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Author Topic: How i started a nanobrewery in Venezuela!!! Part II  (Read 2096 times)

OldDans

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How i started a nanobrewery in Venezuela!!! Part II
« on: April 09, 2014, 06:35:49 PM »

You can find the first part of this post on:

http://17crew.com/forums/your-brewing-stories/how-i-started-a-nanobrewery-in-venezuela!!!-part-i/


Before we continue with this long story I think that I have to explain a little about the political and economic situation of Venezuela.
Right now we are in a deep economic and political crisis, I will try to take no political sides in the story because is very complex and boring for this post, but I think it will help you to understand all the sacrifices that we make to have a good glass of beer.
1.       The liquor law of Venezuela practically it was create basically by the big rum and beer companies in 1970 or 1960 I really don’t remember, this law looks like it was made to avoid the existence small breweries, in fact it was very efficient in that function, because in Venezuela you can only find two big breweries and two small ones, these last ones only working in Caracas and with a very small production, the other old breweries in Venezuela disappears long time ago. This law makes illegal any brewpub or any craftbeer. (Yes in Venezuela you can’t find a brewpub and the craftbeer is illegal too). The corruption in the country is one of the biggest in the world so try to change the law is an epic adventure that will consume all our energy and money.
2.       In Venezuela exists a currency exchange control by the government since 2002, what these it means? It means that I can’t buy dollars freely, the government gives to every company or person a tiny amount of dollars to be bought in a year period, and if you reach that limit you can’t find any dollar till the next year. These are very important to us, because if extremely difficult to find dollars to buy all the ingredients that we need. You can find dollars in a black market and this it’s very expensive. This is more complex than this but I think that is enough to explain a little one of the problems in these beer story.
As I tell in the part I, finally I find ingredients in Venezuela, but they are a very basic ones, just one kind of yeast a malted barley without any specification and a very old hops.
First’s moments as a homebrewer.
So, we are sometime in 2011, with these ingredients I make a lots of batches, I learn to roast the barley, so I can give color and flavors to the beer (try to import specialty grains it´s impossible at that time, because it’s to heavy and it will be costly, in that time I don’t have any money to make big investments), using my small amount of legal dollar to bring good yeast and good pellet hops, I begin to upgrade my recipes and as result my beer it was better, but just a little.
In this time I make my first brewery, a 19 L (5 gallons) three level stand tower using the brew ware book. This tower was made all from scrap metal and recycled things. I only bought a small aluminum pot and adapt a thermometer on one side and a ball valve in the bottom.
The experimental brews.
With my new brewery I try lots of crazy ingredients that I find here and of course inspired by the tv show BrewMaster by Sam Calagione. In this period I discover and use some of the basic ingredients that I use in my actual recipes, like molasses, honey, mangoes, strawberries, coffee, chocolate, coconut, pumpkins etc. 
I tried some beers using corn, rice and cassava to make my grains efficiency go higher (remember it was impossible to find grains) but finally these ingredient doesn’t give flavor to the beer and make the process more difficult, so since that moment all my beers are made of malted barley and some flavor adjuncts.
I think that In this moment i discover CraigTube (by the way, thanks to one of his videos I discover 17crew), immediately I become a loyal follower of the brewing videos of CraigTube, and learn a lot from these videos and understand all Craig complains about the difficulties and cost of finding ingredients were he lived (it was something like my situation). As I said I learn a lot from him and I will thank him for the videos.
Two years after my first batch, i think that it was on august of 2012 is when I decide to sell my beer to my friends and create a twitter account to sell my beer to anyone. But the task it was too much work to do for one person, so I call a friend (another biologist), explain my idea and invited him to be part of the Old Dan´s Project. In that time this friend it was unemployed, and he rapidly said yes to Old Dan´s Brewery (in this time I worked in the UCV, Universidad Central de Venezuela as a Biologist in a project in a water reservoir in Venezuela).
All these time I think that I was the only homebrewer in Caracas, but suddenly I discover on twitter a craftbrewery here in my city, I sent a direct message to these guys explaining that I was a homebrewer too, and asking if we can meet, they answer immediately, and explain to me that in two days it will be some kind of a meeting in Caracas where it will be a great number of homebrewers of Venezuela and everyone it will take beer to the meeting.  We have some beer in the fridge and two days after we meet a great number of homebrewers and discover a very advance movement of craftbrewery in my country.
End of Part II

Jaymcmlxx

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Re: How i started a nanobrewery in Venezuela!!! Part II
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2014, 07:34:45 PM »
For someone who says their English is bad you have me hanging on every word.

OldDans

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Re: How i started a nanobrewery in Venezuela!!! Part II
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2014, 08:33:52 PM »

Hahaha, i said that because i normally speak in english but never write in english, so is a little difficult to me make the translation from spanish!!!


Jaymcmlxx

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Re: How i started a nanobrewery in Venezuela!!! Part II
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2014, 09:29:22 PM »


Hahaha, i said that because i normally speak in english but never write in english, so is a little difficult to me make the translation from spanish!!!
  You are doing just fine, keep telling the story. Very inspiring stuff my friend. Just awesome.

arrogantbastardale

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Re: How i started a nanobrewery in Venezuela!!! Part II
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2014, 12:47:19 AM »
Yes, very interesting stuff.  It is amazing that you and others are venturing into homebrewing and craft beer despite the corrupt political climate.  I can't wait for the third part!

homebrewdave

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Re: How i started a nanobrewery in Venezuela!!! Part II
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2014, 01:41:00 AM »
wow  :)  loved it..


Part 3 must be on the cards ..

BackCreekBrewing

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Re: How i started a nanobrewery in Venezuela!!! Part II
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2014, 01:22:11 PM »
If this were a book preview, I would have bought it after Part I. Awesome story.
Come visit us at www.BackCreekBrewing.com

OldDans

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Re: How i started a nanobrewery in Venezuela!!! Part II
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2014, 01:49:43 PM »
If this were a book preview, I would have bought it after Part I. Awesome story.


Hahahaha, thanks!!! i think that the nexts parts it will be the best ones!!!!

vic

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Re: How i started a nanobrewery in Venezuela!!! Part II
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2014, 07:37:23 AM »
how good is this? great stuff .
beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer.....Henry Lawson.

 

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