Patent No. 831635A: Beer Pipe Cleaner

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Today in 1906, US Patent 831635 A was issued, an invention of Joseph Strunce, for his “Beer Pipe Cleaner.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to certain new and useful improvements in an apparatus to be used for cleaning pipes, and while it is more especially intended to be employed for cleaning beer-pipes, such as are used for drawing beer from kegs, casks, or vessels, yet it is applicable for cleaning pipes used for other purposes; and it consists in certain peculiarities of the construction, novel arrangements, and operation of the various parts thereof, as will be hereinafter more fully set forth and specifically claimed.

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Beer In Ads #2043: Terrific Twosome


Saturday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1956. In this ad, a couple is grocery shopping — I just love their shopping outfits — as he’s putting a six-pack of Miller High Life in their cart. She’s holding up a half grapefruit? Or what is that? It looks like it has a yellow rind but a large green center. Is that the pairing alluded to by “Terrific Twosome.” Or is it simply the couple themselves?

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Patent No. 3104974A: Process For Improving The Brewing Characteristics Of Hops

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Today in 1963, US Patent 3104974 A was issued, an invention of Pavel Weiner, for his “Process For Improving the Brewing Characteristics of Hops.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

Hops which have been freshly picked and are then used either immediately, or after having been stored for a reasonably short period, for brewing, contain etheric oils which are of considerable importance for the taste of the resulting beer. Since hops cannot always be processed immediately after picking, the storage of hops represents a special problem, since hops stored in the open air start to decompose immediately even when given a conventional drying treatment to reduce their water content to from about 10 to 12% by weight. Decomposition proceeds more rapidly if the air in contact with the hops is moist, and if the temperature at which the hops are stored is high.

Known methods of ensuring that hops retain their desirable qualities even during long storage are, therefore, based on storing the hops at a low temperature and in dry air, or on keeping atmospheric air away from the hops while they are in store and while they are being conveyed to the brewery. The hops are therefore placed in gas-tight vessels, the air being then sucked out of the vessel and replaced by an inert gas, usually carbon dioxide. In another known process to improve the keeping properties of hops, they are compressed into a rigid block, then enclosed in a gas-previous envelope, and temporarily subjected to a low ambient pressure of from about 1.5 to 2.3 mm. of mercury, whereafter they can be stored in the open air for a longer but still limited time.

All these methods of storing or improving the keeping properties of hops are expensive, increase the cost of the hops, and cannot prevent the gradual advance of the decomposition processes which start immediately the hops have been picked. Such processes lead to the formation and collection in the hops of undesirable odorants and flavoring substances which are imparted very rapidly to the beer brewed with such hops. Although some of these volatile substances evaporate with the steam while the mash is being boiled with the hops, the flavor of the mash is nevertheless impaired and this deficiency is clearly perceptible in the finished beer.

The main groups of flavoring substances which impair the taste of beer are substances which are naturally present in some kinds of hops, substances arising out of natural aging of the hops, and substances produced by very bad storage conditions.

There are also other flavoring substances which the hops can pick up from the ambient air while they are in store.

Many breweries endeavour to improve the brewing properties of a hop having undesirable flavor substances by brewing or even boiling the hops before they are added to the mash. This step does not remove all the unwanted substances and also has the disadvantage of removing from the hops ingredients which are very important for brewing, for such ingredients are, like the unwanted decomposition products, etheric oils or resins which are readily soluble in water and are transferred into the water used for brewing or boiling and so separated from the hops with such water.

According to the present invention loose hops are introduced into a gas-tight vessel which is then evacuated to a pressure between 15 and mm. of mercury and maintained at that pressure for from 15 to 60 3,104,974 Patented Sept. 24, 1963 ice minutes by introducing pure air or a neutral gas as the remaining atmosphere is sucked out.

This process has the effect of removing from the hops every kind of flavor substance which impairs the beer, but only such substances, and so does not significantly reduce the content in the hops of these flavor substances which are important for brewing.

What the residual pressure maintained in the treatment vessel should be, within the limits specified, depends upon the extent to which unwanted flavor substances are present in the hops, but the pressure should not go any lower than the bottom limit of 5 mm. of mercury, since at this pressure the hops start to release the volatile aroma substances which are useful in brewing. Similarly, the treatment time largely depends upon the proportion of unwanted flavour substances, but it is better to treat the hops at a relatively high residual pressure in the vessel for a relatively long time, rather than to reduce the residual pressure to the lower limit specified or even further in order to shorten the treatment time.

The results of the treatment just outlined can very easily be determined directly after treatment by an odor test. If such a test is unsatisfactory, the treatment can readily be repeated one or more times.

To ensure that decomposition and production of further unwanted flavorings does not restart in hops which have been treated in accordance with the invention, it is preferable to apply the process according to the invention immediately before the hops are added to the mash.

If, as is often done, the hops are ground before being added to the mash, it is convenient to apply the process according to the invention after the hops have been ground, since unwanted flavoring substances are formed as a result of the heat generated when the hops are ground. Treatment after grinding removes these undesirable substances.

The apparatus for carrying out the process is very simple for instance, the vessel can have, in addition to the connection for the suction pump, another connection through which it can be connected to a fresh air or inert gas source. This other connection can take the form of a valve which opens when the required pressure in the vessel is reached, so that the air or gas enters the vessel as soon as the pressure to which the valve has been set is reached and for as long as that pressure is maintained.

Extended experiments and the practical application of the process according to the invention have confirmed that all the disadvantages associated with the hop are obviated, hop aroma is improved very considerably, and so unwanted flavoring substances or odorants do not enter the beer, thereby yielding in a beer having a very fine aroma.

Example From a hop pocket which had bee-n stored for several months, a proportion having an unpleasant cheesy smell was removed, loosened up by being crumbled, and subjected to a low pressure of 10 mm. of mercury for 15 minutes. The atmosphere which continued to be sucked out of the vessel after the pressure of 10 mm. of mercury had been reached because of continuing operation of the pump was replaced by a supply of fresh air. The cheesy smell was not perceptible after this treatment, and the beer brewed with the hops thus treated was free of any unwanted secondary flavor.

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Patent No. 3403029A: Reconstituted Beer Process Using Fractional Crystallization

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Today in 1968, US Patent 3403029 A was issued, an invention of Emil A. Malick, assigned to Phillips Petroleum Co., for his “Reconstituted Beer Process Using Fractional Crystallization.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

Reconstituted beer is formed by fractionally crystallizing a beer product to form a concentrate containing some precipitate and a separate precipitate containing fraction, holding at least the concentrate at the temperature of the fractional crystallization process to allow additional precipitation to take place, heating at least the concentrate to allow redissolving of flavor bodies and the like from the precipitate, combining the heated concentrate and separate precipitate containing fraction, and separating precipitate from the combination.

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As Thirsty As A Fish

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Here’s an interesting bit of history from the 1860s. As far as I can tell, it was published in The Illustrated Times on October 10, 1863. It was drawn by Charles H. Bennett, a well-known Victorian cartoon artist, who worked for many publications, as well as providing art illustrating several books, as well. This was titled “As thirsty as a fish,” and was a satire on Darwin’s “Origin of Species,” which had just been published in 1859. Here’s how it was described. “Showing the evolution of a fish to a beer drinker, with his fin in his pocket, a few old rags, a convenient leaning post and committed to a constant thirst that no amount of beer can quench.”

And in the book, “Charles Darwin and Victorian Visual Culture,” by Jonathan Smith when “As Thirsty As A Fish” appeared in book form, it was accompanied by text indicating it “depicts the British workman as a drunkard who sees business, duty, and friendship merely as impediments to his indulgence.”

Apparently the “Origin of the Species” satires, known as “Development Drawings,” were pretty popular, as there were at least eighteen of them I turned up in a search of Yooniq Images. “As Thirsty As A Fish” appears to have been numbered “No. 20″ in the book, so it seems likely there were even more.

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Patent No. 4542682A: Lauter Tuns

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Today in 1985, US Patent 4542682 A was issued, an invention of John C. Hancock, for his “Lauter Tuns.” Here’s the Abstract:

A lauter tun (10,100) has a bottom (16) comprising two flat plates (18,20) joined together on a straight line (see 22), each plate (18,20) sloping downwardly from the center-line to the peripheral wall (14) of the tun, such that during flushing, water flows down each slope to flush solids towards two large collection points (26) located at the lowest point of the bottom 16.

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Beer Birthday: Yuseff Cherney

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Today is the 48th birthday of Yuseff Cherney, co-founder, COO and head brewer of Ballast Point Brewing in San Diego. Although not too long after selling Ballast Point in later 2015 to Constellation Brands, Yuseff left the brewery, in July of 2016. I believe he’s focusing his energy on their rebranded spirits division, now called Cutwater Spirits. I used to run into Yusseff in the Bay Area or at GABF, but I’m not sure we’ll see him as much in the beer world. He’s a great person and a terrific brewer and I’m looking forward to trying his gin.. Join me in wishing Yusseff a very happy birthday.

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Claudia Pamparana, co-founder of Faction Brewing, Yuseff, Jeff Bagby, and his then-assistant brewer, Noah Regney, now with Hollister Brewing at the Boonville Beer Festival in 2007.

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Sierra Nevada’s Steve Dressler with Yuseff and his wife at the Chico leg of Beer Camps Across America earlier this year.

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Yussef with Fal Allen (from Anderson Valley) at Prost Brewing during CBC this year in Denver.

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Matt Matthew Brynildson, Earl Kight, and Yuseff at the European Beer Star Awards in Germany a few years ago.

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Yuseff with 2013’s Hop Queen. (Note: last two photos purloined from Facebook.)

But Now, God Knows, Anything Gose

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For our 116th Session, our host will be Derrick Peterman, who writes Ramblings of a Beer Runner. For his topic, he’s chosen Anything Gose, asking everyone to write about the German sour beer style Gose.

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Here’s his full description of the topic:

I choose the Gose style in particular since it can be approached in so many different ways. Want to talk about the history of the Gose? How about how American breweries are taking this style and running wild with it with different spice and fruit additions? How else has the Gose manifested itself outside its German homeland? Is the Gose here to stay or will it go the way of the Black IPA, once the hot style but slowly becoming a largely irrelevant curiosity? (OK, that might not be your opinion of the Black IPA, but you get the idea.) Of course, we’re all on the look-out for a good Gose, so if there are any you particularly like, we’d love to hear about them.

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We know “Times have changed, and “Good authors too who once knew better words, Now only use four-letter words Writing prose. Anything goes.” Or rather, Anything Gose. So on or before Friday, October 7, let’s wax lyrically about gose. Music optional. Post your contribution at the original announcement or e-mail your link to Derrick at photon.dpeterman[at]gmail(dot)com. And remember. “If driving fast cars you like, If low bars you like, If old hymns you like, If bare limbs you like, If Mae West you like, Or me undressed you like, Why, nobody will oppose. When ev’ry night the set that’s smart is in-Truding in nudist parties in Studios. Anything goes.”

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Apropos of nothing, I love the title because it’s play on the Cole Porter musical “Anything Goes,” a personal favorite, and the only show I’ve done twice in my theatre geek days.

Here’s a great performance of the song “Anything Goes,” although only really just part of it, from the 2011 Tony Awards.

Patent No. 20100236113A1: Cover Resembling A Beverage Container

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Today in 2010, US Patent 20100236113 A1 was issued, an invention of Shelagh McNally, assigned to Big Rock Brewery, for his “Cover Resembling a Beverage Container.” Here’s the Abstract:

A cover for hay bales and other three dimensional objects, and a method of advertising using the cover is described. The cover is generally of a size and shape to be wrapped about an cylindrical object having the relative proportions of a beverage can. When the cover is applied to hay bales, round bales may be stacked to provide suitable proportions. The cover bears indicia associated with a particular brand and/or type of beverage, such that the covered bales will resemble an enlarged version of the particular beverage can, thereby providing suitable advertising benefit to the beverage company.

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