Date of Submission
Environmental and Urban Studies; Environmental Studies
Project Advisor 1
Brewer’s spent grains (BSGs), a byproduct from beer production, are generated in excess globally. Most often, they are sold or given to proximate cattle farmers for use as feed. However, spent grain can also be used as a medium for fungal cultivation. Given that certain fungal species have the capability to degrade lignin and produce protein, the cultivation of fungi on spent grains may serve to enhance the nutritional profile of the grains for their use as cattle feed. This project is an effort to determine the compatibility of fungal cultivation with BSGs in order to both improve upon cattle diet and potentially provide the farmer with a secondary income stream from fungal cultivation. Brewer’s spent grains were obtained from two sources: Lasting Joy Brewery in Tivoli, NY, and from a homebrew process using a beer homebrewing kit. The experiment occurred outside of a lab setting using commonly utilized household materials in order to determine the feasibility of this project in real-world applications. Spent grains from each source were sterilized, and then inoculated with Pleurotus eryngii, or directly inoculated in order to determine whether the beer brewing process provides sufficient pasteurization to prevent contamination from other organisms. The spent grains were sent to a laboratory for nutritional analysis both before and after they were inoculated with fungi. Successful mycelial development was exhibited in one sample. Due to the small sample size, statistical tests were unable to be performed on the results of the nutritional analysis. The effect of fungal growth on brewer’s spent grain in terms of nutrition is unclear, however, fungal cultivation on spent grains using low-cost materials was possible and shows promise for future permutations of this project.
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Stojkovic, Zoe, "Potentials of Pleurotus: Reimagining the Relationship Between Cattle and Brewer's Spent Grain" (2023). Senior Projects Spring 2023. 256.
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