Hi, I’m Ade. I’m Kirsty’s husband, and I’ve borrowed the site back off the pups briefly to explain how between Kirsty and myself we turn this:-
First of all, there’s no beer in beer biscuits. However the biscuits are made mainly using malt that has been used to make beer with. Don’t worry though, there is no alcohol in them, and the malt has never been anywhere near hops (which are actually poisonous for dogs). That’s where I come in though, I’m the one who makes the beer.
I take the malt, and I do a little thing called mashing it. Basically all this means is I stir the malt into hot water (usually around 65 to 70 degrees Celsius), and let it stand for about 90 minutes. I do this to get as much of the sugar out of it as I can, enzymes in the malt basically turn the starches into simpler sugars, that can then be disolved in the water. It also removes a small amount of proteins, but most of this stays in the malt, as what I mainly want is the sugar. That’s actually a good thing for dog biscuits though, as it makes them better for your pooch having less starchy sugars in them. It leaves behind nutritious whole grain (most of the malt I use is the whole grain, including the husk, so is high in fiber too), but with reduced sugar in it, as quite a bit of the starch from it has been removed.
The grain starts out looking something like this, I have to weigh different colours (and types, eg. sometimes I use a bit of wheat malt, or oat malt, for the different flavours) out ready before I start. The colours come from how the malt is prepared by the maltster, darker ones are sometimes roasted and the like giving them a different flavour too.
So sometimes you’ll notice that your dog biscuits will look a different colour from the ones in the pictures on the site, and the flavours will vary slightly too. It all depends on what type of beer I’ve been brewing, whether I’ve brewed a pale ale (light coloured malts) or something like a stout or porter (darker coloured, roasted malts). You can see how different coloured malts work in these photographs taken whilst I was “mashing” for different beers:-
So don’t panic, if the biscuits you receive look lighter, or darker, than the photographs on here or on Facebook, they’re a custom hand made product and will be different every time.
Anyway, once the grain has finished “mashing” in the water, it’s lifted out (I mash in a net bag, using a method called Brew In A Bag, or BIAB for short) and drained to get as much of the liquid and those special sugars out of the malt as possible.
Once that’s done, Kirsty takes what malt she wants for making dog biscuits and either freezes it, or stores it in the fridge, until she’s ready to make them. She then adds a couple of other ingredients (like flour, and whatever she needs to add for the different flavours) and they get baked in the oven.Me, I get on with the job of adding hops to that sugar filled water I now have, boiling it, cooling it, fermenting it with yeast, and eventually it turns into yummy beer…