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Biotech

Sloppy's Journal: Composting spent grains from beer brewing 1

Journal by Sloppy

It all started in late 2005. It's a rental house and other occupants had neglected the back yard (it was in aweful shape) so we got into the habit of throwing the used coffee grounds on the "grass." I think that when I moved in and started making sure it got watered regularly, that is what really brought the lawn back, but I never got completely over the coffee ground superstition.

Now I brew beer. It started with just a pound or so of steeping specialty grains, but since then I've moved up to partial mashing, and now produce about 6 pounds of spent grains with each batch, which is about every two weeks. So I thought, "I'll just throw them on the lawn." Spent hop leaves too, for the batches where I use whole hops rather than pellets.

This isn't going to work. When I went out there today to dump more grains, I saw that last batch's grains are still sitting around, visible in the just-now-awakening-from-winter March grass. This is too much.

So I want to compost it. What will I do with the compost? Beats the hell out of me. Maybe I can throw that on the lawn. Or I can just use it to brag about on my way up to pocket mulching.

But first things first: I need to get the chemistry down. My understanding is that brewers' spent grains are kind of high on nitrogen and low on carbon. I guess I could fix that with charcoal fragments from the grill back there. But I don't know the ratios, or if I'm really right about the nitrogen-vs-carbon thing.

Any gardening / biology / brewing nerds out there, wanna fill me in?

And no, I'm not going to start raising chickens any time soon. Actually, I'm going to move out of this house in a few months (that's another story...) so I won't even get into gardening. But I still want to learn and do things "right" even if there's no purpose to it.

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Composting spent grains from beer brewing

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  • by HBI (604924)
    Composting takes time. You're going to move. You're going to leave your future replacement resident with a compost pile. I don't know if that is a good thing :b

    I found this [weblife.org] a good read.

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