Skip to content

What Really Goes On At A Hop Harvest

At 6:38am today, we fired up the tractors, trucks, cutters and pickers and kicked off the annual Hop Harvest here at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon.

Despite the hot and dry summer, this is shaping up to be one of our best seasons ever. We and our fellow Oregon hop growers are expecting the biggest harvest in two decades.

The harvest is an intense and complicated chore than can take up to 48 hours for just a single variety. Because we do all of our picking and processing right on the farm, we can show you every step from bine to bale.

Cutting

Cutter and Truck 2

Bottom Cutting.jpeg

Hop bines are cut twice, first at ground level and then at the top near the trellis wires. We load the loose bines into trucks and drive them a grand total of 237-feet to the onsite processing area.

Picking

Picker 2

Picker Close Up.jpeg

Here we load the bines on to a conveyor chain and send them into the picker. “Picker” is a nice way of saying it. The machine is actually bunch of sharp moving blade that chop the bines into bits. We recommend keeping your hands to yourself.

Sorting and Separating

Sort Test.jpeg

Sorting.jpeg

Sort Sep 2.jpeg

We move the cones, twigs, leaves and bines through a series of sieves, fans and belts. The chaff is either separated or blown away, leaving only clean cones at the end of the line.

Kilning

John In Kiln

Hops In Kiln 1

Fresh hops make excellent beer, but they lose their flavor and aroma quickly. To preserve our hops, we dry them in large kilns to reduce the moisture levels so they can be safely stored. Rogue Brewmaster John Maier likes to sniff the cones at every step so he knows exactly what he’ll be using to brew Rogue beers.

Kilning releases huge amount of steam and the aroma of cooking hops is indescribably wonderful.

 

Cooling

Cooling Room.jpeg

After kilning we give our hops several hours to a day to cool down, constantly checking moisture levels until we know they’re dry enough for the final step.

Baling

Baling.jpeg

Finally, the picked, sorted, separated, kilned and cooled cones are pressed into giant bales weighing 200 pounds apiece. Once the harvest of one variety is over, we’ll pick our other six varieties over the next few weeks, as they take their turn ripening in the sun of Rogue Farms.

After The Cutting

If you want to see the real harvest and not just a virtual tour, Rogue Farms is open every day during the season. It’s an unforgettable experience and you’ll never taste a bottle of beer the same way again.

When you visit us, please be aware of harvest equipment on the roads. Keep your dogs and children in sight.

Join us and see how we grow beers, spirits, ciders and sodas from ground to glass.

roguefarms grow the revolution_web

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: