Senior Member
Posts: 146
Joined: Tue May 12, 2015 8:23 pm
Location: Labrador City, NL, Canada

Composting with Beer Grains

Im hoping some of the seasoned members on here, can help direct me on how to use spent beer grains in the garden.

It would be used in our local community garden. Plots are approx. 30' x 40', and there's 180 of them. Most folks grow potato in them, but over the past few years, a lot of people are diversifying their plots with many different veggies.

We have, what I would call, a good supply of spent beer grains. We can have about 1100 Liters of them every 2-3 weeks. They are stored in 4'x4'x4' plastic tote containers. Our local craft brewery typically has to pay the local landfill to dispose of them. After some internet research, our community garden discovered there could be some value in composting these grains into our gardens. The grain we are receiving is still fairly wet. But it may be from rain water getting into the plastic containers.

During our season start up this year, the brewery delivered 8 of these 1100 Liter totes. A lot of gardners simply filled 20 laters buckets, and dumped and tilled them into their gardens. Planted their veggies. Some other gardeners were hesitant to use them, fearing damage to the garden soils.

Composting can be difficult in our region. We are fairly far north, hav short growing seasons due to the heavy frosts in winter and spring, and have a short growing season. About 12-14 weeks.

Im wondering what some of the options could be regarding these grains. Im open to trying anything, to utilize them, so long as they are beneficial. I don't want to see a local start up company pay to throw something away, when it can be used for the benefit of food production.

We also have access to a lot of the following as well:
- Shredded paper: This is from local business. We live in mining town. all of the shredded paper from the mine, gets shipped to another town to be processed. By volume, there is about a full train car of shredded paper, every 3-4 months. They would have no issues suppling us with that paper.
- Sand: Our sand pits are very close by. When I say lots, I mean 100's of Metric Ton. Not that I think we need that much, but just giving some perspective on it.
- Used Coffee Grains: Our local coffee shop (Tim Hortons) also pays to dispose of their coffee grains. We are currently in some talks with them about how we can collect them to use in our gardens. They obviously also want to give us the coffee grains.

Im grasping at ways to introduce good composting into our gardens. Especially if we can easily source everything locally. I'd love some help on it.

Appreciate any input, in advance!

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