How to brew BMC

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A beer for the missus

Millions of people like to drink Bud/Miller/Coors (BMC) style beers. These beers are often referred to as Pilsners by their manufacturers, but are generally considered to be their own separate category of Pale Lager. They are light in colour and body and lightly hopped.

So how is it made?

Well Beer is made from Water, Malt, Hops and Yeast. The main addition to this is the use of corn or rice because it is cheap, adds very little body, colour or flavour to the beer, which is what gives it its properties. The corn and rice is unmalted so relies on the enzymes from the malted barley to convert the starch from the rice/corn to fermentable sugars. Because of this 6 row barley is used because of its higher diastic properties. To help beer production take less space instead of brewing lots of weak beer some of the breweries brew a stronger beer and then water it down at production.

If you are going to try this then you should be aware that because there are no heavy or strong flavours and off flavours caused by method or ingredients will show through and not be masked so fresh ingredients should be used. Malt:
UK 2 row pale malts are generally to dark for pilsners and don’t have enough diastic power, so a US 2 *row or German Pilsner 2 row can be used. 6 row has a grainier profile than 2 row hence the reason for using some 2 row. Adjuncts:
To get Corn into the mash then you can use; Flaked maize which is pre-gelatinised and add it to your mash. Corn syrup can be added late to the kettle. You can also use corn grits but they need a separate mash. The same goes for flaked maize, rice syrup and rice grits.

Obviously a lot off American hops are used although some foreign styles of hops are grown domestically as well as some imports are used. Importantly the bitterness is low at around 10-14 IBU.

Obviously a lager yeast is the best bet. It’s difficult to tell what the big boys use bit an American Lager yeast is a good choice, like Wyeast 2035 os similar.

So far we have an outline of the beer.

  • OG 1040 - 1045
  • FG 1005 – 1007
  • SRM - ~ 2-4
  • IBU 10-14
  • ABV 4-5%

So from the info above we can put a list together.

2 row pale or pilsner malt
6 row pale palt
Rice or Corn adjunct
Hops from the list of: Noble, Cascade, Willamette, Spalt, Newport, Sterling and a few others.
Yeast. Lager, American, Wyeast 2035.

A good clean tasting water is a must especially if you plan to brew strong and water it down. Sterilised water can help with this but you’ll need to add brewing salts to it. You can also use Camden tablets to take out chloramines and boil to remove chlorine.

Now that info above is well is enough to get you well in the way to understanding how to brew a BMC style beer.

Now this. I’d say it’s all toooo much effort and it’s much easier toy just go buy a case for $20 dollars or what ever it costs and use your brew time to brew a Real Ale worth the effort. But because I’m in a good mood here’s a little more info.

You need to mash for highly fermentable wort, which means at the lower end of the mashing scale maybe 150-152 or if you have the inclination ability to step mash then do some lower temp steps with a rest at 140 really helping to get a dry beer. I’m no expert on step mashes so can’t really help more than that.

With sparging clarity is important so fly sparging can help or at least returning plenty of the first mash back to the mash when batch sparging. You need to be careful not to sparge bellow around 1010.

A good boil is required to make sure you boil off any DMS and allow a good hot break.

Also note that due to poor handling and clear bottles that these beers quite often get skunked and the beer swilling masses have got used to it and see it as a positive flavour in these beers. So short of finding a passing skunk...I suggest looking after a few bottles and also letting a few bottles skunk in daylight. Taste two side by side warm then taste two side by side chilled to see what you think.

That’s enough for now.
I’m off for a Real Beer.


BeerSmith Recipe Printout -
Recipe: HopHed FPW
Brewer: HopHed Brewhaus (ohiobrewtus)
Style: American Light/Standard/Premium Lager
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (41.0)
Recipe Specifications

Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 7.39 gal
Estimated OG: 1.043 SG
Estimated Color: 2.5 SRM
Estimated IBU: 11.0 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amount Item Type % or IBU
4.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 50.00 %
2.00 lb Corn, Flaked (1.3 SRM) Grain 25.00 %
1.00 lb Rice, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 12.50 %
0.50 oz Hallertauer [6.00 %] (60 min) Hops 10.5 IBU
0.25 oz Hallertauer [6.00 %] (2 min) Hops 0.4 IBU
1.00 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
1.00 lb Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 SRM) Sugar 12.50 %
1 Pkgs American Lager (White Labs #WLP840) Yeast-Lager

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 7.00 lb

Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 8.75 qt of water at 170.1 F 148.0 F

I hit my target gravity dead on at 1.043, but Saflager has yet to kick in. It's been 48 hours and it's my first lager so I'm not overly concerned yet, but I certainly expected to see some activity by now.