Brewer questions: Spent Barley

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bovine0001, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. bovine0001

    bovine0001 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 14, 2011
    Hello all,

    I am new at chickens, but old hat at brewing beer.

    I have read a lot of posts about using spent grains from breweries and have seen some interesting statements [​IMG] and raised questions as well.

    I would first say the grain from an "all-grain" brewer and that which you receive from breweries will likely be at least 70% barley and may have some wheat, oats or rye in it, but is usually 100% barley prepared in different ways. Fresh spent grain will never be alcoholic. And if people are boiling their grains, I would ask them to message me as this will ruin your beer (sorry, just a pet peeve when I see this on any forum [​IMG] ). Whichever grain ration you use, it is crushed and mashed at about 150 degrees, thus converting most of the starch to sugar and this sugar is then rinsed out of the grain. This will leave a product low in carbohydrate.

    Questions I have are:

    1. Is it wrong to let the wet barley sit around? I see it as an opportunity to have bugs grow and lay larvae in it, which I presume the birds will like. Due to the low carbohydrate left in it, I can't imagine it is going to grow bacteria or wild yeast quickly either.

    2. I don't want to start a huge argument about "Hot" Feeds, but as this spent grain has all of its husks still, making it a high fiber scratch. My reading on concerns about overheating your birds with scratch is due to the fiber digestion. Any thoughts?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  2. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2010
    Thanks for the tip. I think I used to seep the grains at the right temp but lately have been boiling and my beer has not been as good. I will get back to doing thingsd right. THANKS

    My opinion is to serve the grains as fresh as possible. The longer they sit around the more "bad" growth you get on them and loss of nutrition. I'm sure it is fine to let it accumulate but fresh is healthier.
     
  3. swmalone

    swmalone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There will be enough nutrients and plenty of moisture for microorganisms. How long were you planning on letting the spent grains sit around? I know that the spent grains are a treat the most livestock love, I can't see chickens being any different.
     
  4. columbiacritter

    columbiacritter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Spent brewers grain goes moldy REALLY fast. It is hot and wet, a perfect mold enviroment and STINKS! I dump any grai I get into the run right away.
     
  5. bovine0001

    bovine0001 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 14, 2011
    Quote:I really hadn't thought about how long to keep it. My girls are only a couple weeks old and seem a little young for scratch like this.

    In retrospect, you're right about nutrients. I guess if it molds, I will chuck it. The flies don't bug me and I knew someone who liked the bugs to get in their spent grain to let them lay eggs and make the grain have more protein! [​IMG] yummy bugs! That said, I don't really know what I am doing, so that person could be full of manure.
     
  6. geepy

    geepy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2009
    central FL
    I just got started into wine making and love it. Is brewing beer real hard?
     
  7. swmalone

    swmalone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you are making wine you can make beer. You can start of all with extract to get a feel for it, then maybe partial mash, then full grain.
     
  8. bovine0001

    bovine0001 Out Of The Brooder

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    Making beer is fun, creative and loved by everyone around you. It can be as simple as you would like to as complicated as well. Find a local brew shop or check NorthernBrewer or MoreBeer websites.

    I wonder if chickens like unfermented wine grapes, I assume already pressed.
     
  9. duckduckturkey

    duckduckturkey Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 21, 2011
    Quote:I have a friend who runs a vineyard and raises chickens. I'll ask him next time I see him and let you know. (he doesn't use the telephone.)

    Now, I happen to live next door to a man who owns a brewery supply store, so I'm thinking he'd be a good source for spent grain. Question is, how much of a good thing is too much?

    Are we talking, give the girls a once a week treat? Once a month? Whenever you just happen to have some? 14 chickens.... how much spent grain would you give them at a time?

    Thanks!
     
  10. bovine0001

    bovine0001 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 14, 2011
    Quote:I have a friend who runs a vineyard and raises chickens. I'll ask him next time I see him and let you know. (he doesn't use the telephone.)

    Now, I happen to live next door to a man who owns a brewery supply store, so I'm thinking he'd be a good source for spent grain. Question is, how much of a good thing is too much?

    Are we talking, give the girls a once a week treat? Once a month? Whenever you just happen to have some? 14 chickens.... how much spent grain would you give them at a time?

    Thanks!

    That's kinda a 2 part answer: 1. I am the novice in how much you should feed your chickens, but I hear they can really gobble it up. 2. Brewers will produce a certain amount of spent grain per brew. Last week I made about 10 gallons of strong beer and I used 24 pounds of grain for it, but a smaller beer might use 15 pounds. The amount after brewing is heavier due to the water. Overall asking for your neighbors grain may yield a lot of scratch.
     

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