Entering my first competition: Unsure which category to submit under

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seilenos

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I brewed up this "Mexican Vienna Lager" and plan on entering it in competition (my first!):


The recipe says SRM is between 6 and 7.
Beersmith calculates it as 5.5 on my equipment and based on an SRM chart that I have it probably is about that.

2A International Pale Lager tops out at 6.
2B International Amber Lager starts out at 7.

Right now I am entered as 2B because "Low to medium-low corny sweetness is optional, but not a fault" and there is a pound of corn in the grist.

Any recommendations from those with background in competition?
 
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jdauria

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When entering a comp, your beer does not need to be exactly in gravity, IBU, color range of the style guidelines as judges will not know those things, unless its blatant like entering something with 100 IBUs in a category that max is 20, they will pick up, ditto with entering a 12% beer in a low ABV style. Plenty of people win at comps by brewing to the upper limits or even over the upper limits of a style. However a one point difference in SRM is pretty small and not that big of a deal. Appearance is worth 3 points...so if you are a smidge dark for International Pale Lager, you would, maybe, get dinged 1 point.

The key to beer comps is to enter not what you brewed, but what it smells and tastes like. While 2b does mention the low to medium corny sweetness...do you taste that? Do you get low to medium caramel and toasty notes in flavor as well? If not, then look at 2A, does it have a crisp dry finish? Does it have a light bready or crackery flavor? If not, does it have UP TO a moderate corny sweet flavor? Can you smell corn in aroma? Now look at the style guidelines for commercial examples...for 2A there are no Mexican Vienna lagers listed...but look at 2B...right there it says Dos Equis Amber as a sample.
 
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Dr_Jeff

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As you are aware, getting beer properly classified is very important when entering beers for competition.

One time I had a guy over to the house that was a BJCP Judge to sample some of my beers. One of the beers that he was served, I had brewed to be a rye stout, had had sampled the beer and told me that as a rye stout, it would score low, but as an English mild with rye, it would score high in his opinion.

Good luck with you competition.
 
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seilenos

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Thanks for the tips.

I sat down with the category descriptions and the beer.
Other than it being slightly lighter in color it really fits in better with 2B.
 

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