Craft Beer and Food

Friday, September 24, 2010

Beer and Horse Cookies

You might be asking “How can these two go together?”  When you brew beer, a byproduct is spent grain.  Spent grain consists of malt and grain husks that remain after brewing.  It is often used for livestock feed, making bread, growing mushrooms or just composted.  It is very palatable and maintains nutritional value.  So the other day I decided that rather than composting our leftover grain, I should make homemade horse cookies.  After reviewing traditional horse treat recipes I set out to create my own.

If you are a homebrewer, you know that you have a lot of grain.  Eric was brewing a 10 gallon batch of California steam beer, so I had 25 lbs. of wet grain at my disposal to play with.  I will say the first batch was edible, my horse loved them, but the texture and moisture level was not quite right.  The second batch I added some oatmeal to compensate for the wet grain and that helped dry out the cookies.

Here is the final recipe:
Spent Grain Horse Cookies
8 cups spent grain
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup molasses
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup canola oil

Roll dough into a ball, flatten and place on a baking sheet.  The cookies should be about 1 -1 ½  inches in diameter.  I used parchment paper as I prefer to use it when baking cookies.  Bake at 350’ for 20 minutes, turn over & bake for 15 -20 minutes. Makes approximately 90 cookies.   Let cool and then serve.

These also work well for dog treats, just make them a bit smaller.  Unless you are brewing with corn, they are perfect for animals with allergies to corn.  We live on the central coast of California, where it is foggy and damp at night.  With this in mind, I baked the cookies so they were fairly crisp and dry in hopes that they will store well.

After tasting these horse treats (ok so I prefer to taste the food I feed my animals and these were good), I am ready to create more recipes designed for human consumption.
I would love to hear what you make with your spent grain.  I have seen a lot of bread recipes online, does anyone cook something a little more exotic with their grain?


  1. Did it have any ill effects on your horse? I normally make dogtreats with my stuff, but a couple of dogs cant keep up with my brewing, was thinking about making bread, but this girl I like has 6 horses and i think they'll be able to take care of all my grain ;) thanks for the post

  2. All the ingredients from spent grain are safe for horses. Our home brewer is also an equine veterinarian. The key is in cooling the grain down quickly. I have started mixing up the dough the day of brewing, putting it into plastic bags and freezing it for later use. I have created a few bread recipes which I will post shortly.
    THANKS for the comment!