We have brought together traditional and new wave brewing. After this wheat symbol of Wrocław was reintroduced to the offer of Wrocław-based pubs following several centuries long absence, Schöps had aged in porto barrels with beech-wood smoked prunes. This way the sweet-and-sour profile of the beer has been enriched with exceptionally unique aromas of prunes, bonfire smoke, cold smoked ham, forest fruit (blackberries and cherries), oak wood and porto wine. It’s history rediscovered.
Brewed since 16th century, Schöps was considered as one of the leading beers of Europe of that time. This beer style along with its original recipe disappeared for the next two centuries. We have recreated this style together with an international team based on descriptions of its taste found in historical records and expertise on historical brewing in the region of Lower Silesia. This moderately hopped beer was well-known for its unique honey-and-nutmeg aroma and distinct sweetness balanced with acidity produced by lactic acid bacteria living in the oak wood barrels where the beer fermented and aged. In our version, Schöps also aged in barrels, specifically porto barrels, that have produced unique flavours and aromas.
The beer’s nutmeg sweetness has been produced by loads of wheat malts, both light and dark, that bring us closer to the original flavours. Extra ingredients such as barley malts: caramel and melanoid, produce full-bodied and intense aromas. We have used a total of 6 malt types to produce such an unusual flavour and aroma. The traditional decoction mashing process based on separating part of the mash and bringing it to a boil highlights the malty character of this beer style. Since Schöps was considered to be a stronger beer, we have raised the extract to 14.5% but kept it lower than the extract of German bock biers. Alcohol content is quite low thanks to top-fermenting yeast strains with a low degree of defermentation. As a result, the beer keeps its full-bodied (malty) aroma.
Schöps was a beer style hopped moderately with local hop varieties. We have decided to use the German variety of Tettnang Tettnanger, traditional and refined hops from the region where hops have been grown for centuries, the Tettnang region. This hop variety is used to produce bitterness and pleasant herbal and flowery aromas..
Schöps has never been purposefully cultured with lactic acid bacteria. Thermophile strains of bacteria were naturally present in the oak wood barrels where beer fermented and aged waiting for its turn. This slight acidification balanced high sweetness of the Wrocław Schöps. Being cultured with bacteria was a natural way of preserving the beer from going off. To produce this effect, we added sauergut, or wort cultured with lactic acid bacteria, to wort. Lactobacillus plantarum bacteria can be found in sour dough breads, kefirs, and yoghurts.
Porto-barrels aged beers:
Ageing beers in barrels is an incredible experience. First of all, the beer undergoes an oxidization process. The flavour and aromas balance while porto, sherry, and dry fruit (plums, raisins, cherries) and honey are released. Tannins are released from wood to balance the sweetness of Schöps with their astringency. Caramels and other compounds from smoked wood account for subtle
vanilla and spicy flavours.
Ageing with smoked prunes.
To paraphrase the saying it’s a real prune on the cake! This ingredient brings unique and intense flavours. Who know it may bring the profile of Schöps to some historical interpretations of this style. Historical malts might have been smoked more or less depending on the simple method of drying wet malt sprouts on special wood smoked grates. It was common for the smoke to mix with malts and consequently produce smoked flavours.
We believe that the aroma of freshly cold-smoked prunes over beech wood goes best with this beer style. Smoked prunes, bonfire smoke, ashes, and smoked ham enhance the rich palette of flavours. Schöps is a historical beer with a new wave touch. It’s history rediscovered!
- Style: Schöps (Wrocław-based ram)
- Extract: 14,5 %
- Alcohol: 4,8 %
- IBU: 15
- Wheat malt, barley malt: Pilsner, caramel hell; caramel red; melanoid, chocolate wheat malt
- Bitter: Tettnanger (DE)
- yeasts: top-fermenting S-04
- Bacteria: Lactobacillus plantarum (in the form of sauergut – sour wort– added while boiling wort and hops)
- Ingredients: freshly beech wood smoked prunes
- Look: slightly hazy, dark orange
- Aromas: prunes, smoke (bonfire smoke, smoked ham); nutmeg; honey; toasted wheat bread; smoked dark fruit (blackberry, cherries); oak wood, porto
- full-bodied, malty
- prunes, smoked
- slightly sour, sweet-and-sour finish
- Serving temperature: 5-8⁰C
- Glass: Weizen-type
- Foodpairing: Dishes: drop noodles in mushroom and plum sauce; cumin sausage; liver in plum sauce. Cheeses: Sudecki-type, Łomnicki-type goat cheeses. Desserts: cinnamon roll, plum yeast dough cake with crumble