On Brewery Spent Grain

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Newblet, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. Newblet

    Newblet Chirping

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    Hello all!

    I am just starting with this whole chicken escapade. I own a brewery, and one of my major reasons for getting chickens is using my spent grain to make eggs. I did a quick search, and saw some weird comments about spent grain on this site. I wanted to clear some of these issues up, i may not know a lot about chickens, but I do know a lot about barley. 1st there is a lot of protein in this grain, a lot of carbs, simple sugars and complex sugars. I saw one post where someone would add sugar to spent grain to “let it ferment again,” there is no need for this. In fact I give my spent grain to farmers because I do not want it around, it will naturally ferment within fifteen hours or so and stink up. There is no need for this, there is a lot of nutrients left in this grain. I have been to the cow farm that gets my grains, these cows will often let the grain sit a day before they attack it. Almost like they enjoy a little buzz. They go at it though all at once, and go nuts when they smell the truck coming.

    In a nutshell spent grain, is different kilned malted barley malts that have been put in a mash. This mash (through a hydrolytic process) activates natural enzymes on the husk of the grain to cut down long starch strains into as many simple sugars as possible. Though the majority of this sugar has been used to make wort (virgin beer) there is still a lot of sugar, protein and carbs left in this grain. As a brewer you should never, ever strip all sugar and color etc… from this grain. If this happens you bring a lot of different compound that make beer hazy, and bitter in a tannic way. As a matter of fact brewers avoid doing this so we constantly monitor our flow of wort coming from the mash, making sure it does not fall under 1.012 specific gravity. There is a lot of nutrients in spent grain I have a list of 10 farmers waiting to pick up my spent grain, they range from pigs, cattle, goats, chickens, sheep, and even dogs. The person helping me hatch my eggs went from 80 chickens to 180 off of spent grain.

    Naturally I do not know much about chickens. From the little research I have done, it seems you cant just feed grain. But I just wanted to clear the air about spent grain. There is a lot left in this stuff, hence why big farmers hit us brewers up on a constant basis. If you live next to a brewery give it a try, then let me know what amount worked for you!

    Cheers!
     
  2. Perris

    Perris Songster

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    thanks for sharing your knowledge on this @Newblet :thumbsup
     
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  3. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

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    A friend of mine is in a beer brewing group and we get 2 buckets of mixed grains every 3 weeks. The birds go NUTS for it!
     
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  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    Thanks for posting. True that chickens are omnivores and not strictly seed/grain eaters.
    Since you know a good deal about the nutrient content of spent grain, the following link provides the list of nutritional requirements of chickens that may be helpful to you.
    https://extension2.missouri.edu/g8352
    We're blessed with a lot of major and micro breweries in my area and I've been remiss by not seeking out some spent grains. We've even had meetups for our local chicken group at one of the breweries.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  5. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

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    If you were near me I'd be after those spent grains in a heart beat!
    If I were to use them in my homemade chicken recipe I would use them in place of the triticale and oats. That would comprise 45% of the mix. I also include Fertrell poultry nutri-balancer to insure proper vitamins and minerals are being provided and add enough feed grade fishmeal to target a final protein content of 18-20%.
     
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  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    Since you already have the grains, I would definitely figure out a way to utilize them in a feed mix.
    I've done that from time to time. Once I had a friend who made deliveries at several corporations and would bring bags of sweepings to me from ADM's mill which were a blend of ground barley, oats, wheat, corn, etc..
    Another time, the manager of a large Asian smorgasbord restaurant gave me all the remains of the day. I would deliver a large plastic bin and the cooks would pour all the vegetables, meat, fish, etc. from the steam table serving trays in it. I'd drive around back at night, pick up the full one and drop off another empty. I'd put what I wanted into a blender and feed like I was slopping the hogs.
    Even with nearly 100 chickens, it was almost too much to use.
     
  7. Newblet

    Newblet Chirping

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    Right they love the stuff, mu friend noticed his egg shells got thicker to.

    Most brewers give it away so long as your consistent in picking it up the day of. Thanks for the info!

    Well noted, I plan on feeding table scraps to from the restaurant of the brewery.

    Damn that's alot of chickens.
     
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  8. IamRainey

    IamRainey Songster

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    And I'll add, as I did before, that my chickens would only get it after I'd baked all I wanted into bread. YUM!
     
  9. Newblet

    Newblet Chirping

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    We make bagels with it as well, good stuff, I would be curious how much better it is if you let it ferment a bit.
     
  10. Red-Stars-in-RI

    Red-Stars-in-RI Songster

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    Beer and Chickens. Best thread ever! :cool:

    Agree that an analysis of what's in the spent grain, and what a complete chicken diet contains, is a a great first step. If you could fill in any nutritional gaps (the food straps from the restaurant are probably a great start) I think it'd be a great long-term way to feed chickens and reduce waste.

    Fresh eggs and beer make a great breakfast, I'd imagine. :drool
     
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