Using Leftover Grains To Make Homemade Dog Treats

After every brew day, I’m left with a pound or two of mashed grains. Some brewers throw them out with the trash. More environmentally conscious brewers put them in their compost heap.

But what happens if you don’t want to throw them in the trash and you don’t have a yard for the compost heap? What happens say if you have a say you have a dog, one that’s so cute that you can’t stop yourself from giving it treats all the time.

You could keep shelling out money for those treats at the store, or you could make your own with your leftover grains. My girlfriend spotted a recipe for DIY Beer Grain Dog Treats, the perfect way to re-use those spent grains and make your dog happy.

My girlfriend essentially used the same ingredients:

  • 4 cups spent grain that has not seen hops
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs

Their recipe calls for using fat, she made hers fat free. It’s healthier and leads to less stinky dog farts.

She made slight variations on their directions:

  • Mix the eggs, flour, grain, peanut butter in a bowl.

  • Spread the mixture on a 12 ¾ x 9 x 2 pan, and press it until it was about an inch thick.
  • In the oven, bake them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. After that, break the treats apart.

  • Cut the mixture with a knife, shaping rectangle treats.

  • Reduce the heat to 225 degrees and bake them on a cook sheet for four and a half hours. Hers were a little thicker, so they took longer. If you make them a little thinner, they could be done in about three hours.
  • Make sure the you bake them until the treats are completely dried out. The author of the original article warns that if they aren’t totally dry, they can become getting moldy.

Let the treats cool down, then spoil your dog and your closest friends dogs! The treats are dog approved, Roxy, Hagan, Lucy, Zoey and Lucy (yes, two Lucy’s) all gave two paws up to these treats!

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Filed in: Home Brewing

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  • Laura

    My husband just started brewing his own beer and I cant wait to make doggie treats with the grains. I have bone shaped cookie cutters. Would it be better to make the shapes before or after baking? Not sure how hard the treats are right out of the oven. 

    • http://www.passionforthepint.com Mike Crimmins

      With this recipe, it’s easier to cut them into rectangles since it’s very doughy or unmanageable. But if you would like to try it, I would do it before you bake them. Let us know how they come out!

  • TomH

    Thanks for the post it motivated me to make treats and share with neighbors. My dogs love them. With my next batch of homebrew I’ll save grain to mix with peanut butter and load up kongs and freeze them. That’ll keep my dogs busy for a while.

    • http://www.passionforthepint.com Mike Crimmins

      That’s a good idea Tom and a lot better than a lot of the fillers that I’ve seen at pet stores.

  • Djpapihouston

    You mentioned spent grains that have not seen hops. Reason why? My grains have sat in brew during whole process including both additions of hops. Thanks.

    • http://www.passionforthepint.com Mike Crimmins

      Now, I do use spent grains that have been in contact with hops, however I’ve read articles similar to this when I was doing research for the blog post. This is from Wikipedia…

      Hops, a plant used in making beer, can cause malignant hyperthermia in dogs, usually with fatal results. Certain breeds, such as Greyhounds, seem particularly sensitive to hop toxicity, but hops should be kept away from all dogs. Even small amounts of hops can trigger a potentially deadly reaction, even if the hops are “spent” after use in brewing.

      There’s no citation for it and everything I’ve found since then is just hearysay. 

      I feel comfortable giving my dogs hop infused in small doses, IE the size of a dog treat. That being said, I’m not a vet or expert and it could affect some dogs more than others.

  • Djpapihouston

    Thanks for the 411. I made these for our boys and they love them. Thanks a bunch!

  • Keli Isaacs

    I love that your dog is pictured watching you make the treats- like he just cant wait to eat them!
    Thanks for the recipe

  • Jeffrey Hackney

    Thank you for posting this recipe.  Very easy to pull together.  I did find I needed to bake for an extra hour to ensure all oisture had baked out.  I enjoyed using my grains almost as much as Zeke enjoyed eating them. 

  • Cindi Jo

    After obtaining grains from Brewery, how long can they be kept before use? Also, how should they be stored? One more question…. After the treats are made… How and how long to store them?