Don't throw out your home-brew waste or leftovers! Make bread out of them! This Cream Ale Bread is full of beer flavour.
After you brew your first couple all grain home brews, you’ll notice how much you throw out. On any given brew day you could have anywhere between 10-20 pounds of spent grains. Most of the time these end up in the compost. After fermentation is completed, you’ll typically dump the sediment and yeast(trub) down the drain. If you do a secondary fermentation, you’ll throughout the fruit, wood chips, or spices you’ve flavoured your beer with. It’s a lot of waste. If you are like me, then you probably feel a slight amount of guilt over it. But, I have good news! You don’t have to. The leftovers from the brewing process are 100% reusable. There are so many things you can make; bread, granola, pancakes, pasta, muffins, and batters. Honestly, all you need is a little creativity, and you can probably make it work. With my latest beer recipe, Cherry Cheesecake Cream Ale, I added 1 kg of cherries into secondary fermentation to infuse my beer with cherry flavour. Most people throw that out but I just can’t. So, I ‘harvested’ them from my carboy and saved them for later use. I’m so glad I did because this Cherry Cheesecake Cream Ale Bread was a huge success! My family loved it!
I love merging my love for food and home-brewing together. As a chef, I can’t resist experimenting with all the “leftovers” from the brewing process. Nor, can I resist trying to flavour my beer/cider like some of my favourite culinary flavour combinations. Just look at my Creamsicle Cream Ale, Peppered Strawberry Cider, or my Strawberry Rhubarb Cider to see what I’m talking about! There are countless ways to use your home-brew leftovers, but one of the easiest ways is to make bread. The two, bread and beer, are intimately connected as they share common ingredients like grain, water, and yeast. I like to imagine that in ages past Brewers and Bakers worked together, or were the same shop, to supply their villages and towns with delicious food and drink. Which, I’m sure happened, but maybe not in the way I think they did? Sigh, to romanticize the past!
Obviously, there are some benefits reusing ingredients left over from the brewing process. Depending on the style and flavourings of your beer you could be spending $20-$70.00(or more) per brew. In the case of my Cherry Cheesecake Cream Ale, I spent $50.00 on ingredients. Maybe it’s the cheap university student that’s still left in me, but I can’t justify all that money to only go towards making beer. By reusing your ingredients to make food, you’ll save some money on your monthly grocery bill. And if you're on a budget, it’s a no-brainer. It isn’t all about money, though. The quality and health benefits of the food you make from them are super delicious and healthy for you!
There’s been a lot of research about the benefits of drinking certain styles of beer, especially home-brewed beer. For example, stouts are full of iron, vitamin B’s, and antioxidants; That’s pretty impressive if you ask me! Further, there’s been a lot of talk about the health benefits of consuming fermented fruits, veggies, and sprouted grains because of their high level of probiotics, Vitamin B’s, protein and antioxidants. Guess what malted barley is? And guess what happens when you use fruit to flavour your beer? If you guessed, ferments, you’d be right. So long as you don’t pasteurize or filter your home brew, in moderation, its good for you! But, also it means that all those leftover goodies are also good for you. So use them!
So how do you harvest them? It’s easy! After you rack the beer off of the fruit, you just dump them into a container and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them. Mine had kept for well over two weeks before I used mine. They won’t go bad anytime soon because the fermentation process preserves them.
What did they taste like? Be forewarned; These bad boys don’t taste like cherries. I know, I’ll let that disappointment sink in. But it isn’t all bad news. They tasted like beer! And you now what? I was perfectly happy about that! So don’t expect to get any sweet cherry flavour in your bread. What you will get is an excellent beer flavoured dough, and if you ask me, that’s perfectly fine!
Anyway, let’s get into this recipe so you can get to enjoying some excellent beer waste bread! How exciting! And yes, I’m fully aware that doesn’t make it sound appealing.
Cherry Cheesecake Cream Ale Bread
8 Cups of Harvested Cherries from Carboy, Blended (Just put them in a blender and puree them)
8-9 Cups All Purpose Flour
3 Teaspoons Quick Rise Yeast
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 Teaspoons Pink Himalayan Salt
2 Tablespoons Avacado Oil
In a large mixing bowl, mix all your dry ingredients(flour, salt, sugar, and dry yeast) until they are well combined. Make a well with the dry ingredients and in the centre add in 8 cups of blended cherries and Avocado Oil. Mix until all ingredients are well combined and form a dough ball. If the mixture is too wet, add in more flour until dough is formed. Begin to knead the dough in the bowl for 5-10min. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap or towel and place in a warm area in your kitchen or in the oven with the oven light on to proof.
Proof for 1 1/2 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down and knead for a second time. Cut the dough ball in half and a buttered bread pan, place each half in. Proof for another 30 minutes. Once the second proof is finished, preheat oven to 400°F. If proofing in your oven make sure to take your bread out of the oven while it preheats!
Once your oven is to temperature place bread pans in oven and bake the loaves for 45-60 minutes. Once the bread is finished baking take out of the oven and let cool before slicing into it. I know it’s hard to resist, but you must!
Once it is cooled serve with butter and honey and enjoy!