Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company: Schlitz Gusto (circa 1960’s) clone

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.046  FG = 1.010
IBU = 30  SRM = 3  ABV = 4.7%

“The beer that made Milwaukee famous,” and the beer that your father probably used to drink. This is a clone recipe of the 60s-era Schlitz, when Schlitz was the largest brewery in the world and before the infamous “reformulation” done in the 1970s.

5.5 lbs. (2.5 kg) North American Pilsner malt
2 lbs. (0.91 kg) 6-row pale malt
2 lbs. (0.91 kg) flaked maize
1.75 AAU Cluster hops (60 min.) (0.55 oz./16 g at 7% alpha acids)
1.75 AAU Cluster hops (10 min.) (1.1 oz./32 g at 7% alpha acids)
1/4 tsp. calcium chloride
1/4 tsp. gypsum
1 tsp. Irish moss (15 min.)
Wyeast 2035 (American Lager) or White Labs WLP840 (American Lager) yeast (3 qt./~3 L yeast starter)
1 cup (200 g) dextrose (if priming)

Step by Step
This recipe calls for a multi-step mash infusion schedule. Starting with RO water, add the calcium chloride and the gypsum. Dough-in the grains at 113 °F (45 °C) with 14.3 qts. (13.5 L) of water. Immediately begin heating mash to 145 °F (63 °C). Stir mash while heating. Rest for 15 minutes at 145 °F (63 °C), then heat mash to 154 °F (68 °C) and rest for 30 minutes (or until iodine test shows negative). Heat to 167 °F (75 °C) and transfer to lauter tun. Let mash sit for 5 minutes, then recirculate for 20 minutes (or until clear). Sparge with 170 °F (77 °C) water and collect roughly 5 gallons (19 L) of wort, add 1.5 gallons (5.7 L) of water and bring to a boil. Boil for 90 minutes, adding hops and Irish moss as indicated. Cool wort to 55 °F (13 °C), transfer to fermenter, aerate thoroughly and pitch yeast. Let ferment at 55 °F (13 °C) until fermentation slows, then allow temperature to rise to 60 °F (16 °C). After three days (or after sampling the beer and detecting no diacetyl), separate beer from yeast, cool beer to 40 °F (4.4 °C) and begin lagering. Allow to lager for 6 weeks, then keg and force carbonate to 2.6 volumes of CO2.

Partial mash option:
Replace the Pilsner malt from the recipe with 3 lbs. (1.4 kg) Pilsen dried malt extract and 0.5 lb. (230 g) of corn sugar. Heat 6 quarts (5.7 L) water to 164 °F (73 °C) and submerge crushed 6-row and flaked maize in a large steeping bag. Stir and then let partial mash rest, starting at 153 °F (67 °C) for 45 minutes. While the partial mash is resting, heat 1 gallon (3.8 L) of water to a boil in your brewpot and heat 5.5 qts. (5.2 L) of water to 180 °F (82 °C) in a large soup pot. Recirculate about 2 qts. (2 L) of wort, then run off first wort and add to boiling water in brewpot. Add the 180 °F (82 °C) water to the cooler until liquid level is the same as before. Stir grains, let rest 5 minutes, then recirculate and run off wort as before. Add corn sugar and bring wort to a boil. Once hot break forms, add hops and boil for 60 minutes. Follow the remaining portion of the all-grain recipe.

Issue: January-February 2007

1960’s-style American Pilsner, a clone of “The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous”