Patent No. 3867551A: Preparation Of Beer

Today in 1975, US Patent 3867551 A was issued, an invention of Yves Germain Jaegle, for his “Preparation of Beer.” Here’s the Abstract:

Beer is prepared by a process wherein groups of batches of wort are turned serially at temperatures increasing from 10 DEG to 14.5 DEG C into a cylindrical, vertically disposed vat having a conical bottom. Convection currents are instituted to homogenize the contents of the vat and fermentation is carried out until a beer of the desired degree of fermentation is formed. The resultant beer is mellowed by a warm keep phase, cooled and subjected to a cold keep phase.


Patent No. 5718161A: Beer Brewing System And Method

Today in 1998, US Patent 5718161 A was issued, an invention of Leigh P. Beadle, for his “Beer Brewing System And Method.” Here’s the Abstract:

There is provided a system for brewing beer particularly suited for a brew pub setting. The invention utilizes a cooker to heat water and a pre-blend syrup of ingredients. Once the beer mixture is boiled for a sufficient length of time in the cooker, the mixture is transferred to a brewing vessel. A spiral spray nozzle is used to add water to the brewing vessel in a conical spray pattern which causes the water to be oxygenated once it passes through the spiral spray end of the nozzle. Yeast is added to the brew mixture and oxygenated water in the brewing vessel. The beer mixture is permitted to ferment in the brewing vessel for a sufficient length of time. The fermented beer mixture is transferred to a plurality of kegs, each of which contains a mixture of sugar and gelatin. The sugar and gelatin allow the beer mixture and age and clarify. Once the beer mixture has aged a sufficient time, the beer mixture is dispensed from the kegs. The system of the invention includes a keg cleaning device for simultaneously depressurizing the keg while hooking up the device to the keg.


The (Big) Companies Who Actually Make Your Beer

Here’s yet another look at the changing landscape of brewery ownerships, this time from Vinepair, and while they primarily write about wine, they also must tacitly accept the well-trodden wisdom that “it takes a lot of beer to make great wine,” since they do occasionally tackle beer. Last week, the posted their “Map: The Companies Who Actually Make Your Beer.” It’s restricted to ten of the largest companies who own multiple breweries and, to their credit, it’s been updated four times so far, meaning they’re doing their best to get it right, which given its complexity, not to mention who often it’s changing, is no easy task.

Click here to see the chart full size.

Patent No. 253683A: Apparatus For Raising Beer

Today in 1882, US Patent 253683 A was issued, an invention of Peter J. Catterall and Edward Birch, from Manchester, England, for their “Apparatus for Raising Beer.” There’s no Abstract, but the application states their “invention relates to apparatus for raising valves, through one of which the liquid is admitted to the chamber, and through the other the liquid is forced to the bar or delivery-tap” and there “is a section of the three-way tap that admits and discharges the water used to raise the beer or other liquid.”

Patent No. 491939A: Process Of Producing Pure Cultivated Pressed Yeast

Today in 1893, US Patent 491939 A was issued, an invention of Charles A. Hansson, for his “Process of Producing Pure Cultivated Pressed Yeast.” There’s no Abstract, but the application begins by stating that he’s “invented certain new and useful Improvements in Processes of Producing Pure Cultivated, Pressed Yeast, of which the following is a specification.”

For the production of a pure cultivated pressed yeast it is necessary to have the fluid out of which the yeast is to receive its nourishment free as far as possible from foreign ferments and bacteria, that is sterilized.

According to methods heretofore used in the manufacture of yeast the sterilizing of this fluid could not have been effected to any advantage because, as the theories now existing indicate, the pepsin and not the lactic acid (the latter serving merely as a mediator) acts as a converter of the albumin into peptones, and as the pepsin contained in the grain is insufficient to transform all albuminoids in the mash into peptones, a comparatively small part of it was so transformed, and the greater part would, consequently, during the process of sterilizing, coagulate and thus be rendered insoluble, that is useless as nourishment for the yeast plant. To overcome this difliculty I make use of an additional increment of pepsin, by adding to the mash, a reinforcing quantity of pepsin and by leaving the mash under the influence thereof, together with some inorganic acid, (when necessary) and at a temperature most favorable for the pepsin, whereby much more of the albumin contained in the raw material is transformed into peptones, and I acquire a fluid which may be submitted to heating sufficiently for sterilizing with but little or no detrimental coagulation of albumin. Through the heating process I am enabled to procure a fluid sufficiently sterilized and thereby practically prepared for a pure cultivated yeast.

Having the fermenting tub covered and introducing into the fluid by mechanical means, sterilized air favorable for the development of the yeast, I avoid its infection which would take place should the fermentation be carried out in the usual way.


Patent No. 812243A: Circulating System For Beer-Filters

Today in 1906, US Patent 812243 A was issued, an invention of Max Stahl, for his “Circulating System for Beer-Filters.” There’s no Abstract, but Stahl describes his invention as an improvement over then-current systems, saying his “invention aims to and does overcome the losses and disadvantages [mentioned earlier in the description], and in brief it consists of providing means whereby the column of beer can be switched off the racking-bench and continuously returned to the filter until stable relations are secured and the beer no longer runs cloudy or contains fibers of filter mass.”

Patent No. 2823125A: Apparatus For And Process Of Fermenting Beer

Today in 1958, US Patent 2823125 A was issued, an invention of Frank H. Schwaiger, assigned to Anheuser-Busch, for his “Apparatus for and Process of Fermenting Beer.” There’s no Abstract, but in the description it states the following:

One of the principal objects of the present invention is to provide an improved fermenter which can be fabricated from stainless steel and which requires no overhead chamber for capturing foam which must necessarily rise upwardly into said chamber. Another object is to provide an improved fermenter which requires no special housing, which is easily housed on a single floor of a building, which can be easily cleaned, which requires less space per unit capacity, and which separates the foam from the beer more completely and more efficiently. Another object is to provide a fermenter construction which moves the foam automatically toward the foam chamber. Another object is to provide a fermenter which without moving parts automatically prevents beer from spilling over a baffle into the foam chamber even though the beer increases in volume during fermentation. Another object is to provide a fermenter which can be fabricated in a metal fabricating shop, shipped to the brewery, and placed upon a suitable base therein.

Another principal object of the present invention is to provide an improved process wherein the foam condensate is directed back into the manufacturing process at a different point from where the foam was taken. Another object is to provide a process wherein the foam condensate can be filtered or treated before it is redirected into the process.


Patent No. 1086931A: Fluid-Separator

Today in 1914, US Patent 1086931 A was issued, an invention of George Anton Orth and Joshua J. White, for their “Fluid-Separator.” There’s no Abstract, but in the description it states the “object of the invention is to provide a separator, particularly adapted for use in connection with ales and beers, for separating sediment from the body of the fluid.” The description continues:

The invention embodies among other features a device provided with an inlet pipe for connection with the main barrel or the keg and an outlet pipe for connection with the tap or faucet, the mentioned pipes terminating in a container, with an end of the inlet pipe terminating in a separator cup provided with a valve operable by a float arranged within the container and movable upwardly therein as the depth of the fluid in the container increases, the float in its upward movement being adapted to close the inlet pipe to prevent the entrance of additional fluid and in its downward movement being adapted to permit the valve to open to admit more fluid to the container.

By connecting our device directly with the keg or barrel, the pressure in the device will be the same as in the keg or barrel, so that when the fluid is taken from the tap it will be as fresh as if it were taken directly from the keg.


SF Beer Week Opening Gala 2015

Friday night, the 7th annual SF Beer Week kicked off. This year’s gala was held at Fort Mason, and although I had some trepidation about the site, it actually worked fairly well. The acoustics were as bad as ever, and I think the decision to forgo live music was a good one. That also allowed two additional breweries over last year. We would have preferred to allow everyone who wanted to pour that opportunity, but the new space was much more limited than the concourse had been so we were sadly unable to accommodate every brewery. The concourse is being torn down to be replaced by a mixed use space, so we couldn’t return there this year. It’s an unfortunate truth of San Francisco that their simply aren’t a lot of spaces available to suit the needs of the opening gala, at least not and keep the price of a ticket within the reach of the average beer lover. But Brian and the San Francisco Brewers Guild did a great job of making the space work. Below are a few photos I took at this year’s gala, and for a lot more check out Gamma Nine, who took the official photos for beer week.

The entrance at this year’s SF Beer Week opening Gala.

Outside it was still raining, as the time to let everyone in approached.

All of the glassware waiting for the arrival of everyone for the gala.

Then the doors opened, and people streamed in.

The hall filled up quickly, though it never really felt overcrowded.

Ted Viviatson, from Eel River, and Daniel Del Grande, from Bison Brewing.

J.J. from Petaluma Hills Brewing.

John Martin and Kelsey Williams, sporting a six-pack hat, both from Drake’s and Triple Rock.

San Francisco mayor Ed Lee also came to say a few words at the beginning of the gala. Before his remarks, we took him on a short tour of the hall, stopping by a couple of booths to sample a few beers. Here he’s sharing a laugh with SF Brewers Guild director Brian Stechschulte.

Brian, mayor Lee and me at the front of the Gala. (Photo by Mike Condie.)

Patent No. 5716653A: Process For Brewer’s Yeast Debittering

Today in 1998, US Patent 5716653 A was issued, an invention of Ronald E. Simard and Mohammed Bouksaim, for their “Process For Brewer’s Yeast Debittering.” Here’s the Abstract:

This invention relates to a process for debittering spent brewer’s yeast, aiming at maximal efficiency with minimal impact on yeasts for their further use as live cells. The process consists in bringing a yeast suspension in contact with a surfactant containing unsaturated fatty acids, like Tween 80® (0.2% to 20% v/v), adjusting pH to 10.0 with NaOH 2N and agitating during 5 minutes at 50 rpm and 50° C. A bitterness reduction of 98% is obtained, without affecting yeast viability or protein content. Furthermore, the debittered yeasts treated with 20% Tween 80® can be reactivated (viability of 100% and increased production of CO2) by growing them in a suitable medium for a sufficient time (about two to six hours). These reactivated yeasts have restored biological properties which are expected to allow the use of these spent yeasts in complete or partial replacement of new yeasts in bakery industry and in spirit and beer fabrication. This application for an industrial by-product brings a plus-value by exploiting its biological activity and its nutritional value and furthermore, represents an interesting solution for an environmental problem.

So essentially this idea is to take yeast after it’s been used in brewing beer, removing any bitter compounds and then using it again to bake bread. I know in England, at Marston’s in Burton-on-Trent, for example, sells their spent yeast to the nearby plant that makes Marmite, and is similar to the Australian Vegemite.