The wheat symbol of Wrocław brewed as early as in the 16th century, Schöps was considered to be one of the leading beers in Europe at that time. The history of the beer vanished two centuries later with no recipe being preserved till this day. Together with an international team of experts, we’ve ventured to recreate the style based on chronicle entries regarding its taste and the available knowledge on traditional brewing methods in the Lower Silesia region. The beer was of unique honey-nutmeg flavour. As it might not have been too hoppy, the beer’s sweetness could have been balanced with slight acidity coming from lactic acid bacteria living in the oak barrels used for fermentation and ageing processes.
In this year’s version of Schöps has aged in rum barrels that do not merely serve as containers but produce certain flavours and aromas.
The majority of wheat malts used in the production of the beer account for its honey-nutmeg aroma. We have used over 80% of light, dark and chocolate wheat malts to recreate the flavour of the previously brewed beer. The caramel and melanoid barley malts have been added to achieve the fullness and enrich wheat malt aromas. The exclusive taste has been achieved thanks to as many as 7 malt types as well as the traditional decoction mashing based on separating and boiling part of the mash. Since Schöps was considered to be a stronger beer, we have raised extract to 14.5%. The beer was known to be slightly lighter than the German Bockbier. Still, alcohol extract is quite low thanks to high fermentation yeast strain that is of low attenuation level, which accounts for the beer’s maltiness.
Schöps might not have been a particularly hoppy beer style. The hops used for its production most probably were local. One of the oldest Polish hop varieties, the Nowotomysky hop variety, is not available in large quantities yet, although its reintroduction is in progress. For this reason, we’ve used a direct follower: the Lomik hop variety that is of traditional herbal-flowery aroma and low bitterness level.
Schöps was never purposefully cultured with lactic acid bacteria. The thermophilic bacteria strains simply lived in the oak barrels used for beer fermentation and ageing. The slight acidity balanced high maltiness of the Wrocław-based Schöps. The acidity also affected longevity of the beer as fermentation is a natural food preserving process. In order to achieve this result, we have added so- called “sauergut”, or wort cultured with lactic acid bacteria. The following bacteria that are common in bread starters, kefirs and yoghurts have been used: Lactobacillus lactis, Lactococcus lactis, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. Bulgaricus.
Beer aged in rum barrels:
Beer ageing is a fascinating process, which is being studied by scientists. During the aging process beer oxidizes: taste and aroma balance, tones of port wine, sherry, dry fruit (plums, raisins, cherries) and honey appear. Tannins released by oakwood account for certain bitterness that balances the sweetness of Schöps. Caramel and smoked wood compounds produce vanilla, coconut and spicy tones.
The barrels have an interesting story themselves. First they were used for storing American Bourbon, then rum and finally WRCLW Schöps. They are very rich and aromatic. Jamaican rum is exceptional in the sense of releasing exceptional aromas of spices, marzipan, tropical fruit, intense vanilla, orange peels, cane sugar and molasses. This aroma enhances the historic style from Wrocław.
Beer aged in smoked plums:
Smoked plums make for an intense and characteristic ingredient. It’s a real plum on top! Who knows perhaps adding plums have brought Schöps even closer to some historical interpretations of this style? Centuries ago malts used to be smoked at wood burning grates, which were basic methods of drying moist and
The aroma produced by beech wood smoked plums fits this style perfectly well. Schöps profile is balanced with the aromas of smoked plums, bonfire, ashes, and smoked ham. It is a historically complete beer with a new wave touch. It is history rediscovered!
- Style: Schöps (the Wrocław ram)
- Extract: 14,5 %
- Alcohol: 4,8 %
- IBU: 15
- Malts: wheat malts; barley malts: Pilsner; Caramel Hell; Caramel Red; melanoid, chocolate wheat
- Hops: Lomik (PL)
- Yeasts: Empire Ale M15 Mangrove Jack's
- Bacteria: Lactobacillus lactis, Lactococcus lactis, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. Bulgaricus
- Extra ingredients: beech wood smoked plums
- Look: slightly cloudy; dark orange
- Aromas: plum; smoky (a bonfire, smoked ham); nutmeg; honey; toasted wheat bread; subtle vanilla and coconut
- full-bodied malty
- plum, smoky
- slightly sour; sweet and sour finish
- Serving temperature:5-8 ⁰C
- Glass: Weizen glass
Dishes: soft egg noodles in mushroom and plum; cumin sausage; liver in plum sauce
Cheeses: Sudecki-type cottage cheese; Łomnicki-type goat cheese
Dessert: cinnamon roll; yeast plum cake with crumble topping