the what's why's and how's
Let’s talk about brewing, baby. Crushed malted barley (and in the case of Papa Bear: barley, wheat, rye and oats) is mixed with hot water to convert the starch into sugar. The grain is separated out and the liquid becomes the brewing water, which is then boiled, flavoured with hops and fermented to become the liquid of the gods.
That grain that was separated out accounts for about 85% of the total brewing byproduct, and in our case, roughly 2 tonnes of grain each time we brew. Lucky for us we now have a handful of kick-ass ranchers that we partner with, so our grain feeds local bison, cattle and chicken, but giving it away to farmers is not always easy. Many breweries in North America are not accessible to farmers, and unfortunately find themselves dumping their grain in landfills.
Although there are plenty of happy animals out there, we’ve always believed there to be more potential for the grain. After all, it is flavourful, fragrant and full of protein and nutrients. We’ve spent countless hours studying the grain and we are very excited to be offering pizza that features the grain.
THE BENEFITS OF SPENT GRAIN
Full disclosure, we are still working hard to provide you the absolute best analyzation of our spent grain, so we will hold off on the % and numbers and provide you with a broad understanding of what we know about Brewer’s Spent Grain.
There are many health properties found in spent grain, which is not surprising given its nutritional profile. Study after study has shown that BSG (Brewer’s Spent Grain) is considered a rich source of fibre, protein, and phenolic compounds. Due to its high fibre, BSG promotes healthy digestion, and in some cases, it has even been shown to help treat inflammatory bowl disease by changing the gut microflora.
Protein is a big composition of BSG as well, and not just any protein, protein abundant with lysine. Lysine is an essential amino acid that the body cannot make, and aids in boosting the immune system and muscle repair. The common phenolic acids present in BSG are hydroxycinnamic acids, which have many biofunctions such as antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-atherogenic and anti-inflammatory activities.
*THE PROCESS OF TRANSFORMING BY-PRODUCTS OR WASTE INTO NEW MATERIALS OR PRODUCTS PERCEIVED TO BE OF GREATER QUALITY*
Let’s be honest. The food system in North America is subject to improvement. According to Love Food Hate Waste, in Canada alone, nearly 2.2 million tonnes of edible food is wasted each year, costing Canadians in excess of $17 Billion. As a brewery, this waste is apparent, as every time we brew a batch of beer, nearly a tonne of grain is considered “spent” or used up. While many breweries have to resort to dumping their excess grain to a landfill, we actively choose to move our grain as animal feed or compost, yet we have always believed that we could elevate the grain to its highest potential – feeding people. By using our spent grain in our pizza dough recipe, we are actively choosing to prolong the lifecycle of a grain we have in house- which combats food waste and drastically reduces our need to purchase already strained food resources.
We took the time to re-envision what our business (and all businesses for that matter) could do when driven by a purpose, to question how food “waste” might be re-branded as a vital source. Where nothing is wasted, but creatively repurposed aka: upcycled. Upcycling is a mindset, an active choice to find ways to reduce, reuse or recycle within your everyday life. It’s that moment where an empty jar of jam becomes your new favourite cup, or an empty tin of beans becomes a candle holder or decorated flowerpot. It’s the DIY’ers dream, and a way to combat our global footprint.
We have a long way to go, and are just getting our company’s feet wet when it comes to upcycling- but we encourage you to join us. The next time you’re ready to toss an item, see if there is a way you can repurpose it for your next favourite thing. Join our mailing list if you are interested in learning more about upcycling. We will keep you informed with our initiatives as well as send you a DIY or two you can try yourself!