Using spare bread in your brew

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by The Green Man, Feb 20, 2019.

  1. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    Hello Brewers. Just wanted to throw this thread out there.
    There's a bit of a thing in the UK at the moment about using spare / leftover bread to brew beer. I imagine it replaces or supplements the base malt somehow.
    Anyone got any experience of this? How were the results? Anything you need to do if you swap any of your normal grist for bread? Simply a bad idea for us home-brewing folk?
     
  2. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Haven't done it personally but I remember reading about a Russian rye beer where they use some rye bread in the mash. Then they use some of the beer to make more rye bread. Circle of life and all that.
    It's called kvass and pretty sure it was in either radical brewing by Randy Mosher or a zymurgy article
     
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  3. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Yeah and I'm sure brulosophy has had something to do with brewing with bread I think he did a colaboration with a brewery on it. But too many beers in between to remember exactly.
     
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  4. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    I’ve also heard of using breakfast cereal, corn flakes, rice crispies, etc. As long as it has starches in it will work, if there are enough enzymes to convert. You could even use potatoes.
     
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  5. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    I heard of people doing that, once the bread goes stale and they didn't want to waste it. There is a low abv beer called kvass that was made with bread. I have not done it but have seen other people post and say it's good. I don't know that id replace any of my base malt with bread, unless I had a lot of it. A few slices probably won't do enough to worry about. A couple loaves would though. I wouldn't know how much to replace though, so I would do a beer I've done before and just add the bread to it, then see how the gravity changes to get an idea of how much malt to replace.
     
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  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    It's starch. The mashing process will break it down into sugars. You can replace grist or you can augment grist with it. I've never used bread as a sugar source but why not? You'll be adding a bit of salt. I'd think it would be pretty much the same as base grain as far as contribution to gravity.
     
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  7. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    Cheers fellas. Sounds like there's a bit of knowledge out there.
    Hadn't considered the salt in the bread. I wonder what the salt would do to the mash pH and chemistry.
    Might need a bit crystal malt inithe grist to offset that salt edge to the flavour, I would imagine.
     
  8. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    Nothing. It will bring up the chlorides and the sodium will make the beer more "rounded", it brings up the malt flavor. I don't think there is an excessive amount of sodium chloride in the bread, you can add quite a bit to beer before you start to taste it. I believe 75-100 ppm would be safe, but if it's a hoppy beer I wouldn't add any salt.
     
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  9. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    Sounds like the perfect grist addition to an ESB. May give this a go next time. Cheers HighVoltageMan.
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I use 25 grams of salt in a kilogram of sourdough whole-wheat bread. In a batch of beer, unless bread were your only source of fermentables, it's a trivial amount of salt. Depending on the bread used, you might be adding some unfermentables (bran, e.g.), some fats (if butter or milk were used), dough conditioners (citric acid). But for the most part, you would be adding the Maillard flavors of the bread. It is an interesting notion - If I decide to do this, I'll likely do a light ale with something crazy like a Pumpernickel added.
     
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  11. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    By the sounds of it the leftover bread addition is perfect for British Bitters (Ordinary, Best and ESB) and maybe even Brown ales.
    Will be trying this out in a couple of brews time.
     
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  12. Iliff Avenue Brewhouse

    Iliff Avenue Brewhouse Well-Known Member

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    #12 Iliff Avenue Brewhouse, Feb 21, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
    I love this idea! I saw a recipe where they dried the bread in the oven. Looks Iike the bread weighs about 40% less when dried/toasted. Is that recommended or could I just rip up the bread and throw it in the mash?

    Thinking a basic adjunct lager recipe. 75% weyermann pilsner 25% toasted bread. We normally use multi grain or whole grain wheat but anything about to go will be fair game.
     
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  13. ACBEV

    ACBEV Active Member

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    I've brewed brown ale with toasted wholemeal bread... 5 slices (about 225g) toasted in a toaster, then crushed with a food processor and mashed. I think it works well for brown ale.
     
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  14. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    From Randy Mosher's Radical Brewing.
    I think i might slot this simple brew into my upcoming schedule
    Thanks for the idea
     

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  15. The Green Man

    The Green Man Active Member

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    Love that recipe. Unboiled wort? Bread yeast, or no yeast? This must have been like the proper medieval (maybe older) ale that people drank for millenia. Do I dare though? Maybe a tiny 5 litre sample first. Very tempted by these heritage/ historic type brews.
     
  16. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    I know, there's a lot there that goes against the grain for a normal modern brew.
    And I agree with a small test batch. Easier on my conscience to dump a gallon rather than 5
     
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