Quirky, but it grows on you. It smells like plain rye bread, so the sweetness of the honey is somewhat surprising at first taste. I thought the mint would be more prevalent, but it reduces to just a hint, combining with the sweetness of honey and apple. There’s some fizziness from the residual carbonating, which increases if you cork it early and put it in the fridge.
I’m a bit torn about this one. On the one hand, it sort of recycles dried bread (or could), and strikes me as a fairly frugal beverage. In this way, the brothers of the Nights Watch could find one more way to recycle their scarce supplies, making sure nothing went to waste. It would result in this low alcohol, rye-rich brew, which would help them with their daily intake of nutrients.
On the other, its quick turnaround time would really suit a nomadic culture like the Dothraki, and would be ideal for parching dust-lined throats after a day’s ride. The fizzy chilled crispness would be lovely and refreshing in hot weather, so in the end, I’d lean more towards the Dothraki…
Makes: 1 Gallon Fermenting Time: ~1 week, drink immediately
Ingredients for 1 gallon:
- 1 loaf dry dark rye bread (approx 24 slices)
- 1 apple, shredded
- 2-3 sprigs mint
- 8 cups boiling water
- 1 cup honey
- ale yeast
- 7 raisins
Tear bread into pieces, and put in a large saucepot, along with the shredded apple and mint. Pour the boiling water over it, put a lid on, and swaddle in blankets to keep warm for around an hour and a half.
Strain into a clean carboy and add the honey. Mix. Add raisins and yeast, then top with an airlock. Watch/listen as it ferments for about 3-5 days.
At this point, you can either drink it straight away, or bottle. If bottling, consider using clean plastic bottles, which are better able to withstand high carbonation. There will be a thick layer of rye/yeast sediment at the bottom of the carboy: you can either stir this in, or try to avoid when bottling or pouring out.