A Dog’s Life Is Ruff: Spent Grain Dog Treats

Posted on: September 1st 2014

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy” – Benjamin Franklin and “Dogs are a Man’s Best Friend”…SO, why not combine our love of beer and dogs to create the ultimate treat: Spent Grain Dog Biscuits.


For those of you who homebrew on a somewhat regular basis, you’ve got lots of left over grain from the mash. Instead of throwing it away, why not use it to create a treat for your pup or your friend’s pups?

If you are not a homebrewer, ask your local brewery for their spent grain and on the day that it is ready, just show up with a huge tupperware dish and dig in!

Not only is the smell delightful (like your Grandma’s homemade oatmeal), but we can reuse this stuff for farm feed and baking!

Here’s how:

Recipe for Spent Grain Dog Treats

Ingredients:
4 C spent grain from your local brewery or homebrewer
2 C flour
2 large eggs
1 C natural peanut butter

Directions:
Blend all ingredients together with your hands in large bowl, then roll out on flour coated surface and use cookie cutter to make desired shapes. Put onto cookie sheet and pop in a 350 degree oven for 30 min and then reduce heat to 225 degrees for 2 hrs to get longer lasting treats. Your pups will love ’em!!

Makes approximately 100 small treats.

To find more cooking with beer recipes and more spent grain recipes, go to our “Pub Recipes” page on our website.

49 Responses to “A Dog’s Life Is Ruff: Spent Grain Dog Treats”

  1. September 7, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Please note that any used grain that contains hops should NOT be used for making these treats!!! Hops is highly toxic to dog and can kill them. Please – if you have dogs, discard of your hops in a safe manner that prevents accidental ingestion.

    • David Schaal
      April 20, 2016 at 6:16 pm

      Thanks for that bit of information. All grain brewers would have loads of spent grain that is separate from the boil (and hops go into the boil). Specialty grains added to the boil could contain hops and should not be used!

    • Jerel
      June 1, 2017 at 7:47 pm

      Yeah, when doing all grain they never see hops. That’s what they are talking about with spent grain from home brewing or breweries. I have 12lbs of Pilsner and Wheat from tonight that will make some super tasty treats.

      • Gina Schauland
        June 19, 2017 at 9:15 am

        YUM! That would make some tasty pup treats, for sure! – Gina from Deschutes

  2. L Huber
    December 24, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Our Doggy Feynman loved them. The kids however, were not impressed. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. Dawn
    May 29, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Just started making these dog treats for my dogs and they enjoy them very much! My question is how long do these treats last after baking them? Should I refrigerate them or can they be kept in my doggy treat jar?

    • Gina Schauland
      May 31, 2016 at 11:18 am

      Thanks for the comments Dawn!I just put my treats in a ziploc bag in a dark pantry. They stayed around for about 2 weeks and seemed just fine. Cheers and thanks for making them. The pups sure love ’em! Gina from Deschutes Brewery

  4. Joshua Thompson
    June 1, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Made these for my friends dogs. Something was wrong with their diet and was making them sick. Fed them a few of these and seemed to fix them right up. Not saying these treats are medicine however beer cures all.

    • Gina Schauland
      August 14, 2016 at 11:42 am

      That’s great! Grains do have fiber, so maybe that is what helped?? We appreciate you giving them a try. Pups love ’em! – Gina from Deschutes brewery

  5. Tobin
    July 24, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    Made a Hefeweizen and added a pound of rice hulls, can I still use this for doggy treats? Thanks

    • Gina Schauland
      July 27, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      Not too sure about that but when I googled it, it seemed like rice hulls were a food for dogs to avoid… try with just spent grain from your next brew. Cheers and thanks for reaching out!!! – Gina from Deschutes Brewery

  6. Alison
    August 6, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Looking forwards to recycling our train for my pup but just wondering do I need to dry it out first or can I use it ‘wet’?

    • Gina Schauland
      August 6, 2016 at 9:31 pm

      Yes! It works best if you dry out the grain first. I just left mine on top of my fridge until it dried. Cheers!! -Gina from Deschutes Brewery

  7. Todd Hunter
    August 7, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Ive made biscuits from spent grains a couple of times now. Im just wondering if anyone knows if there is nutritional value added from the spent grains for the dogs?

    • Gina Schauland
      August 14, 2016 at 11:45 am

      Hey Todd, these treats are great as they do have fiber which can help with, you know, digestion 🙂 Also, the brewing process extracts about 95% of the sugars from the grain so it is a low calorie, high fiber supplement so cows & pups can enjoy them without hurting their stomachs. Now, these are treats, so just like beer…they are great in moderation. Cheers!! – Gina from Deschutes Brewery

  8. Alex Newman
    August 9, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Has anyone tried adding meats to this recipe (maybe minus the peanut butter though)? Maybe add a little liver wurst to make liver snaps?

    • Gina Schauland
      August 14, 2016 at 11:46 am

      That’s a great idea Alex… you’d just have to refrigerate them or try to dehydrate the meat like a jerky… let us know if you make them and we’ll try to get them made for a new blog soon. Cheers! – Gina from Deschutes Brewery

  9. Lee Bales
    August 14, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Are there any types of grain that I should avoid using? I know not to use any with hops, and I know that chocolate grains should be ok to use. But are there any that I should just avoid?

    • Gina Schauland
      August 14, 2016 at 11:40 am

      Based upon experimentation with my own pups, they enjoy the pale & caramel grains the best as the burnt/smokey flavors of the chocolate grains are not preferred. Chocolate grains do not have any chocolate in them so they are fine, they are just roasted longer at higher temps making them a specialty malt. – Gina from Deschutes Brewery

  10. Eileen
    October 1, 2016 at 7:38 am

    I’ve been making these for a while, thanks so much for the recipe! Both of my dogs love these, as do my 2 ‘grand dogs’. I did want to mention that you can make these a lot easier and faster by putting some parchment paper on the cookie sheet, and then rolling out the dough directly on the cookie sheet, and using a pizza cutter to slice into rectangles. I bake for the recommended 30 minutes at 350, then slice again with the pizza cutter to make sure they are well separated, and then bake for the remaining time. This is so much easier than worrying about those dog bone cookie cutters, and my dogs don’t mind at all. I make double batches each brew day and can whip these up in under 10 minutes.

  11. Aaron
    October 10, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    This is a great recipe! I don’t dry the grains but add a bit more flour to compensate. Our dog prefers these over any store bought treats.

  12. William
    November 27, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Sound’s great, Where would you find a cookie cutter shape like a bone and ideas ?

    • Gina Schauland
      November 29, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      Try your local pet stores, pet bakeries, online, and specific kitchen supply shops… Cheers! – Gina from Deschutes

    • Ali
      December 27, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      We just found a bone cutter at William Sonoma on sale for $1.25 from the holidays! Our treats are in the oven and we gave our pup a little sample of the cookie dough before baking them! Can’t wait for her to try them out. Thanks for the recipe

      • Gina Schauland
        January 15, 2017 at 5:24 pm

        Yes!!! So glad to know that so we can let our pup & beer fans know. Cheers! – Gina from Deschutes

  13. Chanel
    December 31, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    For the recipe, do I pack the grains when i measure them or do I leave them fluffy? I am using them wet.

    • Gina Schauland
      January 15, 2017 at 5:24 pm

      Pack ’em down!!! Sorry about the delay getting back to you. Hopefully they turned out great! Cheers – Gina from Deschutes

  14. Duck Owens
    June 3, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    Been makin these for a while now. Almost since you first posted this. I ad a banana to mine. My dog has since passed, but I still make them for friends in his memory. They are, and always will be, a huge hit. Thank you for the recipe and the memories.

  15. Renee Schweitzer
    June 14, 2017 at 3:03 am

    I had 6 cups of spent grains, so I made 1.5 size batch. I used wet grains I had kept a couple days in the refrigerator and all natural sugar-free peanut butter. Those were the only changes I made to the recipe. I rolled out the dough out on the counter like pie dough (measured and cut to fit the size of baking sheet) and then rolled the dough up onto the rolling pin to move it to the baking sheets easier. The dough completely covered the baking sheet edge to edge. Then I used a pastry cutter (or spatula) to cut dough into tiny squares before baking. After baking, all I had to do was separate the biscuits and allow them to dry on the baking sheets overnight. Worked like a charm. I will keep the biscuits in the refrigerator to prevent them from spoiling. I attempted to post a picture, but couldn’t get it to work.

    • Gina Schauland
      June 19, 2017 at 9:29 am

      Renee, thanks for giving these a try & we love your changes. If you’d like to send me a photo, I’d love to see em with your pups! I have 2 dogs that are spoiled and love these treats! – Gina from Deschutes gschauland@deschutesbrewery.com

  16. Michelle
    June 17, 2017 at 5:37 am

    Our doxies loved these, we used the spent grains from our cream ale brew. Today we have made a vanilla porter and I was just wondering if the “chocolate” malt is ok? As far as I know we use malt from best maltz and that the chocolate flavour is achieved from roasting and that there is no coco in, am I right? T.I.A

    • Gina Schauland
      June 19, 2017 at 9:17 am

      You are correct! There is actually no chocolate in chocolate malt. The roasting of the malt of various degrees, gives it that flavor. It is fine to use, but I would think that dogs would prefer the pale, caramel, & crystal malt (as my dogs do), but a little dark malt should be fine. Cheers!! – Gina from Deschutes Brewery

  17. Dawn Moore
    July 10, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    We have a small brewery in Cody Wyoming. We have been selling your Black Butte Porter and Your Fresh Squeezed I PA for four years. We have a dog friendly patio and I’m excited to treat them with the buiscut recipe you Shared! Thank You! Dawn Moore at Pat O’Hara Brewing co!

    • Gina Schauland
      September 6, 2017 at 9:01 pm

      You are sooooo welcome! Thanks for reaching out… hope the pups love ’em a lot! Cheers! – Gina from Deschutes

  18. Rachael
    September 15, 2017 at 8:23 am

    We make these every time we brew beer, and when we’re running low on these biscuits, we have to brew beer since the dog loves them so much! It’s definitely her special treat. We made a lot the first time around and decided to keep them in the freezer. Now we always keep them in the freezer, and the dog really seems to like that. When we ask her if she wants a biscuit, she goes right to the freezer door. Thanks for this!

    • Erika Sommer
      September 18, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      Great story. Sounds like you have a smart dog with great taste.

  19. Kayla Kulpinski
    September 23, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Super excited to make these for our pup, however I was wondering what the shelf life would be? Our pug loves her treats but I don’t want to make 100 treats if they are going to go bad in 2 weeks or something like that. Is refrigeration preferred or is storing in a treat jar ok?
    Thank you

    • Gina Schauland
      September 23, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      Thanks for reaching out! I made these treats for my pups and I did not refrigerate them but did put them in a treat jar. I believe they lasted about 3-4 weeks before they were all eaten up. Hope that helps.
      Cheers!! – Gina from Deschutes

  20. Taylor
    October 28, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    I made a full sized batch and am using a few tiny silicone molds to bake them. Do you know if it is okay to freeze the dough to use later?

  21. November 27, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    Anyone have experience with these lasting longer than 3-4 weeks? We’ve had them last a couple of months, but checking to see if others share this experience.

    • Gina Schauland
      December 3, 2018 at 4:52 pm

      Hello! I made them for my pups and I put them in a container for a month or so. They are really dried out now, but the pups still love em. Cheers – Gina

  22. Sarah
    March 9, 2019 at 8:36 am

    Have a friend with a small brewery who gave me a 5 gallon bucket of spent grains, and used this recipe for horse treats, and the horses went BANANAS over them! Yes, horses can eat peanut butter and eggs (in small amounts such as a batch of cookies)!

    Thanks for the recipe, going to spend the rest of the weekend making my way through this mass of spent grains!

  23. Gina Schauland
    January 15, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Thanks for the post!!! – Gina from Deschutes Brewery

  24. Gina Schauland
    September 6, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    YES! Thanks for making these treats for your furry friends. They are so easy to make & do last a while… We appreciate you letting us know. Cheers! – Gina from Deschutes

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