Patent No. 2090714A: Bottle Opener

Today in 1937, US Patent 2090714 A was issued, an invention of Raymond H. Frisbie and William Wright, assigned to the Rehrig Pacific Company, for their “Bottle Opener.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention appertains to a novel appliance for removing crown caps from bottles in a convenient and expeditious manner.

One of the primary objects of our invention 5 is the provision of a bottle opener of the wall type, embodying means whereby the caps can be quickly and firmly gripped for removal without the necessity of lifting the bottle above the horizontal, so that undue disturbance of the bottle contents will be prevented.

Another salient object of our invention is to provide a wall bottle opener having a swinging member provided with a cap-engaging lip, and means for guiding the cap under said lip when the bottle is pushed forwardly (in a substantially horizontal plane) in the opening. with means for limiting the swinging movement of said member so that upon downward movement of the bottle the lip will function to pull the cap from the bottle neck.

A further object of our invention is the provision of a wall bottle opener embodying a supporting plate for carrying the swinging member and for supporting a receptacle for the loose caps, the swinging member functioning to guide and throw the caps into the receptacle when the same are pulled off of the bottles.

A further important object of our invention is the provision of a cap stop on the swinging member arranged below the cap-engaging lip, so that the bottle neck and cap will be held in proper position when the bottle is inserted in the opener, and when the member is swung to its operative cap-engaging position.


Sonoma State Beer Appreciation Class Open For Fall

Sonoma State University will again be offering my “Beer Appreciation” certificate course this fall. Classes start in just over two weeks, on September 9. The class is through SSU’s Extended Education school, and fueled by Lagunitas, which is where the 12-week, 36-hour course will be held.


Classes are once a week, beginning September 9, on Wednesday nights from 6:30-9:30, and again classes won’t be in a stuffy classroom, but will be held in special lounge room at Lagunitas Brewing in Petaluma. If you’re interested in learning more about the class, I set up a page with more about my Sonoma State University Beer Appreciation Course. Or if you’re ready to go, here’s the official SSU class page and there’s information online about registration, too.

A scene from last semester’s class, with Dan Gordon talking about lagers, while Vinnie Cilurzo waits in the wings to present to the class about sour and barrel-aged beers.

Patent No. 7781000B2: Method For Boiling Wort

Today in 2010, US Patent 7781000 B2 was issued, an invention of Kurt Stippler and Klaus-Karl Wasmuht, assigned to Krones Ag, for their “Method For Boiling Wort.” Here’s the Abstract:

A method for boiling wort used in the production of beer the wort is boiled in a wort copper in which an inner boiler comprising a superimposed thin-film distributor is disposed. After boiling and after removal of the sludge in a whirlpool, the wort is again placed on the thin-film distributor for evaporation so that the wort copper simultaneously works as an evaporator.


The Language Of Hangovers

While searching for something this weekend, I happened upon A Few Too Many, by Joan Acocella, that appeared in The New Yorker magazine in May of 2008. If you’re a regular reader, you know I’m a word nerd, and love language. So her piece on hangovers included this gem of a paragraph, explaining how other languages described a hangover:

There’s some awesome phrases there, it may be time to create a page of hangover words, similar to Drunk Words, Puke Words and Beer Slang, or even my list of Beer In Other Languages.

Believe it or not, apparently the word “hangover,” meaning “a severe headache or other after effects caused by drinking an excess of alcohol,” was first used around 1902 or 1904 (depending on the source). It seems like it would be older than that, but apparently that’s when it was first seen in print in the United States, where the word originated. It did show up a little earlier, in 1894, as hang-over, but meaning “a survival, a thing left over from before.” Prior to hangover’s debut as the perfect word to describe our pain and discomfort, these were some of the most common words people used to describe that feeling.

  • black dog
  • blue-devils
  • bottle ache
  • bust-head
  • carpenters in the forehead
  • cropsick
  • gallon-distemper
  • hair-ache
  • jim-jams
  • katzenjammer
  • morning fog
  • wooden mouth
  • the zings

Here’s “hangover” in just a few languages, with the literal translation in brackets. My favorite is undoubtedly the Finnish word, which is “krapula,” which sounds exactly like you feel when you’re hungover.

  • Chinese (Mandarin): suzui [stay-over drunk]
  • Colombian Spanish: guayabo [guava trees]
  • Finnish: krapula
  • French: gueule de bois [a wooden gob]
  • Hebrew: הנגאובר [severe dizziness]
  • Hungarian: másnaposság [next-day-ish-ness]
  • Icelandic: thynnka [thinness]
  • Japanese: futsukayoi [two-day drunk]
  • Korean: suk-chwi [stay-over drunk]
  • Russian: poxmel’je [from drink]
  • Serbian: мамурлук [crapulence]
  • Spanish: resaca [undertow or backwash]
  • Swedish: kopparslagare [coppersmith]
  • Turkish: aksamdan kalmalık [evening remainder]
  • Vietnamese: dựng xiên [built cockeyed]
  • Zulu: babelaas or babbelas


And here’s a few random slang words for hangovers:

  • American slang, early 1900s: crapulous
  • American slang: PRS, for “Post Refreshment Syndrome”
  • Central American slang: “goma” which is rubber
  • Danish slang: tømmermænd, which apparently means “carpenters”
  • French, antiquated: mal aux cheveux, which essentially meant a “hair-ache”
  • German slang: kater, which means “tomcat,” and people hungover are also said to be “verkatert,” or “catted.” It’s supposedly derived from the word “katarrh,” an antiquated expression for an illness.
  • Italian slang: postumi della sbornia, which means the “after-death of the drunkenness”
  • Mexican slang: crudo, which means “raw”
  • Modern Irish: Ta dha cinn orm, which apparently means “There are two heads on me”
  • Polish slang: kac
  • Swedish slang: baksmälla, which roughly means “a whack on the ass”

And finally, here’s a list I found of “distinctly Irish ways to describe your hangover:”

  • I’m in Lego
  • The horrors
  • I feel like boiled shite
  • Sick as a small hospital
  • I’m puking my ring
  • Bottle of ghosts
  • I’ve had a bad pint
  • Brown bottle flu
  • I’m in a heap
  • Mouth like a fur boot
  • I’ve got The Fear
  • In rag order


Patent No. 968001A: Machine For Picking Hops

Today in 1910, US Patent 968001 A was issued, an invention of James Trowbridge, for his “Machine for Picking Hops.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention has for its object to provide simple and practically operating machinery or appliance for removing hops from the vines, and the invention consists in certain novel parts, and combination of parts as hereinafter set forth in the following description and pointed out in the claims, producing an improved machine for picking or stripping hops from the vine.


Patent No. 2127759A: Method Of And Apparatus For Producing Wort

Today in 1938, US Patent 2127759 A was issued, an invention of John F. Silhavy, for his “Method of and Apparatus for Producing Wort and the Like.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to a method of and apparatus for the production or wort or similar liquid mixtures.

The object of my invention is to overcome the objections and defects of the batch processes now in use. I have invented a continuous process for, the production of cooled wort. My invention includes the steps of mixing the necessary cereals with water at the proper temperature while continuously progressing the mixture through a mixing section, then mixing and heating at a higher temperature in another section while advancing the material continuously, and then heating it to a higher temperature and moving it along continuously in another section. After this mashing treatment the cereals are continuously removed by filtration with a suction filter or similar device. The cereals on-the suction cylinder are sparged with hot water to wash out desirable water soluble constituents. The liquid (filtrate) is then conducted to a ‘section where hops are added. The mixture is stirred or agitated and advanced through a heated section. This agitating may be obtained merely by a vigorous boiling. The mixture with the hops is pre-cooled and then filtered by passing it over a continuous suction filter or the like and the hops on the suction roll sprayed or sparged. In another form of my invention, I filter the hops from the liquid without pre=cooling and pass this hot liquid through the jackets of the mash mixers or mixing sections to heat the liquid in the mixers. The liquid is then passed through a final cooler and from here the wort is run into the fermenters. As each fermenter is filled, yeast may be added. In the more detailed description hereinafter given, I will describe the various steps and also improvements of the steps.

Instead of using separate mixing sections or mash mixers, in some instances I prefer to combine the first two mash mixers in one unit. Or I may combine the last two mash mixers in one unit or I may combine all three mash mixers in one large unit and still maintain the desired temperatures in the sections within allowable limits. I have found that by adding carbon dioxide gas or carbonic acid gas to the mash, the diastatic action of the malt as well as the peptonization of the albuminoids is increased.

By using my continuous process there is a saving of time because it is not necessary to wait for large bodies of liquid to be heated. Also there is ease of control due to processing a relatively small quantity of’material continuously rather than a much larger quantity in the batch manner. The method is flexible to meet the requirements of individual operators. The resulting wort is more uniform on account of the continuity of the process. There is also a larger output per unit of floor space since all apparatus is in continuous use in contrast to present practice, where the greater part of the equipment is idle and only a small portion of the equipment is in operation at one time. Due to the improved mixing and to the more thorough washing or sparging of the spent cereals and grains, a better yield from a given weight of cereals is obtained. A large economy is effected by utilizing the boiled wort as a heating medium in the earlier stages of the process. This is made possible by the continuity-of the process. Since my continuous process requires only a relatively small amount of water for washing out adhering wort from the grains on the filter, it is possible to work with a much thinner mixture in the mash mixers than is done at present in the mash tun. By using a more liquid or thinner mixture a much better extraction yield on the grains is obtained. Also with a thinner mash, the rate of diastatic activity is higher than I with a thicker mash. A more uniform product at a lower cost is obtained as a result of using my invention. One feature of my invention is the continuity of the process. Another feature of my invention is the arrangement of the apparatus. Still another feature of my invention is the continuous filter means provided. Still another feature is the economizing in heat which is provided for by the arrangement of the apparatus. Other features and objects will be in part obvious and are in part above pointed out and will be pointed out hereinafter. Various changes may be made in practice within the scope of my invention without digressing from the spirit of my invention.


Patent No. 20130216339A1: Keg Delivery System

Today in 2013, US Patent 20130216339 A1 was issued, an invention of William P. Apps, Sean T. Ogburn, Ryan C. Meers, Paul Thomas Walton, Jr., Ian C. McDermott, Ronald Samuel Ward, and Steven Alan Kitchin, assigned to the Rehrig Pacific Company, for their “Keg Delivery System.” Here’s the Abstract, but I’ve only included 3 of the 46 drawings filed with the application:

A keg delivery system includes a rack having a plurality of bays for receiving kegs horizontally. The keg delivery system also includes means for controllably lowering a keg from one of the bays to a floor.


Patent No. 263087A: Process Of Making Whisky (From Spent Beer)

Today in 1882, US Patent 2356545 A was issued, an invention of Marshall J. Allen, for his “Process of Making Whisky (from Spent Beer).” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

The object of our invention is to increase the yield of whisky from a given amount of grain by utilizing in subsequent processes the refuse products of previous processes, and this we do by first preparing the refuse product and bringing it into a condition in which it may be advantageously used; and, secondly, by introducing such prepared product into the subsequent processes of whisky-making.

In all those methods of making whisky in which the entire grain introduced passes through the entire process and is delivered as a refuse product at the end of the operation The sheet of drawings hereto annexed rep resents a general View of a part of a distillery arranged for the practice of our improved process. We do not limit ourselves, however, to the special apparatus for carrying out the process, but show one form of apparatus by which it may be carried into effect. We shall not go into detail in the description of this apparatus, as the arrangement will be easily understood by those acquainted with the art.

By “preparing the refuse product,” he means what they call “spent beer,” which I further assume he means “spent grain,” though to be fair I’m not quite sure. A little later in the description, they explain it somewhat better:

In the drawing, A represents the mash-tubs B, the mill-hoppers; C, the millstones; D, the beer-still; E, low-wines receiver; F, doubler still; G, beer heater and charger; H, low-wines charger for doubling still; I, doubling still, condenser, and flake-stand; J, beer-still; K, fermenting-vats; L, whisky-receiver; M, hot-slop or spent-beer receiver; N, hot-slop connection with our improved process.

It is well known that the spent beer contains in suspension, in the first place, a considerable amount of refuse material of comparative large size such as the chaff, bran, and larger particles of grain and, in the second place, minute particles of sugar or glucose, starch, and yeast. This second class of parti- 7o cles it is very important to preserve and introduceinto the subsequent operations of whisky-making. This second class of particles are so minute as that they will pass through the meshes of a fine sieve, and yet are sufticiently solid and separate from the liquid to form a deposit in any vessel in which the liquid may remain at rest. The purpose of our invention is to retain these fine or valuable particles in the liquid which is to be returned, and to separate from this liquid the coarse or refuse particles, while at the same time the liquid is maintained in a sweet condition.


Patent No. 2356545A: Method And Apparatus For Cropping Hops

Today in 1944, US Patent 2356545 A was issued, an invention of Vladislav Sykora, for his “Method and Apparatus for Cropping Hops.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

The present invention consists in a mechanical shearing of the hop and offers, in addition to a high yield, the further advantage that the very important short stalk pieces as above mentioned, are left undamaged on the strobiles. The method and the devices required therefor, being the subject-matter of the present invention, will be described hereinafter. The hop parts shorn apart may, as will also be disclosed, be separated from each other in a clean manner by known means and may then easily be treated for further use.


Patent No. 20140234480A1: Enhancement Of Beer Flavor By A Combination Of Pichia Yeast And Different Hop Varieties

Today in 2014, US Patent 20140234480 A1 was issued, an invention of Sofie Sarens and Jan Hendrik Swiegers, assigned to Chr. Hansen A/S, for their “Enhancement of Beer Flavor by a Combination of Pichia Yeast And Different Hop Varieties.” Here’s the Abstract:

In the beer fermentation process, Pichia spp. yeast strains can be combined with normal beer yeast strains and with different hop varieties to produce synergistic effects, including the increased production in the fermentation product of esters, e.g., increased levels of isoamyl acetate, isobutyl acetate, ethyl propionate, ethyl valerate, ethyl butyrate, ethyl decanoate, and ethyl octanoate. Additionally, the Pichia spp. strain interacts differently with different hop varieties, such that the flavor profile of beer can be tuned by employing different combinations of Pichia spp. strains and hops.


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