Patent No. 4653388A: Small Scale Production Brewing

Today in 1987, US Patent 4653388 A was issued, an invention of Noel R. Wilkinson, for his “Brewing” process, though specifically more of a “small scale production plant.” Here’s the Abstract:

An improved brewing unit in which energy is saved by providing a mash tun, hot water tank and kettle in a single unit, by partially enclosing the mash tun with the tank and if necessary pre-heating the water supply to the tank by using the heat from wort coolers provided between the unit and fermentation tank; further improvements are provided by constructing the kettle as a combined kettle and whirlpool in a single chamber having a circular wall and a tangential inlet to the wall, a pump and wort boiler being in circuit with the kettle so that wort is continuously circulated through the boiler and tangential inlet to the kettle while the worts are boiled. The combined kettle and whirlpool saves space and enables the process of brewing to be shortened with resultant savings in both energy and brewing time.


Patent No. 4653290A: Beer Keg Ice Sleeve And Method Of Making Same

Today in 1987, US Patent 4653290 A was issued, an invention of Shelley R. Byrne, for his “Beer Keg Ice Sleeve and Method of Making Same.” Here’s the Abstract:

An ice sleeve cooler for beer kegs or other beverages comprising a slip-over ice sleeve open at the bottom and open at the top and having inner and outer sleeve members with an ice pocket therebetween. The bottom of the sleeve members are joined in sealed relation and have a draw-string for attachment around the lower side wall of the keg, and both inner and outer sleeve members have top draw-strings for individually attaching these members to the keg. The method of fabricating the ice sleeve cooler from a one-piece sheet of plastic stock involves the steps of folding and sealing the sheet to form the double sleeve members with an integral bottom edge.


Patent No. 724100A: Wort-Separator

Today in 1903, US Patent 724100 A was issued, an invention of Max Henius, for his “Wort-Separator.” There’s no Abstract, but in the description claims that the “object is to provide a wort-separator of novel as well as comparatively simple and inexpensive construction, whereby the filtration of wort, both from grains and hops, may be effected more thoroughly and with greater economy both of time and labor than by any other filtering means hitherto employed and of which I am aware.”

Patent No. 149046A: Improvement In Cooling And Preserving Beer

Today in 1874, US Patent 149046 A was issued, an invention of Peter Libber, for his “Improvement In Cooling And Preserving Beer.” There’s no Abstract, but this introduction sums it up:

This invention relates to device for cooling and preserving beer and ale and similar substances in the process of manufacture, and which is required to be kept at such a temperature as to prevent its becoming sour in the process of fermentation preparatory to being barreled; and it consists in the construction and arrangement of the cooling float or swimmer employed to regulate the temperature of the beer in the fermenting tubs, as will hereinafter be more fully explained.


Patent No. 4322008A: Drinking Container

Today in 1982, US Patent 4322008 A was issued, an invention of Ira Schneider, for his “Drinking Container,” or mug. Here’s the Abstract:

The present invention relates to a drinking container for increasing the number of and ostensibly decreasing the size of bubbles in a drinking liquid having dissolved gases contained therein. The container is provided with a roughened region on its normally smooth interior surface. The roughened region is preferably located at the bottom of the container and may be produced by grinding, sand blasting, acid etching, and the like. It is a feature of the disclosure that the roughened region may be formed of a separate element mechanically locked to the container.


Patent No. 1578627A: Bottle Opener

Today in 1926, US Patent 1578627 A was issued, an invention of John C. Baumgarten, for his “Bottle Opener.” There’s no Abstract, but the description states that the “invention relates to bottle capping implements.” It’s essentially a ring with bottle opener. I always thought those were a pretty recent invention, but this is from 1926. Here’s how it’s explained:

Since bottles containing soda water, and the like, are generally closed by crimped on caps a special implement must be used for removing these caps. There are two types of these implements generally used. One of these is a device which is applied by hand. Since this device is readily laid down in one place, when required in another, it is not always handy during the rush of customers. The other type is a device located at some station to which the bottle must be taken, and hence unless several of this type of device be installed it would necessitate considerable running back and forth.

So the object of my invention is to provide a simple, inexpensive implement to pry off said caps, and its construct such implement in the form of a ring which may be carried about for instant use. A further object of my invention is so to construct my implement so that it will not impose undue strain on; or tend to bruise the finger in removing said caps.

So he’s proposing that all bartenders where one his opener rings while working, making it part of the uniform of a barkeep.

Patent No. 3175595A: Baled Hops Shredder

Today in 1965, US Patent 3175595 A was issued, an invention of Morton William Coutts, assigned to Dominion Breweries Ltd., for his “Baled Hops Shredder.” There’s no Abstract, but the description states that the “invention relates to the breaking up and the measuring of compressed baled hops and the like, and has for its objects the provision of an apparatus for achieving this quickly and easily and also in measured quantities and at predetermined speeds and intervals of time, directly from the bales.”


Patent No. 3946780A: Fermentation Container

Today in 1976, US Patent 3946780 A was issued, an invention of John C. Sellers, for his “Fermentation Container.” Here’s the Abstract:

A flexible fermentation container which has, in place of the common air lock, a diaphragm having a Gurley porosity of 2 to 120 seconds. The diaphragm material, such as spun bonded polyethylene, allows fermentation gases to pass out of the container, but does not allow bacteria or other contaminants to enter.


Patent No. EP 0645094A1: Improvement Of Gas And Alcohol Production By Yeast

Today in 1995, US Patent EP 0645094 A1 was issued, an invention of Rooijen Rutger Jan Van, Peter Johannes Schoppink, and Ronald Baankreis, for their “Improvement of Gas and Alcohol Production by Yeast.” Here’s the Abstract:

Introduction of futile cycles in the glycolytic pathway of yeast strains enables enhanced gas production and ethanol production under stress conditions, e.g. in a sugar-rich dough having a sugar content of higher than 3% weight percentage based on flour, e.g. 20%, or at high ethanol concentration in an industrial ethanol production process.


Save The Bees, Save The Beer

Beer, of course, is an agricultural product, two of its main ingredients are very dependent on a good harvest. Both hops and barley (and other grains such as wheat and rye) grow best when they’re planted in the right place and the conditions are present to encourage their best selves. I received an e-mail a few days ago with the intriguing message. “Bees pollinate 1/3 of our food, including the hops used to make beer. Save the bees, save the beer.”


The e-mail was about an Indiegogo campaign to create a “community open to anyone who cares about bees, the environment and food,” called BeeWithMe, which will consist of “a dynamic new website that teaches people how easy and fun it is to raise a diverse range of gentle bees.” Unless you’ve been cryogenically frozen recently, you no doubt have heard that bees are disappearing from our environment, which could have devastating consequences for our food supply and our life cycle more generally. Find out how to participate at You Can Help Save the Bees, which begins:

Imagine a world without bees. There would be no blueberries, no cherries, no pumpkins – not even beer.

Here’s the problem: Most farmers depend on a single type of bee to pollinate our food and that bee, the honey bee, has been struggling.

You can be part of the solution and protect our food supply by raising gentle, native bees in your backyard or supporting someone else who does.

Keep your favorite foods on the table by contributing today and joining the BeeWithMe network that will collaborate to raise more native bees and grow more food.

Most of the pledge levels involve getting your own bees, some to simply release in your back yard, up to everything you need to raise your own bees. There are also teacher’s packages for classrooms and levels for entire garden clubs and communities. Please bee generous. And remember, save the bees, save the beer.