Patent No. 633341A: Siphon For Beer

Today in 1899, US Patent 633341 A was issued, an invention of Johann Dreckmann, for his “Siphon For Beer.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention consists of an improved construction of fountain or siphon for drawing beer and carbonated or aerated drinks.

The herein-described fountain or siphon comprising two vessels, one a liquid-receptacle and the other a gas-receptacle with a reducing-valve connecting the two and a check-valve opening from the liquid-receptacle into the gas-receptacle, whereby a substantially constant pressure is maintained in the liquid-receptacle while dispensing therefrom, substantially as described.


Patent No. 505424A: Beer Tempering Device

Today in 1893, US Patent 505424 A was issued, an invention of Gustav Kruse, for his “Beer Tempering Device.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The object of my invention is to provide a beer tempering device in which the difficulty of cleaning the pipes, or worm, thereof shall be reduced to a minimum and in which, at the same time, it may be done to perfection.l As heretofore constructed these devices were uncleanly and, consequently, unhealthful because there was no known means of cleaning them thoroughly, and; hence, where the government looks after the sanitary properties of such devices, their use has been prohibited, generally, because; even after a thorough cleansing with known methods, their cleanliness was either doubtful, or: ultimately, could be proved to be unsatisfactory. To overcome said difficulties I have devised a `new mechanism which, when used according to my direction will overcome all objections and be perfectly clean.


Patent No. 285246A: Hop Drier

Today in 1883, US Patent 285246 A was issued, an invention of James L. Filkins, for his “Hop Drier.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

I have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Driers for Hops and other Substances, of which the following is a complete description.

The invention consists in certain novelties in the construction and arrangement of the parts of which the apparatus is composed, as will hereinafter more fully appear.


Historic Beer Birthday: John Ewald Siebel

Today is the birthday of John Ewald Siebel (September 17, 1868-December 20, 1919). Siebel was born in Germany, but relocated to Chicago, Illinois as a young man. Trained as a chemist, in 1868 he founded the Zymotechnic Institute, which was later renamed the Siebel Institute of Technology.


Here’s his obituary from the Foreign Language Press Survey:

Professor John Ewald Siebel has died after an active life devoted to science. Besides his relatives, thousands of his admirers, including many men of science, mourn at the bier of the friendly old man. He died in his home at 960 Montana Avenue.

Professor Siebel was born September 18, 1845, in Hofkamp, administrative district of Dusseldorf [Germany], as the son of Peter and Lisette Siebel; he attended high school [Real-Gymnasium] at Hagen and studied chemistry at the Berlin University. He came to the United States in 1865 and shortly afterwards obtained employment as a chemist with the Belcher Sugar Refining Company in Chicago. Already in 1868, he established a laboratory of his own, and from 1869 until 1873 he was employed as official chemist for the city and county. In 1871 he also taught chemistry and physics at the German High School. From 1873 until 1880 he was official gas inspector and city chemist. During the following six years he edited the American Chemical Review, and from 1890 until 1900 he published the Original Communications of Zymotechnic Institute. He was also in charge of the Zymotechnic Institute, which he had founded in 1901. Until two years ago he belonged to its board of directors.

Among the many scientific works published by the deceased, which frequently won international reputation, and are highly valued by the entire world of chemical science are: Newton’s Axiom Developed; Preparation of Dialized Iron; New Methods of Manufacture of Soda; New Methods of Manufacture of Phosphates; Compendium of Mechanical Refrigeration; Thermo-and Electro-Dynamics of Energy Conversion; etc. The distilling industry considered him an expert of foremost achievement.

The deceased was a member of the Lincoln Club; the old Germania Club; the local Academy of Science; the Brauer and Braumeisterverein [Brewer and Brewmaster Association]; the American Institute for Brewing; and the American Society of Brewing Technology. Professor Siebel was also well known in German circles outside the city and state.

His wife Regina, whom he married in 1870….died before him. Five sons mourn his death: Gustav, Friedrich, Ewald, Emil and Dr. John Ewald Siebel, Jr. Funeral services will be held tomorrow afternoon at Graceland Cemetery.

Professor Siebel was truly a martyr of science. He overworked himself, until a year ago he suffered a nervous breakdown. About four months ago conditions became worse. His was an easy and gentle death.


The Siebel Institute’s webpage tells their early history:

Dr. John Ewald Siebel founded the Zymotechnic Institute in 1868. He was born on September 17, 1845, near Wermelskirchen in the district of Dusseldorf, Germany. He studied physics and chemistry and earned his doctorate at the University of Berlin before moving to Chicago 1866. In 1868 he opened John E. Siebel’s Chemical Laboratory which soon developed into a research station and school for the brewing sciences.

In 1872, as the company moved into new facilities on Belden Avenue on the north side of Chicago, the name was changed to the Siebel Institute of Technology. During the next two decades, Dr. Siebel conducted extensive brewing research and wrote most of his over 200 books and scientific articles. He was also the editor of a number of technical publications including the scientific section of The Western Brewer, 100 Years of Brewing and Ice and Refrigeration.

In 1882 he started a scientific school for brewers with another progressive brewer but the partnership was short lived. Dr. Siebel did, however, continue brewing instruction at his laboratory. The business expanded in the 1890’s when two of Dr. Siebel’s sons joined the company.

The company was incorporated in 1901 and conducted brewing courses in both English and German. By 1907 there were five regular courses: a six-month Brewers’ Course, a two-month Post Graduate Course, a three-month Engineers’ Course, a two-month Maltsters’ Course and a two-month Bottlers’ Course. In 1910, the school’s name, Siebel Institute of Technology, was formally adopted. With the approach of prohibition, the Institute diversified and added courses in baking, refrigeration, engineering, milling, carbonated beverages and other related topics. On December 20, 1919, just twenty-seven days before prohibition became effective, Dr. J. E. Siebel passed away.

With the repeal of prohibition in 1933 the focus of the Institute returned to brewing under the leadership of F. P. Siebel Sr., the eldest son of Dr. J. E. Siebel. His sons, Fred and Ray, soon joined the business and worked to expand its scope. The Diploma Course in Brewing Technology was offered and all other non-brewing courses were soon eliminated. Then in October 1952, the Institute moved to its brand new, custom built facilities on Peterson Avenue where we have remained for almost 50 years.

Siebel Brewers Academy c. 1902-04.

Here’s another short account from the journal Brewery History, in an article entitled “A History of Brewing Science in the United States of America,” by Charles W. Bamforth:

Dr John Ewald Siebel (1845-1919) was born on September 17th 1845 at Hofcamp, near Düsseldorf. Upon visiting an uncle in US after the completion of his doctorate in chemistry and physics he became chief chemist at Belcher’s sugar refinery in Chicago, aged 21, but that company soon folded. Siebel stayed in Chicago to start an analytical laboratory in 1868, which metamorphosed into the Zymotechnic Institute.

With Chicago brewer Michael Brand, Siebel started in 1882 the first Scientific School for practical brewers as a division of the Zymotechnic Institute. True life was not breathed into the initiative until 1901 with Siebel’s son (one of five) Fred P. Siebel as manager. This evolved to become the Siebel Institute of Technology, which was incorporated in 1901 and conducted brewing courses in both English and German. Within 6 years five regular courses had been developed: a six-month course for brewers, a twomonth post graduate course, a threemonth course for engineers, a two-month malting course and a two-month bottling course.

Amongst Siebel’s principal contributions were work on a counter pressure racker and artificial refrigeration systems. Altogether he published more than 200 articles on brewing, notably in the Western Brewer and original Communications of the Zymotechnic Institute. Brewing wasn’t his sole focus, for instance he did significant work on blood chemistry.

Son EA Siebel founded Siebel and Co and the Bureau of Bio-technology in 1917, the year that prohibition arrived. Emil Siebel focused then on a ‘temperance beer’ that he had been working on for nine years. Courses in baking, refrigeration, engineering, milling and nonalcoholic carbonated beverages were offered.


And here’s the entry for the Siebel Institute from the Oxford Companion to Beer, written by Randy Mosher:


Patent No. 411337A: Means for Boiling, Cooling Beer

Today in 1889, US Patent 411337 A was issued, an invention of Constantin Hoffmann and Lorenz Ebert, for their “Means for Boiling, Cooling Beer.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The present invention relates to apparatus for sterilizing and cooling beer-wort, whereby the latter is kept completely protected against any injurious actions of the atmosphere during the whole cooling process-that is to say, from the boiling-copper to the fermenting-vat. According to the present cooling process the beer-wort is cooled either on coolers or by means of special apparatus. This takes place with the admission of ordinary atmospheric air, which has a deleterious effect upon or infects the beer-wort. That such an infection frequently takes place is proved by the many changes in the beer-wort during the cooling processes heretofore practiced, and by the various abnormal phenomena of fermentation which occur despite the employment of sound yeast. In order to obviate these inconveniences, we provide the known cooling apparatus with a casing which can be hermetically closed and bring the beer-wort, which runs boiling hot, and therefore free from germs or sprout, to the cooling apparatus into contact with sterilized air. By the introduction of sterilized air into the casing of the cooling apparatus at a certain overpressure during the cooling the beer wort remains quite free from germs or sprout, and after that the air necessary for the fermentation is introduced according to requirements and the exhalation of the same is effected.


Patent No. 5667832A: Method And Device For Foam Generation By Dispersion Of Bubbles

Today in 1997, US Patent 5667832 A was issued, an invention of Keith Tromans, assigned to Scottish And Newcastle Plc, for his “Method and Device for Foam Generation by Dispersion of Bubbles.” Here’s the Abstract:

A method and apparatus for the generation of a foaming dispersion of bubbles in a carbonated beverage or other gas-containing liquid packaged in a can (120) or other sealed container. An initially liquid-free device (9) having an internal chamber with an inlet/outlet valve (130/150) assembly is placed in the can, which is then filled with the beverage. The can is sealed and pasteurized, which raises the internal pressure in the can to force some of the gasified beverage into the device through the inlet valve. The outlet valve holds the quantity of beverage in the internal chamber until the can is opened, whereupon the depressurization of the can opens the outlet valve to discharge the internal chamber through an orifice to initiate seed bubbles which form a head on the beverage. The method and apparatus are particularly applicable to producing a head on fermented alcoholic beverages to simulate draught beverages.


Patent No. 4612196A: Preparation Of Low Alcohol Beverages By Reverse Osmosis

Today in 1986, US Patent 4612196 A was issued, an invention of Henry Goldstein, Charles L. Cronan, and Etzer Chicoye, assigned to the Miller Brewing Company, for their “Preparation of Low Alcohol Beverages by Reverse Osmosis.” Here’s the Abstract:

A traditional flavored fermented alcoholic beverage of low alcohol content is prepared by reverse osmosis with a thin layer composite membrane which has a support layer of polysulfone, a barrier layer of polymer prepared from a polyamine and a polyacyl, and a fiber backing. The membrane has a molecular weight cut-off of less than about 100 for organics and rejects the volatile components which contribute to flavor and aroma and permits about 25 to about 30% alcohol in the beverage to pass.

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Patent No. 436498A: Apparatus For Brewing

Today in 1890, US Patent 436498 A was issued, an invention of Carl Hafner, for his “Apparatus For Brewing.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

My invention relates to an improved apparatus for use in the process of making beer.

In the usual process of boiling beer or wort with hops the essential oils, aroma, and volatile oils escape and are wasted or are condensed and passed back into the brew-kettle during the boiling process; but as the essential oils, aroma, etc., vaporize and escape when the hot liquid remains at a temperature of about Reaumur, and as it is necessary after boiling the wort with the hops a certain time to allow the boiling liquid to cool oft in the open air, it will thus be seen that these volatile matters will still escape.

The object of my invention is to provide an improved apparatus for use in the process of manufacturing beer, whereby the essential oils, volatile matters, etc., are saved and afterward added to the beer, and whereby a great saving is made in hops. These objects are accomplished by and my invention consists in certain novel features of construction and combinations of parts, more fully described hereinafter, and particularly pointed out in the claim.


Patent No. 459635A: Rinsing Tub

Today in 1892, US Patent 459635 A was issued, an invention of John D. Kelly, for his “Rinsing Tub.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to a glass and tumbler washer and rinser for use in bar-rooms.

The objects of the invention are to provide a suitable washer to be located behind the bar in which tumblers or glasses may be plunged and washed or rinsed, to construct the washer in a cheap and simple manner, adapt it to avoid waste of water, and to be readily cleaned.


Patent No. 349178A: Cooling Air And Apparatus Therefor

Today in 1892, US Patent 349178 A was issued, an invention of Stanislas Rouart, for his “Cooling Air and Apparatus Therefor.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The main object of my invention is to effectively cool the air of rooms or spaces in which it is necessary or desirable to maintain a free circulation of air as, for instance, in cellars for storing or treating beer, etc.