We miss the snow.
Our appreciation goes well beyond the usual reasons. It’s beautiful, it’s fun to play in, but the reason we want snow at the Rogue Barley Farm is because it protects our malting barley.
We’re not just being poetic when we say the snow acts like a thermal blanket that protects the Risk malting barley from the cold nights of winter. Without the snow, the Risk barley is more exposed and more vulnerable to freeze and frost damage.
With the snow gone, the new shoots of Risk malting barley are more exposed to cold temperatures.
In the week to come, the nighttime temps are dipping into the low 20’s. The Risk barley can tolerate those temperatures – so we’re probably fine. But if a cold snap does come our way, we’d really like to have some snow on the ground so we can rest easier when the sun goes down.
Interested in learning more about Rogue’s Barley Farm? See our Tygh Valley Farmer’s Almanac on Rogue.com.
Rogue Farms knows bees and will soon be building more nucs to add more colonies to increase honey production.
Nuc is beekeeping slang for nucleus, a small group of workers, drones, a new queen and a mini-hive with enough food and brood to get them started on becoming their own colony.
Beekeepers buy nucs to add more colonies and increase honey production. Or they may build a nuc from one of their current colonies. This splits the hive and prevents swarming.
Either way, the key to a successful nuc is making sure the new queen gets along with the workers before she’s introduced. A special device, called a queen excluder, separates the queen from the rest of the hive until it’s clear that everyone is getting along.
– The workers are feeding the new queen through the excluder.
– The workers are trying to kill the new queen – also known as balling the queen.
– The workers are producing emergency queen cells, which means they’ve rejected the new queen and want to produce one of their own.
Whether a nuc is a success or a failure should be obvious in about eight days. After that it’s okay to remove the excluder. And then after about a month, the new colony can be moved out of the mini-hive and into a regular one and begin foraging and producing honey.
The Rogue Farms GYO Dream Pumpkins have been harvested! Rogue Ales Pumpkin Patch Ale will be available worldwide in a new orange painted 750ml bottles in Fall 2012. Rogue is dedicated to saving the terroir of Oregon hops, pumpkins and barley one acre at a time, by growing its own. YouTube Video: http://youtu.be/-ub6NoWXbac
The Rogue Dare Pumpkins have been picked from the Hopyard and have arrived at the Rogue Ales Brewery in Newport, Oregon. Christina, our brewmaster from the Rogue Ales Public House Eugene, has joined in on the fun – washing and cutting open the pumpkins and then chopping them up into chunks in preparation for roasting.
The average Rogue Farms Dream Pumpkin weighs 5 lbs and 5,217 lbs were brought to the brewery from the Rogue Farm. Still covered in dirt, each pumpkin needed to be washed prior to being chopped, scraped, roasted and brewed.
After a thorough cleaning, the pumpkins have their stem removed and are chopped into smaller pieces using the official Rogue Pumpkin Slicer – the machete. Each slice needs to have the pulpy interior removed and leave only the good part, the outer shell of the pumpkin.
The Dream Pumpkins are then roasted in the Rogue Nation Pizza Oven (tray by tray) for about 45 minutes each. After all the pumpkins have been roasted, they are pitched directly into the lauter tun for brewing. We brew the Chatoe Pumpkin Patch Ale with ginger, vanilla bean, cinnamon and nutmeg. Look for it on shelves starting this October. When you grow it, you know it. From ground to glass, patch to batch, Rogue grows its own.
The hop harvest may be over, but there’s still plenty to do around the Rogue Farms Micro Hopyard. Last weekend Rogue employees, families and friends harvested this year’s crop of GYO Dream Pumpkins for our Chatoe Rogue Pumpkin Patch Ale.
The Pumpkin Rogue Pickin’ Crew
If lugging around hundreds of big orange orbs sounds like hard work, you’d be right. But with everyone pitching in, the load didn’t seem quite so heavy.
Everyone helped load the pumpkins into the truck.
The 77 mile drive from Independence to Newport, OR begins.
Just as soon as we were done loading the Dream pumpkins onto the truck, we immediately set off for the Brewery in Newport, Oregon – which is a 77 mile drive away. Check back later today to see how we cut, roasted and pitch them in the brew kettle.
Farming is hard enough without having your crop destroyed by some slimy, hermaphroditic gastropods. We originally planted the 15 acres of Dream Rye in November 2011, only to see it wiped out in less than a day by hungry slugs. So we declared “War On Slugs” and plowed, disced, harrowed and drilled the field again this spring.
Our first growth field of Dream Rye turned out better than anyone expected considering the slugs. When the final step of the Dream Rye harvest got underway last week, the rye had already been swathed, that is raked into rows. It needed some time to lie in the field and dry out before the combine went in and threshed and winnowed the seed.
The field is swathed, or raked into rows.
The combine as it comes through the field to thresh and winnow the grain.
So what are we going to do with all this rye? Rogue Ales will be brewing its first rye beer: Chatoe Rogue Roguenbier Rye tastes of the rich alluvial soils, magical combination of sun and rain, and the cooling breezes of the Van Duzer corridor that define the terroir of the Wigrich Appellation.
Chatoe Rogue Roguenbier Rye will be available in bottles and on draft in November. Also look for Rogue Rye Whiskey in 2013.
The GYO hops at the Rogue Farms hopyard in Independence are ready for harvest, and you know what that means: Wet Hop Ale. Freedom Hops were hand picked by Rogue Brewmaster John Maier this week. A 98 minute drive to our brewery in Newport, Oregon later, those still wet hops were added to the brew kettle to make Wet Hop Ale. Keep your eye out for it in the coming weeks!
Rogue Brewmaster John Maier inspecting the hops at the Rogue Farms Hopyard in Independence, OR.
Hand-picking the Freedom Hops.
98 minutes later: pitching the wet hops into the brew kettle at the Rogue Brewery in Newport, Oregon
The finished product.