Patent No. 3128188A: Beer Lagering Process

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Today in 1964, US Patent 3128188 A was issued, an invention of Donald B. McIntire, assigned to the Union Carbide Corp., for his “Beer Lagering Process.” There’s no Abstract, but here’s how it’s described. “The main object of the present invention to provide a process for producing lagered beer without storing the beer.” I think what I’m most curious about is what interest a company like Union Carbide would have in holding a patent for making lager beer? The process is described in great detail as the description continues.

In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a process for lagering ruh beer comprising freezing water from the ruh beer so as to produce a slurry of concentrated beer, ice, and other solids; and removing the ice and other solids from the concentrated beer, while maintaining the beer in a substantially inert atmosphere throughout all process steps. Thus, the inventive process produces concentrated, lagered beer by freeze concentrating ruh beer.

Another novel and important feature of the present invention resides in the removal of calcium oxalate from the lagered beer product. Calcium oxalate is usually formed during normal brewing processes, and it is well established in the brewing literature that this compound is an extremely undesirable constituent of conventional beer. The oxalate normally plates out in processing tanks and lines, forming beer stone and resulting in a complex cleaning problem. Calcium oxalate also contributes to haze and offensive avors in beer and is generally considered to contribute to the highly undesirable phenomenon known as gushing Oxalates are also undesirable from a nutritional standpoint, since an excess of oxalates in the body is one factor which reduces the absorption of calcium from the intestine. While conventional beer always contains a substantial portion of oxalate, both the lagered beer concentrate formed by the present invention and the reconstituted product contain negligible amounts of oxalate because the calcium oxalate is precipitated out during the freezing step, and then subsequently removed from the concentrated beer along with the ice and other solids. Thus, not only is the expensive and time-consuming storage process eliminated by the inventive process, but the quality of the final product is unexpectedly and significantly improved.

In addition to, and possibly as a result of, the removal of calcium oxalate, the process of the present invention improves the flavor and haze stability of the resultant beer product. Indeed, beer produced by diluting the novel 3,128,188 Patented Apr. 7, 1964 ICC l concentrate ‘appears to be superior in flavor and clarity not only to other reconstituted concentrates, but also to fresh, high-quality draft beer, even though the concentrate and/or the reconstituted product may be as much as a year old. Because of its inherent bacteriological stability, the stabilized beer concentrate may be stored for long periods without the deterioration in flavor, clarity, and uniformity which conventional lagered beer, even when pasteurized, always suffers.

Although the inventive process can theoretically be used to produce lagered beer of any desired concentration, concentration above about five-fold, i.e., a concentrate possessing one-fifth the volume of the beer as originally fermented, usually results in deterioration of the desirable qualities of the product. Accordingly, less than five-fold volume concentrations are deemed preferable.

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Patent No. 1092538A: Beer And Hops Separator

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Today in 1914, US Patent 1092538 A was issued, an invention of George F. Rauch, for his “Beer and Hops Separator.” There’s no Abstract, but here’s how it’s described. “This invention relates to the art of brewing, and particularly to a new and useful separator, for separating the beer and hops.” Apparently it has several features:

One of the features of the invention is the provision of a receptacle in which a revoluble pear-shaped screen is, mounted, having a distributor or splasher for swirling or splashing the fluid or combination of beer and hops against the inner circumference of the pear-shaped screen.

Another feature of the invention is the provision of a plurality of agitator wings carried by the distributer or splasher, which wings owing to the centrifugal force swing outwardly, so as to splash the fluid or combination of hops and beer against the inner circumference of the pear shaped revoluble screen, the beer passing through the perforations of the screen, while the hops pass centrally down through the screen.

Another feature of the invention is the provision of a stationaryv supported rake pear-shaped or conical screen, to prevent the hops from adhering or clinging to the inner circumference of the pear-shaped screen. In other words. the hops that may hang to the inner surface of the creen are raked or combed ofi as the screen revolves.

The beer that percolates through the perforations of the pear-shaped screen deposits and is carried oil by a spout. The hops pass centrally down through the screen.

Another feature of the invention is the provision of a conveyor disposed beneath the outlet of the screen to receive the hops, which are conveyed to and under a yieldably mounted pressure roller, so as to squeeze any further beer that may remain with the hops as they leave the screen.

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Patent No. 2674535A: Method And Means For Shipping Or Storing Hops

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Today in 1954, US Patent 2674535 A was issued, an invention of Gustav Detlefsen, for his “Method and Means For Shipping or Storing Hops.” There’s no Abstract, but here’s how it’s described. “It is an object of the instant invention to provide better packing which will be impervious to Weather, negligent handling, and poor storing in the holds of ships where other cargos may contaminate the hops with odors, moisture, acids, etc., the hops being easily damaged. Another object is to conserve material in the shipment of hops.”
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Patent No. 917019A: Apparatus For Mixing Liquids With Gases

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Today in 1909, US Patent 917019 A was issued, an invention of Gustav Detlefsen, for his “Apparatus for Mixing Liquids with Gases.” There’s no Abstract, but here’s how it’s described. “This invention relates to an improved apparatus for mixing liquids with gases, the device being more particularly designed to charging beer with carbonic acid gas while the beer flows from the chip cask to the racking apparatus. The construction is such that the liquid is thoroughly agitated while being charged with the gas, so that an intimate mixture is obtained.”
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Patent No. 580104A: Apparatus For Manufacturing Beer Or Ale

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Today in 1897, US Patent 580104 A was issued, an invention of Andrew Worthington Billings, for his “Apparatus for Manufacturing Beer or Ale.” There’s no Abstract, but here’s how it’s described. “It is the object of the invention to provide an apparatus by the use of which malt liquors may be manufactured in a simpler, quicker, and less expensive manner than heretofore and to effect the aeration of wort in the same apparatus in which the mashing and boiling take place. A further object of the invention is to insure the perfect sterilization of the air used in the aeration of the wort and to regulate the flow of such air in the manner hereinafter more particularly pointed out.”

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Top 50 Craft Breweries Infographic

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This is pretty cool. Vinepair took the list the BA released on Tuesday, the Top 50 Craft Breweries For 2014, and created an infographic showing where the top fifty are located. It’s interesting to see the pockets where there are only smaller breweries, those ranked 51-3000+. It does appear that the top 50 are concentrated in a few broad areas.

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Click here to see the infographic full size.

Patent No. 3875303A: Preparation Of Beer

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Today in 1975, US Patent 3875303 A was issued, an invention of Josef Hieber, assigned to Interbrew Betriebs Und Beteilg, for his “Preparation Of Beer.” Here’s the Abstract:

Beer is produced from a wort concentrate by a process involving sterilizing and desalting water, providing the sterilized and desalted water with a controlled salt content, dissolving a wort concentrate having at least 80% dry substance content in the water and fermenting with yeast to produce beer. The wort concentrate is dissolved in the water with a jet mixer and fermentation is carried out in a vessel containing a cooling chamber located above a centrifuge drum having therein plates for separating yeast and an impeller for circulating wort.

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Patent No. 4653388A: Small Scale Production Brewing

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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.

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The Top 50 Annotated 2014

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This is my eighth annual annotated list of the Top 50, skipping last year because the BA provided that information then, so here again you can see who moved up and down, who was new to the list and who dropped off. So here is this year’s list again annotated with how they changed compared to last year.

  1. Anheuser-Busch InBev; #1 nine years, no surprise
  2. MillerCoors; ditto for #2
  3. Pabst Brewing; ditto for #3
  4. D. G. Yuengling and Son; Same as last year
  5. Boston Beer Co.; Same as last year
  6. North American Breweries; 5th year on the list, same position as last year
  7. Sierra Nevada Brewing; Same as last year
  8. New Belgium Brewing; Same as last year
  9. Craft Brewers Alliance; Same as last year
  10. Gambrinus Company; Same as last year
  11. Lagunitas Brewing; Same as last year
  12. Bell’s Brewery; Up 1 from #13 last year
  13. Deschutes Brewery; Down 1 from #12 last year
  14. Stone Brewing; Up 3 from #17 last year
  15. Sleeman Brewing; Not in Top 50 last year
  16. Minhas Craft Brewery; Down 1 from #15 last year
  17. Brooklyn Brewery; Down 1 from #26 last year
  18. Duvel Moortgat USA (Boulevard Brewing/Ommegang); Down 4 from #14 last year
  19. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery; Up 1 from #20 last year
  20. Matt Brewing; Down 2 from #18 last year
  21. Harpoon Brewery; Down 2 from #19 last year
  22. Firestone Walker Brewing; Up 1 from #23 last year
  23. Founders Brewing; Jumped Up 12 from #35 last year
  24. SweetWater Brewing; Up 2 from #26 last year
  25. New Glarus Brewing; Same as last year
  26. Alaskan Brewing; Down 2 from #24 last year
  27. Abita Brewing; Down 5 from #22 last year
  28. Anchor Brewing; Up 1 from #29 last year
  29. Great Lakes Brewing; Down 2 from #27 last year
  30. Oskar Blues Brewing; Up 3 from #33
  31. Shipyard Brewing; Down 10 from #21 last year
  32. Stevens Point Brewery; Up 13 from #45 last year
  33. August Schell Brewing; Down 5 from #33 last year
  34. Summit Brewing; Down 2 from #32 last year
  35. Victory Brewing; Down 2 from #37 last year
  36. Long Trail Brewing; Down 5 from #31 last year
  37. Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits; Up 1 from #38 last year
  38. Rogue Ales Brewery; Down 2 from #36 last year
  39. Full Sail Brewing; Down 5 from #34 last year
  40. Odell Brewing; Up 4 from #44 last year
  41. Southern Tier Brewing; Down 1 from #40 last year
  42. Ninkasi Brewing; Down 3 from #39 last year
  43. World Brew/Winery Exchange; Down 13 from #30 last year
  44. Flying Dog Brewery; Down 1 from #43 last year
  45. Pittsburgh Brewing (fka Iron City); Down 2 from #47 last year
  46. Uinta Brewing; Not in Top 50 last year
  47. Bear Republic Brewing; Down 1 from #46 last year
  48. Left Hand Brewing; Up 2 from #50 last year
  49. 21st Amendment Brewery; Not in Top 50 last year, though they were on the list in 2012
  50. Allagash Brewing; Not in Top 50 last year

Not too much movement this year, except for a few small shufflings. Only four new breweries made the list; Sleeman Brewing, Uinta Brewing, 21st Amendment Brewery and Allagash Brewing.

Off the list was Blue Point Brewing, Cold Spring Brewing, CraftWorks Breweries & Restaurants (Gordon Biersch/Rock Bottom), Karl Strauss Breweries, Lost Coast Brewery, and Mendocino Brewing.

If you want to see the previous annotated lists for comparison, here is 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006.

Patent No. 724100A: Wort-Separator

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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.”
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