Here's what we're doing this month to grow our beers, spirits, ciders and sodas.
Posts tagged ‘rogue’
Autumn is one of the busiest times of year for the beekeeper at Rogue Farms.
There’s no more wild sources of nectar and pollen for our honeybees to forage and soon it will be too cold for them to leave the hive. So in the next few weeks our beekeeper has 7,140,289 mouths to feed, medicate and shelter before winter arrives.
The bees took care of us this spring and summer by pollinating our crops and making the honey we used in our kolsch, mead, braggot and sodas. Now it’s our turn to take care of them.
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 first winter flood of the season came and went, leaving behind some water in the fields and some muddy hops rows. Not that we expected anything more. But just in case we had stocked up on extra food for the Potbellied Pigs, Free Range Chicks and Royal Palm Turkeys. Josh, Rogue resident Beekeeper, moved a few of the beehives to higher ground. The honey made in these hives is a key ingredient for Rogue Farms 19 Original Colonies of Mead.
The worst of it was a 24-hour period when there was too much water covering the road into the Hopyard. That gave us some time to catch up on paperwork. Perspective is important at times like this. The terroir of the Wigrich Appellation is almost perfect for growing aroma hops. But it also means putting up with floods every winter. As someone said on our Facebook page, “When God gives you water, make beer.”
Two of Rogue Farm’s Royal Palm Turkeys, Stuffing and Juniper, went missing a few days before Thanksgiving and haven’t been seen since. Talk about suspicious timing. The week of one of our big turkey eating holidays and two of our biggest birds go missing? Probably not a coincidence. That and the lack of any sign of natural predation points to some kind of thief. The irony is that Royal Palm Turkeys are not the eating kind. If the crook was looking for some moist, tender white meat, he picked the wrong birds. Please send us any clues or information leading to the where’s about of our Turkeys.
One of the byproducts of the Rogue Farms Honey harvest is beeswax – lots of beeswax.
The Rogue Farms Honeybees produce beeswax for a variety of reasons. One of them is to cap off full honeycombs and preserve the honey as it mellows and ages.
When our Rogue Beekeeper, Josh, harvests the honey, he first slices off beeswax caps from the honeycombs. That’s what allows him to extract the honey in the spinner. But that’s not the end of it for the beeswax. This week, he melted it, strained it to remove impurities and then let it cool into solid blocks.
Beeswax has another life beyond harvest. It’s used in soap and candles. It’s also used to build what’s called honeycomb foundations. These are honeycomb designs that are stamped into beeswax, framed and put into the hive. They become the foundation for the new honeycombs the bees will build the following spring and summer. A place to keep their brood and store honey that we’ll harvest again next fall.
Rogue Farms 19 Original Colonies Mead is brewed using 5 ingredients: Rogue Hopyard Honey, Wild Flower Honey, Jasmine Silver Tip Green Tea Leaves, Champagne Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water. No Chemicals, additives or preservatives were used.
In honor of National Homemade Bread Day (11/17) check out this recipe for Bacon Cheese Beer Bread made with Rogue Ales Yellow Snow IPA:
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 60 mins
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
3 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
12 ounces beer – we used Rogue Ales Yellow Snow IPA
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (we used Rogue Creamery Hopyard Cheddar Cheese), plus 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese for topping
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9”x 5” inch loaf pan.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add in 1 cup of cheese and bacon. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the beer until just mixed – It should be thick and lumpy.
3. Spoon the batter into the pan, and pour the melted butter on top of the batter. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese evenly across surface of the batter.
4. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick/knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
5. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cutting board to cool completely.