Patent No. 2253940A: Brew Cooling Equipment

Today in 1941, US Patent 2253940 A was issued, an invention of Gerald D. Peet, for his “Brew Cooling Equipment.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The present invention is concerned with the art of cooling brew within the original shipping and storage package, by the circulation of cooling fluid through hollow structures in heat conductive relation with the brew contents.

As conducive to a clear understanding of the invention, it is noted that in the practical operation of brew cooling and dispensing systems of a it would be sufficient, however, to keep the contents of the kegs on reserve at ‘a temperature well above dispensing temperature and yet sufficiently cool to prevent deterioration. An arrangement which would impart such lesser degree of refrigeration to the contents of the kegs on reserve would bring about economy in power consumption and in the capacity of the refrigerating installation when it is attempted to direct the cooling fluid through cooling passages of constant area, the desired economy is not readily attainable because it is the magnitude of the cooling conduit area submerged in the brew which primarily determines the temperature to which the brew is cooled, assuming that an adequate supply of refrigeration is available, as it is in practice.

Viewed from the aspect of the keg structure per se, rather than as a system and method of operation, it is noted that the cooling instrumentalities which engage the contents of brew kegs of the internally cooled type require periodic inspection to assure their operative and sanitary condition.

For convenience and economy, it is therefore an important object so to construct and arrange such coolers as to facilitate removal thereof from the keg structures for such inspection and for repair and re-installation or replacement as the case may be, and that without bling or breaking down the kegs.


Historic Beer Birthday: Hans Adolf Krebs

Today is the birthday of Hans Adolf Krebs (August 25, 1900-November 22, 1981). He was a German-born British physician and biochemist. He was the pioneer scientist in study of cellular respiration, a biochemical pathway in cells for production of energy. He is best known for his discoveries of two important chemical reactions in the body, namely the urea cycle and the citric acid cycle. The latter, the key sequence of metabolic reactions that produces energy in cells, often eponymously known as the “Krebs cycle,” earned him a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1953. And it’s the Krebs cycle that is his relation to brewing, as it’s also known as the respiratory phase, the second aerobic state of the fermentation process immediately following the lag period.


Here’s a description of the Krebs cycle from Life Fermented:

The Krebs cycle, also known as the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle or the citric acid cycle, is a circular and repeating set of reactions which requires oxygen. In beer making, this would occur in the first stage of fermentation when the yeast is pitched into a well aerated wort, and carries on until all oxygen is used up.
Pyruvate (are you tired of this word yet?) is first converted to acetyl-CoA (pronounced “Co-A”) in the following reaction:

pyruvate + 2 NAD+ + CoA-SH → acetyl-CoA + CO2 + NADH, with the help of the pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) complex. Note that this is the first time CO2 is produced, and yet more NADH is generated.

This acetyl-CoA then enters into a cycle of reactions which nets two molecules of CO2, one GTP (guanosine triphosphate, another unit of energy equivalent to ATP), three NADH, and one FADH2 (flavin adenine dinucleotide, which functions similarly to NADH). After the cycle completes, another acetyl-CoA molecule enters and the cycle repeats itself.

But wait, this just made more NADH, and we need to regenerate NAD+ so glycolysis can continue. Both the NADH and FADH2 now donate their electrons to a process called the electron transport chain/ oxidative phosphorylation. The result is a return of NAD to the NAD+ state, and a large amount of ATP cellular energy.

Because the Krebs cycle is so efficient at producing ATP energy units, this is the yeast’s preferred pathway. But, you’ll notice a rather conspicuous absence: ethanol. This is only formed in the absence of oxygen.

NPG x88332; Sir Hans Adolf Krebs

Here’s a biography of Krebs, from the Nobel Prize website:

Sir Hans Adolf Krebs was born at Hildesheim, Germany, on August 25th, 1900. He is the son of Georg Krebs, M.D., an ear, nose, and throat surgeon of that city, and his wife Alma, née Davidson.

Krebs was educated at the Gymnasium Andreanum at Hildesheim and between the years 1918 and 1923 he studied medicine at the Universities of Göttingen, Freiburg-im-Breisgau, and Berlin. After one year at the Third Medical Clinic of the University of Berlin he took, in 1925, his M.D. degree at the University of Hamburg and then spent one year studying chemistry at Berlin. In 1926 he was appointed Assistant to Professor Otto Warburg at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology at Berlin-Dahlem, where he remained until 1930.

In I930, he returned to hospital work, first at the Municipal Hospital at Altona under Professor L. Lichtwitz and later at the Medical Clinic of the University of Freiburg-im-Breisgau under Professor S. J. Thannhauser.

In June 1933, the National Socialist Government terminated his appointment and he went, at the invitation of Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins, to the School of Biochemistry, Cambridge, where he held a Rockefeller Studentship until 1934, when he was appointed Demonstrator of Biochemistry in the University of Cambridge.

In 1935, he was appointed Lecturer in Pharmacology at the University of Sheffield, and in 1938 Lecturer-in-Charge of the Department of Biochemistry then newly founded there.

In 1945 this appointment was raised to that of Professor, and of Director of a Medical Research Council’s research unit established in his Department. In 1954 he was appointed Whitley Professor of Biochemistry in the University of Oxford and the Medical Research Council’s Unit for Research in Cell Metabolism was transferred to Oxford.

Professor Krebs’ researches have been mainly concerned with various aspects of intermediary metabolism. Among the subjects he has studied are the synthesis of urea in the mammalian liver, the synthesis of uric acid and purine bases in birds, the intermediary stages of the oxidation of foodstuffs, the mechanism of the active transport of electrolytes and the relations between cell respiration and the generation of adenosine polyphosphates.

Among his many publications is the remarkable survey of energy transformations in living matter, published in 1957, in collaboration with H. L. Kornberg, which discusses the complex chemical processes which provide living organisms with high-energy phosphate by way of what is known as the Krebs or citric acid cycle.

Krebs was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1947. In 1954 the Royal Medal of the Royal Society, and in 1958 the Gold Medal of the Netherlands Society for Physics, Medical Science and Surgery were conferred upon him. He was knighted in 1958. He holds honorary degrees of the Universities of Chicago, Freiburg-im-Breisgau, Paris, Glasgow, London, Sheffield, Leicester, Berlin (Humboldt University), and Jerusalem.

He married Margaret Cicely Fieldhouse, of Wickersley, Yorkshire, in 1938. They have two sons, Paul and John, and one daughter, Helen.

And in the Microbe Wiki, on a page entitled “Saccharomyces cerevisiae use and function in alcohol production,” under a section called “Fermentation of alchohol,” the Krebs cycle is placed in its portion in the fermentation process:

Saccharomyces cerevisiae is able to perform both aerobic and anaerobic respiration. The process begins with the yeast breaking down the different forms of sugar in the wort. The types of sugars typically found in wort are the monosaccharides glucose and fructose. These sugars contain a single hexose, which is composed of 6 carbon atoms in the molecular formula C6H12O6. Disaccharides are formed when two monosaccharides join together. Typical disaccharides in the wort are galactose, sucrose, and maltose. The third type of fermentable sugar in the wort is a trisaccharide. This trisaccharide is formed when three monosccharides join together. Maltotriose is the trisaccharide commonly found in the wort and is composed of three glucose molecules. The wort does contain other sugars such as dextrins but it is not fermentable by yeast10. These dextrins contain four monosaccarides joined together. In order for the yeast to use the disaccharides and trisaccharides they first must be broken down to monosaccharides. The yeast does this by using different enzymes both inside and outside the cell. The enzyme invertase is used to break down sucrose into glucose and fructose. The invertase catalyzes the hydrolysis of the sucrose by breaking the O-C (fructose bond). The other enzyme used is maltase, which breaks down maltose and maltotriose into glucose inside the cell. The enzyme does this by catalyzing the hydrolysis of the sugars by breaking the glycosidic bond holding the glucose molecules together.

Once the sugars are broken down into monosaccharides the yeast can use them. The primary step is called glycolysis. In this process the glucose is converted to pyruvate using different enzymes in a series of chemical modifications. The electrons from glucose end up being transferred to energy carrying molecules like NAD+ to form NADH. ATP is also formed when phosphates are transferred from high-energy intermediates of glycolysis to ADP. In the presence of oxygen aerobic respiration can occur. This occurs in the mitochondria of the yeast. The energy of the pyruvate is extracted when it goes through metabolic processes like the Krebs cycle. The products of this type of metabolism are ATP, H2O, and CO2. However if there is no oxygen present and an abundance of sugars, as in the wort, the yeast undergo alcoholic fermentation. This type of metabolism yields much smaller amounts of energy when compared to aerobic respiration. However, because of the large supply of sugars from the different grains the wort is a very good environment for fermentative growth. The alcoholic fermentation begins with the two pyruvate acquired from glycolysis. These two pyruvate are decarboxylated by pyruvate decarboxylase to form two acetaldehydes and CO2. The CO2 is the gas that is observed during fermentation as bubbles that float to the top of the wort creating the kräusen or beer head, the foam that is very characteristic of a freshly poured beer. Pyruvate decarboxylase is a homotetramer meaning it contains four identical subunits. This also means that is has four active sites. The active sites are where the pyruvate reacts with the cofactors thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP) and magnesium to remove the carbon dioxide9. The final step to form alcohol is the addition of a hydrogen ion to the aldehyde to form ethanol. This hydrogen ion is from the NADH made during glycolysis and converts back to NAD+. The ethanol is originally believed to serve as an antibiotic against other microbes. This form of defense ensures that bacteria do not grow in the wort, thus ruining the beer with off flavors. However recently with the boom of craft beer different bacteria have been purposefully added to create what is known as sour beer. The sour taste comes from the waste products of the bacteria.


To learn more about the Krebs cycle check out this video from the University of Oklahoma’s Chemistry of Beer – Unit 7 – Chemical Concepts: Krebs Cycle:

Patent No. 20110206487A1: Keg Handling Equipment

Today in 2011, US Patent 20110206487 A1 was issued, an invention of Terry George Morgan, for his “Keg Handling Equipment.” Here’s the Abstract:

A keg conveying trolley has a pair of wheels, a central post and a slide which carries a hook for grasping the keg rim. The slide is lockable at different keg heights. A foot plate assists in tipping the trolley to an inclined position for wheeling the keg from one place to another. The keg stacking version has a winch worked by hand or a cordless drill. The keg is supported by a rise and fall carriage. The carriage can be modified to be multitask. Variants can lift gas bottles on their side, truck tires for placing on wheel studs and odd shaped loads.


Patent No. 154367A: Improvement In Faucets

Today in 1874, US Patent 154367 A was issued, an invention of Lemen J. Birgler, for his “Improvement in Faucets.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

My invention relates to a faucet with vent attachment, for drawing of fermented or other liquors from the barrel or keg without the aid of a vent in the bung or other part of the barrel, the vent working automatically in connection with the opening or closing of the faucet, and forming a very convenient, regularly-acting, and independent attachment for keeping the liquids .fresh and nice for any length of time.

The invention consists of a faucet with guide-tube and sliding vent-tube, which is provided at the inner end with a flexible rubber tube and floating valve, and with a second valve at the outer end, through which air is drawn into the barrel when the faucet is opened.


Patent No. 932284A: System For Dispensing Beverages

Today in 1909, US Patent 932284 A was issued, an invention of William Gee, for his “System For Dispensing Beverages.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to dispensing beverages, and particularly to cleaning and dispensing systems wherein the beverage is forced from a keg or a series of kegs through cooled piping to the service bar, and in which means for automatically cleaning the entire system forms a component part. In such systems the beer is carried through long coils of piping in order to expose a large surface of the same to the cooling medium, whereby no matter how rapid the flow the beer dispensed from the faucets is always cooled sufficiently. But because of the necessary employment of long coils of pipe there is always stored therein after tapping the kegs comparatively large quantities of beer, which if not removed when the bar is closed will spoil as a result of flattening and prolonged chemical action between the beer and the piping.

It is the object of my invention to introduce into such a system means operated from a single controller, which also operates the cleaning means of the system; to automatically cut off the flow of beer from the supply source and return such as remains in the pipe coils back into the kegs for proper preservation for future use; and to provide additional automatically operated means whereby said pipe coils, after the beer has been forced therefrom into the kegs or after a keg has been exhausted, may be blown out at will through the medium of compressed air or gas, and thereby cause any particles of beer adhering to the walls of the piping to be removed through the faucets.


Patent No. 106686A: Improvement In Apparatus For Cooling Beer

Today in 1870, US Patent 106686 A was issued, an invention of William Gee, for his “Improvement in Apparatus for Cooling Beer.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

My invention consists in a cooler made up of a series of spiral pipes, arranged with their coils one within the another, within a spiral trough, down through which latter the beer or liquid to be cooled is allowed to run, while the cooling water passes, in an opposite direction, up or through the pipes that combine strength with a large area of cooling surface, and, being independent of the bottom of the beer-trough, provide for the more perfect cleaning of the latter.


Inside Guinness August 22, 1953

In England, the Picture Post was the equivalent of Life magazine here in the U.S. It “was a photojournalistic magazine published in the United Kingdom from 1938 to 1957. It is considered a pioneering example of photojournalism and was an immediate success, selling 1,700,000 copies a week after only two months.”

On August 22, 1953, one of the photographers for the Picture Post — Bert Hardy — visited Dublin, Ireland, and was permitted inside the Guinness brewery at St. James Gate. I’m not sure how many photos he took, but recently Mashable featured twenty-two of them. Here are a few of them below, it’s a great glimpse into the past, and to see all of them, follow the instructions below.

Workers drain beer from a mash tun.

Workers watch as yeast is skimmed off the top of the beer before it is passed to vats for maturing.

A worker fills casks in the racking shed.

Workers at the Guinness brewery at St. James’s Gate in Dublin.

Workers hose down casks.

You can see all 22 of them below, or visit Mashable.

Guinness 1953

Patent No. 3685508A: Tank Construction

Today in 1972, US Patent 3685508 A was issued, an invention of Le Roy W. Heilmann, for his “Tank Construction.” Here’s the Abstract:

A tank bottom having spaced inner and outer members, said inner member being made of relatively thin material having good heat transfer, said spaced inner and outer members forming part of a pressure chamber for heating the contents of said tank, said pressure chamber being subjected to relatively high pressures and temperatures, said inner bottom having strengthening means connected to the outer surface thereof, said strengthening means not being connected to said outer member, said inner member being strong enough to hold the contents of the tank but not strong enough to withstand the cyclical pressures within the pressure chamber over a period of use without said strengthening means.


Patent No. 4165388A: Torrefied Barley For Brewer’s Mashes

Today in 1979, US Patent 4165388 A was issued, an invention of Robert D. Bryce, for his “Torrefied Barley For Brewer’s Mashes.” Here’s the Abstract:

Torrefied, expanded barley for use as a partial replacement for malt in brewer’s mashes is prepared by heating unmalted barley having a protein content of at least about 12% to a temperature sufficient to expand the barley to a degree that a given volume of barley before heating weights about 1.4 to about 1.75 times the weight of the same volume of barley after heating. Before heating, the unmalted barley preferably has a moisture content of about 12% to 20% by weight.


Patent No. 29666A: Attachment Of Covers To Glass Vessels

Today in 1860, US Patent 29666 A was issued, an invention of Robert D. Bryce, for his “Attachment of Covers to Glass Vessels,” or “Pitcher Cover.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

I have invented a new and useful Improvement in the Mode of Attaching Metallic Covers to Mugs, &o.; and I do hereby declare the following to be a full, clear, and exact description thereof, reference being’ had to the accompanying drawings, forming part of this specication, in which Figure l is a perspective representation of a glass mug, with a metallic cover attached thereto on my improved plan. Fig. 2 is a side view of the metallic cover, detached from the mug showing a vertical section of the hinge piece, and the handle of the mug in the same plane. Fig. 3 is a View of the cover and part of t-he handle of a mug similar to Fig. 2, showing a slight modification of the mode of attachment.

In the several figures, like letters of reference denote similar parts.

There are several articles of domestic use, which it is convenient to furnish with metallic covers, to open readily with a hinge, such as lager-beer mugs, cream-pitchers, molasses-pitchers, and other vessels. These metallic covers are made with a. hinge usually placed near the handle, the hinge piece being in two pieces, united by a pin or pivot, the upper hinge piece being united to, and forming part of the cover, and the lower hinge piece being attached to the vessel and thereby securing the cover to the vessel. It has been found difficult, however, to limit the lower hinge piece of the cover to the vessel, so as to form a neat and workmanlike job, without casting it on to the handle of the mug, pitcher, but this is expensive in itself, and is very apt to break the vessel, if it be made of glassware.

My improvement consists in attaching the upper hinge piece of the cover immediately to the handle, or to a projection on or near the rim of the vessel, so as to dispense with the lower hinge piece of metal.