinner and her dog spends quality time each week telling me that she does not like me being there. I gave the dog a few treats and apparently, we are now best friends.
I keep a batch of biscuits in the fridge ready for Boomer and freeze any extras we have. Nicole stores her’s in a drawer in her kitchen. We have yet to see any mold issues.
You do not have to limit the biscuits to just dogs. I share some of my grain with a friend who makes larger biscuits for her horses. Her horses also give these biscuits high reviews!
Don’t have access to your own spent grains? Check out my site Barley Baked Goods where you can find Boomer’s Barley Biscuits, handmade and wholesome dog treats made from quality ingredients. Our products have been quality tested, follow FDA and USDA regulations and are baked in a commercial kitchen. Please note we are only able to ship to United States customers only.