Breweries' spent grain feeding cows - KMSP-TV

Breweries' spent grain feeding cows

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Tim Selewski works on a German lager at the Royal Oak Brewery.  (CREDIT: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) Tim Selewski works on a German lager at the Royal Oak Brewery. (CREDIT: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com)

From micro brew to moo, if some cows in Ortonville could talk, they would probably thank brew master Tim Selewski for keeping them well fed.  He makes beer two to three times a week at the Royal Oak Brewery.  Recently, we caught him mixing up a German lager.

"Every time I make a batch of beer, I use several hundreds pounds of grain.  Today I'm using about 900.  At the end of the brew day, I need to remove the grain from my brew house and traditionally it needs to be disposed of."

However, Selewski found a better solution.  He shovels all of the spent grain, as it's called, into giant bins and saves it for a local farmer.

Even though it's been soaked in hot water, there is still plenty of protein and fiber in the grain.  The Royal Oak Brewery is one of many Michigan beer makers that recycle it.

This grain actually has a pretty amazing journey of its own.  It starts out in England and Germany, comes to Royal Oak and is eventually loaded on a truck destined for Ortonville.  At his 90 acre family farm, Rob Reo's cows are quick to perk up when that truck full of grain arrives.

"It's more economical and keep these guys fat," he said.

The recycling arrangement saves Reo tens of thousands of dollars a year.  He has pickups at five different breweries.  It keeps waste out of the landfills and his animals healthy.

"Got to be responsible for the land and everything that's going on around you."

Eco-conscience beer lovers would surly drink to that.

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