Spent Grain Buttermilk Biscuits

I brewed a Northern English Brown ale, and as I was cleaning out my mash tun, a light bulb light popped on in my head. I went inside, grabbed a few cookie sheets, and turned on the ovens to 200 degrees. That light bulb had my brain processing what I can do with all of this spent grain. I had about 1/3 of my spent grains drying in the oven. Every so often I would stir the grains around and let the hot steam escape from underneath the almost dried top layer.

As the wheels were still turning in my head, I knew I wanted to make biscuits for breakfast in the morning. Boom! I told my wife that is what I was going to do. I got that response that I knew she was worried. Even with the skeptical wifey, I moved onward and adapted my normal buttermilk biscuit recipe.

Spent Grain Buttermilk Biscuits


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dried spent grain
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp very cold unsalted butter
  • Enough buttermilk to bring mixture to a dough


Heat your oven to 425 degrees.

I used my food processor for everything up until I added the buttermilk this go around. Feel free to do this by hand and do not be afraid to get your hands all in this. There is a feel to biscuits and this will help you achieve the best texture.

If you haven’t milled your dried spent grain yet, do so now. I just milled in the food processor. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix well.

Cut the butter into 1/4″ cubes and then cut the butter into flour mixture.  If using food processor, pulse approximately 15 times. You should have a flaky powder right now.

Flaky powder as I was putting the buttermilk in

Flaky powder as I was putting the buttermilk in

I’m sure you noticed I didn’t put an amount of buttermilk you need. Some days I need 3/4 cup some days I need 1 1/8 cups. I don’t measure. Just use enough buttermilk to form a dough. The dough should be soft and not too sticky. If you feel the dough is too sticky feel free to knead in some more flour.

Drop the dough like it's hot onto a floured surface

Drop the dough like it’s hot onto a floured surface

After the dough has come together, drop it on a floured surface. I like my biscuits to have layers. Gently use the heel of your hands to flatten the dough- I don’t even use our rolling pin any more. Fold the dough into thirds and flip it over and turn it 180 degrees. Repeat this 2-3 more times. This is purely optional, but it creates great layers!

Now for a hard decision. How big do you want your biscuits? I think the biscuit cutter I use is two inches which yielded 12 biscuits. Ok ok as you see in the pic below, it is 11 biscuits and a baby one, this one is for testing purposes only.

Hurry up and cook! I'm hungry!

Hurry up and cook! I’m hungry!

Throw them into your nicely heated 425 degree oven for 12-15 minutes depends on your oven. If your oven heats unevenly like mine, halfway through, rotate the pan so they are evenly brown.


Here is when the skeptical wifey became unskeptical

Here is when the skeptical wifey became unskeptical

Now it’s time to enjoy! The only thing wrong with my breakfast this morning was I didn’t cook enough bacon.

Breakfast time! Had to show off my coffee mug I got at Strange Brew

Breakfast time! Had to show off my coffee mug I got at Strange Brew

***Originally posted on Southern Fried Fermenters

Brings All The Boys to the Yard IPA / Saison

My homebrew club does a a intra-club competition that we call the Makeshift Mashout. We have everyone put ingredients into 3 hats: a brewing ingredient, a hop, and a yeast. I believe I entered oats, mosaic hops, and Vermont Ale  yeast because I’m kind of on a New England IPA kick, yes, I’m brewing with the trends these days, excuse me there. The three ingredients that were selected were oats (WOOT!), CTZ hops, and saison yeast. I started on my journey of formulating a recipe. Where do I go to none other than The Mad Fermentationist Blog. I found a recipe of his using Columbus hops and oats. I used his Softer, Juicier, and Uglier APA recipe as the basis for this beer.  I didn’t have any Nelson Sauvin hops and me being me, I didn’t want to buy a pound of them. I ordered 8 ounces of El Dorado hops. The descriptors of these hops were pear, watermelon, and stone fruit. This is exactly what I’m looking for in this IPA. I had some Amarillo stashed away in the freezer and ordered some CTZ hops with the El Dorados and now I’m about ready to fire up the kettle.

My grain bill was missing malts that would drop the mash pH in the effective range, this is why the initial grain bill called for acidulated malt. If you’re wondering no, I don’t have a reliable pH meter, I’m going all on gut instinct, which, well probably isn’t the best method. A reliable pH meter is on my wish list which will happen sooner than later. The acidulated malt I had in stock was overrun with weevils. It was disconcerting the amount of bugsthat had taken over the malt. I ditched them out in the yard and went onto something else. Since it was just for lowering mash pH, I added phosphoric acid to my mash water. At least this was a quick fix. Have I mentioned I need to go ahead and buy a reliable pH meter?

Harvester of Aqua

Also to note, I harvested my water from a spring that is 20 miles south of where I live. The water is very pure tasting and it has made some fantastic beers. I would love to get my hands on the analysis report. I do have a Total Dissolved Solids meter and it read 13 PPM. Pretty pure if you were to ask me. I built up a small water profile by using a 2:1 ration sulfites to chloride. Why the small numbers in these? Well I only had 6.6 grams of gypsum, so there you go. I wanted to use 2 grams of gypsum per gallon of water used, that didn’t happen as you see. No problem though, at the end I’ll still have beer.

Now onto my fermentation, this thing was super active which made me a happy brewer. The saison yeast was a few months past the prime, but I did a yeast starter and both yeasts were happily fermenting.

NE IPA and the “saison” fermenting away nicely. #homebrew

A video posted by wickdawg (@wickdawg) on

I can’t wait to write up some tasting notes on this bad boy. When I open the chest freezer to check on my babies in there, it smells glorious. I hope that transpires into what I am about to enjoy.

This beer has had a lot of life so far. There is a local artisan bakery in town. I sent him a text the morning of my brew day and told him this was a little different grain bill than usual and he was interested in what I had. He came by a few hours later to pick up my spent grains and he made some lovely loafs of bread. If you ever want to know what a brew day smells like, this bread delivered those aromas to his customers. It smelled of sweet grains and wort to boot. It was mighty tasty bread. I believe it might have been my favorite bread to come out of his bakery.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
11 gal 60 min 56.5 IBUs 3.9 SRM 1.061 1.012 6.4 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
American IPA 21 A 1.056 - 1.07 1.008 - 1.014 40 - 70 6 - 14 2.4 - 2.9 5.5 - 7.5 %


Name Amount %
Pale Malt (2 Row) US 14 lbs 56
Oats, Flaked (Briess) 5 lbs 20
Wheat Malt, Bel 5 lbs 20
Carafoam (Weyermann) 1 lbs 4


Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Columbus (Tomahawk) 2 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 17.8
El Dorado 3 oz 0 min Boil Pellet 13.9
Amarillo 1 oz 0 min Boil Pellet 7.2
Columbus (Tomahawk) 1 oz 0 min Boil Pellet 17.8


Name Amount Time Use Type
Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) 6.60 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Calcium Chloride 3.30 g 60 min Mash Water Agent


Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Leeuwenhoek Saison Blend (WLP564) White Labs 78% 64°F - 90°F
London Ale III (1318) Wyeast Labs 73% 64°F - 74°F


Step Temperature Time
Mash In 152°F 60 min


Heated 8 gallons of water in the BK to mash. Doughed in with 170 degree water. Initial mash temperature was ~142 degrees. Boiled ~1 gallon of water to add to mash to raise the mash temperature. Added to the mash, the mash was inconsistent as far as temperature, but was averaging around 152 degrees. Added 1/2 tsp of phosporic acid to mash water to help lower pH. I do not have a pH meter, just blindly did this.

Heating 8.5 gallons of water in the HLT with my immersion circulating heater covered with foil to keep heat in.

Anvil FIAK
Wyeast 1318 London Ale III
12 hours after pitch - 1 ounce El Dorado Hops
1 ounce El Dorado - 14 Days
1 ounce Amarillo - 14 days
.5 ounce Columbus - 14 Days
1 ounce El Dorado - 7 Days
1 ounce Amarillo - 7 Days
.5 ounce Columbus - 7 Days

6 Gallon Glass Carboy
WLP564 Leeuwenhoek Saison Blend
1 ounce El Dorado - 14 Days
1 ounce Amarillo - 14 Days
1 ounce Columbus - 14 Days