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Posts from the ‘Hops’ Category

Hops, Hogs And Holidays

Join us for our final blow out party of the year, Hops, Hogs & Holidays, this Saturday at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon.

It’ll be a day of Holiday crafts, live music, a visit by Santa and we’ll wrap it up with a big ham feast. Please see below for more information, or call Rogue Farms at 503-838-9813.

Hops Hogs Holidays Poster

Growing Beer, Stick By Stick

What’s the difference between a hopyard and field of weeds? It’s the trellis system.

It wasn’t until our brewing forefathers learned how to grow hops on a trellis, away from the damp soil and exposed to the sun, that the wild plant known as Humulus lupulus became a cultivated crop and one of the key ingredients in beer.

A hopyard trellis will last for five decades or longer. But ever once in a while, you need to get down in the dirt and do some repairs.

Empty Hopyard

With no hops growing and the rhizomes dormant underground, winter is the best time for hopyard repairs.

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Hop Harvest In, Two More To Go

With the sun fading over the Coast Range, we finished bringing in our Alluvial hops this weekend and the 2014 Rogue Farms Hop Harvest came to a close.

Four weeks, seven varieties of hops, 350 bales, one big celebration.

hop trucks

The final truck loads of Alluvial hops coming in from the hop rows.

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Celebrate The Hop Harvest

Please join us at Rogue Farms this weekend as we celebrate the end of the 2014 Big Wave Hop Harvest!

Freedom Hop Harvest

The start of the 2014 Rogue Farms Big Wave Hop Harvest as we cut our Freedom bines from the trellises.

After four weeks of picking, stripping, sorting, separating, kilning, cooling, and baling our seven varieties of Rogue Farms hops, we now get to relax and enjoy the company of friends for a few hours, or until our next crop is ready to harvest.

Rogue Farms Hop Harvest Festival begins at 12pm with a toast to a nearly 70,000-pound hop harvest.

Join us on a tour of Rogue Farms at 12pm, 2pm, or 4pm. Games including barley sack races, cornhole, bung toss and more throughout the day.

Enjoy live music by The Bluzotix from 2-5pm and visit with local artisans. Admission is free.

There’s plenty going on at Rogue Farms during September and October. We also have Bingo nights, two concerts and a Garage Sale on Columbus Day Weekend.

Please see our events page for more information.

roguefarms we grow beer and spirits_web

 

 

Picking Our Second Wave Of Hops

We began picking our Rebel and Independent hops this week, the second wave of hops to turn ripe during this year’s harvest season at Rogue Farms.

From bine to brew, Rebel and Independent are two of the seven varieties we grow, pick, strip, sort, separate, kiln, cool and bale on our 42- acre hopyard overlooking the Willamette River in the Wigrich Appellation.

With our Freedom hops already harvested and driven 77 miles to our Brewery in Newport , we have four more varieties to harvest over the next couple of weeks.

Here’s what’s been keeping us busy this week.

The harvest begins as we cut the cone filled bines off the trellis wires.

The harvest begins as we cut the cone filled bines off the trellis wires.

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Hop Harvest Starts Wednesday

The 2014 Rogue Farms Big Wave Hop Harvest starts Wednesday morning here at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon.

From last year's harvest. John in the rows of Freedom hops, picking out what he'll use to brew Wet Hop Ale.

From last year’s harvest. John in the rows of Freedom hops, picking out what he’ll use to brew Wet Hop Ale.

The first of our seven varieties we’ll pick are our Freedom hops. Don’t be surprised if you see John Maier poking through hop rows or inside the processing facility. John is using some of this year’s Freedom crop (and Yaquinas when they’re ready) to brew Wet Hop Ale. He’ll personally select the fresh cones to bring home with him to our Brewery in Newport.

We’ll picking the remaining six Rogue Farms hops over the next three of four weeks. Hard to believe that after a year of such crazy weather (drought, floods and snow), the hops are healthy, ripe and ready for picking!

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Growing Our Own Ingredients

Drive down Wigrich Road to Rogue Farms this time of year and you’ll always find something new going on.

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Estate Grown Hops

We’re about a week away from the summer solstice, aka the longest day of the year.

On June 20th, the sun will rise over Rogue Farms at 5:25am and won’t drop below the horizon until 9:02pm. 15 hours, 36 minutes and 31 seconds of daylight.

This is when is our hop bines go into overdrive. Long periods of daylight trigger the natural hormones within hops that cause them to grow several inches in a day, several feet in a week. You can literally watch the hops grow.

So how’s this year’s crop coming along?

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Spring Training For Beer

In just a few weeks, May 20th to be exact, we cross a magical threshold at Rogue Farms.

On that day we’ll get 15 hours, 2 minutes and 1 second of daylight. These “15 hour” days will be with us for another couple of months.

Hops love 15 hour days. They crave those long periods of daylight to trigger growth hormones that send the bines climbing up the trellises several inches in a day, several feet in a week.

But first we have to give them a head start. It’s called training.

Training starts by picking the best looking bines from a mound.

Training starts as we pick the best looking bines from a mound. Only a few of the bines will be trained. The others we’ll cut back to the ground.

We have 1549 strings per acre, 65058 strings in the entire hopyard. We train each bine by hand. It’s time-consuming work, but one of the most important chores we do all year. Without training, the bines will just spread out over the field. Climbing up the trellis strings gives them maximum exposure to the sun they so desperately need to grow and produce cones.

The best bines are wound clockwise around the trellis strings. Clockwise because that's how bines follow the sun.

The best bines are wound clockwise around the trellis strings. Clockwise because that’s how bines follow the sun.

Bines climb the strings with tiny hairs that are about impossible to see without a magnifying glass. If you rub against them they are irritating to the skin. Which is why most of the time we wear gloves when handling hop bines.

Then they're tied in place. After that, we let Mother Nature and sunshine take care of the rest.

Then we tie them in place. After that, we let Mother Nature and sunshine take it from here.

There are a lot of places that get more sun that we do in the Wigrich Appellation. But most of those places don’t get “15 hour” days. Nor do they have our mild and wet winters and springs, nor our rich alluvial soils. Our climate and soil are two big reasons why Rogue Farms has the world’s best terroir for growing hops.

Please see for yourself by visiting us at Rogue Farms this spring. Taste the difference terroir makes the next time you open a Rogue ale, porter, lager, stout, mead, braggot, kolsch or spirits.

roguefarms we grow beer and spirits_web

 

Of Thee I String

At Rogue Farms we’re having one of the nicest stretches of weather we’ve seen in months. The sun is out and the days are warm.

It’s perfect timing for the biggest chore of the season – stringing, staking and training the hops.

The "string" we use at Rogue Farms is called coir. It's a twine made from Sri Lanka coconut husks.

The “string” we use at Rogue Farms is called coir. It’s a twine made from Sri Lanka coconut husks. We cut down the string during the harvest and leave it on the hopyard floor as mulch.

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

New strings have to go up in spring, or the hops won’t have a way to climb up the trellis. Crews ride through the hopyard on one of the strangest contraptions you’ll ever see, tying one end of the strings to the wires.

Stringing Crew 3

The work must be done with military like precision. There are more than 1,500 strings per acre, or 63,637 strings in the Rogue Farms 42 acre hopyard.

Tying The Knot 2

Each of the 63,637 strings are knotted by hand.

Stringing Crew 2

After the knots are tied, we drop the other end of the string to the ground.

staking

Then another crew comes in after the first one, pushing the bottom end of the string deep into the ground and staking it taut.

After about a week of stringing and staking, here's what the hopyard looks like when we're done.

After days of stringing and staking, here’s what the hopyard looks like when we’re done.

The final step is called training. Hops need as much exposure to the sun as possible, and a well made trellis system of poles, wires and strings is the best way to make that happen. But bines need our help. So when they’re about two feet fall we take the best bines from every plant and wrap them clockwise around the strings to give them a head start.

In about six weeks, the periods of daylight at Rogue Farms will run 15 hours and longer. This is when hops begin their incredible growth spurts, climbing several inches in a day, several feet in a week. Cones begin to form in June, and the harvest usually occurs in late August and September.

The season for growing beers and spirits is just beginning. See how we do it, from farm to table, at Rogue Farms.

roguefarms grow the revolution

 

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Gardening hops, grains, vegetables, and brewing beer in South Louisiana. And they said it couldn't be done....

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