Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Composting Tips for Frat Boys

It seems every time I host a party at my house, I wake up the next morning to a dozen half-finished beer bottles sprawled on coffee or end tables, tucked next to my couch, or dotting my backyard. Mostly just forgotten drinks or gross fruity beer castoffs that some adventurous soul paid too much for before realizing raspberries and beer don’t mix.

But I digress. This post isn’t about the slovenly housekeeping habits of my friends or misadventures in experimental beer tasting. It is, of course, about composting.

After I sigh and think what a waste it all is and how I am ever grateful for the BYOB policy, I am actually excited about the stale beer.

Yes, I am excited about the stale beer.

That’s because I will dump those half-drank ales and lagers right onto my compost pile. Beer not only composts but actually is a composting accelerator. Beer is a good source of nitrogen for your compost pile and the yeast in the beer feeds the beneficial bacteria in the pile. So stale brewskies are a great way to kick start your pile into action. Now you see why I get excited.

If you happen to be an amateur home-brewer, the spent grains from the home brewing process also compost well. Both the grains and the beer will add moisture to your bin just like adding water, so be sure to balance them with dry material like leaves, shredded paper, or those pizza boxes from the party torn into small pieces (sans pizza, of course). Oh, and I’ve learned from experience that you don’t want to add so much beer that your compost bin smells like a drunken pirate. Unless, obviously you like drunken pirates…and honestly, who doesn’t?

So I’ve found a great way to make use of the stale leftover beer (and that gross light beer someone left in my fridge- because I surely won’t be drinking it). Now if only the rest of the cleanup was this much fun.


  1. Anyone know if you can also dump wine in the bin too? We typically have half bottles of wine forgotten in the fridge more than beer.

  2. You can compost wine as well! Wine will activate the pile much the same as beer.

  3. What a great idea, I prefer one leftover sip for me than a sip for the compost but always hate those sips with the stray cigarette butt.

    Kidding, of course but thanks for the advice!

  4. a compost loves bluegrass music ,,, to make them earth dance in that pile,trust me