Patent No. 2124959A: Method Of Filling And Closing Cans

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Today in 1938, US Patent 2124959 A was issued, an invention of William Martin Vogel, for his “Method Of Filling And Closing Cans.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to cans and a method of making and filling the same, and has for its object the provision of means whereby a maximum quantity of air may be evacuated from the can prior to the sealing operation.

At the present time beer is being packed in cans and one of the greatest difficulties encountered is that of completely or at least nearly completely evacuating the maximum quantity of air from the can. The failure to uniformly evacuate the air results in lack of uniformity of the contents of the can. In some cases an opened can produces beer of a decidedly fiat appearance and taste; while in other cases, an extremely frothy, aerated fluid emanates. Experiments have shown that this lack of uniformity in canned beer is apparently due to the failure to eliminate or evacuate the greatest possible amount of air from the can during or after the filling operation, and prior to the sealing of the can.

The primary object therefore, of this invention, is to provide a can of such a construction, together with a method of filling and sealing such a can, which will eliminate the maximum quantity of air from the can, thereby completely, or nearly completely, filling the can with the liquid contents only. More particularly, the invention contemplates the provision of a can initially formed with an outwardly distended or dished bottom,

arranged to be reversely curved or distorted under pressure after the can is filled, thereby causing the liquid contents of the can to be bodily shifted toward the top of ‘the can, causing said contents to displace and eject the air out of the can just prior to the sealing of the top of the can.

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Beer Birthday: Mark Ruedrich

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Today is the 65th birthday of Mark Ruedrich, co-owner, and original brewer, of North Coast Brewing in Fort Bragg. Mark was a marine biologist who discovered good beer while living in England. Looking for a spot to build a brewery in Northern California, he was drawn to the tidal pools around Fort Bragg, and built a mini-beer empire there beginning in 1988. His Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout was one of the first truly great world-class beers made by early American microbreweries and helped put the nascent industry on the map. Plus he’s great fun to share a pint with. Join me in wishing Mark a very happy birthday.

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Mark with North Coast co-owner Tom Allen at GABF in 2006.

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North Coast brewer Ken Kelley with Mark at the brewery last year.

Patent No. 2124565A: Liquid Container

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Today in 1938, US Patent 2124565 A was issued, an invention of Frank D. Goll and James K. Wareham, assigned to the Aluminum Co. Of America, for their “Liquid Container,” essentially a keg. There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to metal vessels for storing and shipping liquids. It relates especially to the construction of metal barrels and similar vessels for the storage and transportation of liquids, such as beer and the like.

The primary object of the invention is to provide an improved metal barrel. Another object is to provide a strong but light metal barrel which may be used either with or without an insulating cover of rubber or other material. A further object of this invention is to provide improved fittings for metal barrels of the type specified.

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Beer In Ads #1983: We Won!


Monday’s ad is entitled We Won!, and the illustration was done in 1955 by Haddon Sundblom. It’s #114 in a series entitled “Home Life in America,” also known as the Beer Belongs series of ads that the United States Brewers Foundation ran from 1945 to 1956. This is another duplicate, and it was used the previous year as #100 with a different title, After the Game, everything else is exactly the same. The only difference is, this time we know they won. As I wrote about it the last time, the kids are back from the football game, and Mom has the salad and jello mold ready for them. Thankfully, someone also set out beer, which is the only thing on the table they really want.

114. We Won! by Haddon Sundblom, 1955

Patent No. 3332779A: Neutral Tasting Alcoholic Malt Beverage

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Today in 1967, US Patent 3332779 A was issued, an invention of Erik Krabbe, Webster Groves, and Cavit Akin, assigned to the Falstaff Brewing Corp., for their “Neutral Tasting Alcoholic Malt Beverage.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The preparation of a neutral tasting alcoholic substrate by yeast fermentation of unboiled, unhopped wort containing fermentable sugar.

This invention relates to alcoholic malt beverage and more particularly to formation of an alcoholic malt beverage or substrate or base. which has a relatively neutral taste. More specifically the invention relates to the formation of a neutral alcoholic substrate from malt and cereal products and thereafter flavoring the neutral substrate with various flavoring substances.

Recently, various proposals have been made to provide flavored alcoholic beverages of various descriptions such as Tom Collins, coffee, mint, cherry, etc. The technique of trying to achieve such flavored alcoholic products by the use of fermented liquor have resulted in a rather. undesired feature of having the undesired normal beer or malt liquor flavor superimposed with a second desired flavor as those heretofore mentioned. So tar one proposal is to ferment the normal beer and then eliminate the flavor of the beer by charcoal filtration. Another technique is to add the flavor agent into boiling wort at which time activated carbon is added to the kettle to remove color from the wort. When sufficient time has been allowed for extracting the flavor, the wort was filtered and then fermented.

In contrast to previous techniques, the present invention briefly contemplates preparing a neutral fermented substrate for an alcoholic malt beverage which does not require the step of attempting to remove the’malt liquor or beer taste. Such an ideal neutral substrate or base alcoholic liquor is achieved by fermenting an extract of 10 to 35 weight percent unboiled, unhopped wort and 90 to 65 weight percent fermentable sugar (cerelose for example), based on the extract being water free. On a volumetric basis, one volume of unboiled, unhopped wort at 10 percent solids is added to three volumes of cerelose solution at 10 percent solids. Four grams of yeast (wet cake) per liter is suitable. The yeast may be the normal brewery yeast which has been washed to prevent carry over of hop bitter substances. The wort and cerelose are fermented preferably at a constant temperature of 13 C. After the fermentation is complete, the fermented extract is cooled to 3 C. and remains at that temperature for two or three days to end fermentation. Thereafter, the fermented extract is centrifuged and/.or filtered to obtain the neutral base which then is ready for carbonation and flavoring. At this stage of processing the flavor of the fermented substrate is substantially neutral with no organoleptic impression of malt liquor.

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Beer Birthday: Paul Gatza

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Today is also Paul Gatza’s 52nd birthday. Paul is the Director of the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colorado. He’s held numerous executive positions with the BA and its previous incarnation, the Association of Brewers. An avid homebrewer, Paul is great face for the BA and a terrific person. Join me in wishing Paul a very happy birthday.

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Toasting in New Orleans for CBC.

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Working the AHA booth at GABF.

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At the podium during the opening of CBC in 2008.

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Paul giving his annual state of the industry talk at CBC in 2012.

Patent No. 1919665A: Bottle Filling Machine And Method

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Today in 1933, US Patent 1919665 A was issued, an invention of Frederick W. Muller, for his “Bottle Filling Machine and Method.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to bottle filling machines and methods and relates particularly to bottle filling machines of the type wherein a plurality of bottles continuously fed to the machine are automatically and successively filled with a beverage such as beer.

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Beer Birthday: Vinnie Cilurzo

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Today is the 46th birthday of Vinnie Cilurzo, founder and brewmaster at Russian River Brewing. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know Vinnie is one of the best brewers in America and is credited with having made the first Imperial IPA. Along with his partner Natalie, his Russian River Brewery in Santa Rosa, California won unprecedented back-to-back best brewpub (and brewmaster) awards at the World Beer Cups in 2006 and 2008, and their flagship Pliny the Elder has been picked as the best beer in America by AHA members seven years in a row. And Vinnie is one of the nicest people in the industry you’ll ever meet. Join me in wishing Vinnie a happy birthday.

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Vinnie and his wife Natalie from presented to Tom Dalldorf (middle), owner of the Celebrator, a Balthazar of their yummy Damnation Ale in honor of the magazine’s 17th anniversary. A Balthazar is 12 liters or contains about 16 normal bottles of beer.

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Dave Keene, owner of the Toronado, Natalie Cilurzo, Dave’s girlfriend Jennifer and Vinnie at CBC in Seattle.

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Garrett Oliver, brewer at Brooklyn Brewing Co., and Vinnie at the Brewer’s Dinner the night before GABF begins.

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Vinnie and Rich Norgrove from Bear Republic at the Summit Hop Festival a few years ago at Drake’s.

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Vinnie with his wife and Russian River co-owner Natalie at GABF in 2009.

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Vinnie and me his 40th birthday party at the brewpub a few years ago.

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And again last month at the Firestone Walker Invitational, sharing some frites.

Patent No. 3679431A: Wort Production

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Today in 1972, US Patent 3679431 A was issued, an invention of David Henry Clayton and John Karkalas, for their “Wort Production.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention is concerned with improvements in or relating to wort production.

– Wort contains in addition to fermentable carbohydrates, soluble nitrogeneous compounds. Barley malt is the traditional raw material for the production of wort since it provides a source of carbohydrates and “nitrogen com pounds and in addition provides the enzymes capable of degrading the carbohydrates and nitrogen compounds to the soluble components of wort.

Malt is manufactured from e.g. barley by the process of malting. This consists of first germinating and then drying barley grain under controlled conditions.

The manufacture of malt is expensive because (1) large capital investments are necessary for the malting machinery, (2) a skilled labour force is required to operate the malting machines, (3) malt can only be made successfully from the higher qualities of barley which are expensive and (4) during the malting process a physical loss in dry matter occurs; this is known as the malting loss.

It is an object of the invention to provide an improved method of producing a wort in which the use of barley malt is reduced or virtually eliminated.

We have found that wort may be produced by treating an aqueous slurry of starch and protein-containing plant material for example unmalted cereal grain e.g. It appears that said hydrodynamic conditions result in the formation of a homogeneous mass very suitable for the action of the starch liquefying enzyme. Examples of starch and protein-containing plant materials other than cereals include roots, fungi material and by-products of processes to which ‘cereals have been subjected.

Examples of suitable materials include tapioca and rice, as well as wheat, barley and maize.

The invention provides a method of producing wort from an aqueous slurry of starch and protein-containing plant material comprising the steps of liquefying starch by treating the slurry with a commercial starch liquefying enzyme subjecting the slurry to hydrodynamic conditions such that a substantial thixotropic reduction of viscosity is produced by shearing forces in the slurry to facilitate the action of the starch liquefying enzyme prior to any substantial reduction of viscosity resulting from the enzymatic liquefaction converting starch to sugar by treatment with a saccharifying enzyme and converting protein to soluble nitrogen-containing compounds by treatment with a proteolytic enzyme.

The invention also provides wort when produced by a method as set out in the last preceding paragraph.

The invention also provides a process for brewing beer including such a method.

The invention also provides beer when produced by such a process.

The invention also provides a process of producing a concentrated wort syrup by concentrating wort produced by such a method.

The invention also provides a concentrated wort syrup when produced by such a process.

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Beer In Ads #1982: Working On The Community Drive


Sunday’s ad is entitled Working on the Community Drive, and the illustration was done in 1955 by Douglass Crockwell. It’s #113 in a series entitled “Home Life in America,” also known as the Beer Belongs series of ads that the United States Brewers Foundation ran from 1945 to 1956. In this ad, a group of well-dressed men and women are in someone’s large, nicely appointed home, apparently Working on the Community Drive. There are envelopes, an address book, a list, index cards and someone using a pen. It looks old school and very low-tech, but then again in 1955 a computer like the IBM 702 (which was first built that year) took up a very large room and had to be leased from Big Blue, so it may have been out of the reach of the neighborhood community drive. Maybe that’s why they’re serving beer.

113. Working on the Community Drive by Douglass Crockwell, 1955