Patent No. 1976173A: Barrel Stave

Today in 1934, US Patent 1976173 A was issued, an invention of Edward W. Hutchings, for his “Barrel Stave.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to the manufacture of staves for barrels and other containers and the object is to utilize thoroughly seasoned and dried lumber which is now available and which will render unnecessary steaming of the stave in order to bring it into the desired shape. Staves for barrels and kegs, especially for beer kegs, have heretofore been cut from white oak and then subjected to steaming in order to be bent into the required curvature. White oak, however, at the present time, is very scarce and the steaming process is expensive and time-consuming, while there is available a plentiful supply of thoroughly dried and seasoned lumber which may be utilized for the production of staves. It is an object of the present invention to utilize available lumber, and especially lumber which would otherwise be treated as waste, for the production of staves by a method which is expeditious and inexpensive. The invention will be herein fully described in connection with the accompanying drawings and resides in certain novel features which will be particularly pointed out in the appended claims.


Next Session Has You Seeing Double

So our recently back-from-the-dead Session next month will be our 105th monthly outing, and our host will be Mark Ciocco, who writes the Kaedrin Beer Blog. For his topic, he’s chosen Double Features, by which he means ” comparative tastings,” meaning “[d]rink two beers (usually of the same style) with a critical eye, compare and contrast.” But I’ll let him give the full explanation of what he’s looking for:

For this installment, I’d like to revisit that glorious time of beer drinking when I was just starting to realize what I was getting into. One of my favorite ways to learn about beer was to do comparative tastings. Drink two beers (usually of the same style) with a critical eye, compare and contrast. Because I’m also a movie nerd, this would often be accompanied by a film pairing. It was fun, and I still enjoy doing such things to this day!

So your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to drink two beers, compare and contrast. No need for slavish tasting notes, but if you want to, that’s fine too. The important part is to highlight how the two beers interact with one another during your session (pun intended!) For extra credit, pair your beers with two films to make your own Double Feature. Now, I’m a big tent kinda guy, so feel free to stretch this premise to its breaking point. The possibilities are endless!

  • Drink two beers of the same style, pair with a double feature of horror movies (it being October and all – it’s what I’ll be doing!)
  • Drink two vintages of the same beer, pair with a famous double album (The White Album, The Wall, Exile on Main Street, etc…)
  • Throw caution to the wind and do a triple feature!
  • Drink a base beer and its barrel aged variant, pair with two episodes of your favorite TV show.
  • Actually, lots of other types of variants out there too: base beer and it’s Brett-dosed counterpart, base and a fruited variant, base and spiced variant, base and a dry hopped variant, many possibilities here… Pair with video games.
  • Play master blender by taking two beers, tasting both, then blending them together in the perfect proportion for the ultimate whatever. Then say nuts to pairing it with non-beer stuff, because you’re just that cool.
  • Test your endurance by taking down two bottles of Black Tuesday solo, then documenting the resultant trip to the emergency room*.
  • Recount a previous comparative tasting experience that proved formative.
  • Drink a fresh IPA and a six-month old IPA and discuss where you fall on the “Freshness Fetish” scale.
  • Drink a beer and compare with wine or bourbon or coke or whatever strikes your fancy. One should probably be beer though. I said “big tent” not “no tent”…
  • “These two beers are in my fridge, I should probably drink them or something.” (Pair with leftovers.)
  • Drink a beer and a homebrewed clone of that beer (an obscure one that requires you to have both readily available, but this is part of the fun!)
  • Hold a March Madness style beer tournament, pitting beer versus beer in a series of brackets in order to determine the supreme winner.
  • Devise a two course beer dinner, pairing two beers with various foodstuffs.
  • If any of you people live near an Alamo Drafthouse, I think you know what you need to do. Do it for me; I don’t have the awesomeness that is Alamo anywhere near me and wish to live vicariously through your sublime double feature.
  • Collect an insane amount of barleywines and drink them with your friends, making sure to do the appropriate statistical analysis of everyone’s ratings.
  • Go to a bar, have your friends choose two beers for you, but make sure they don’t tell you what the beers are. Compare, contrast, guess what they are, and bask in the glory of blind tasting.
  • Lecture me on the evils of comparative tasting and let me have it with both barrels. We’ll love you for it, but you’re probably wrong.

Truly, there are a plethora of ways to take this, so hop to it!


So start choosing your beers (and your movies, too, for extra credit). To participate in the November Session, on or around Friday, November 6, leave a comment to the original announcement if you’re on WordPress. If not, since he’s had some issues with comments, send an e-mail to mciocco at gmail dot com or notify him via Twitter at @KaedrinBeer.


Patent No. 195980A: Improvement In Gage Attachments For Beer-Measures

Today in 1877, US Patent 195980 A was issued, an invention of George J. Cave and George E. Nicholson, for their “Improvement in Gage Attachments for Beer-Measures.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

The object of this invention is to furnish an improved measure for measuring beer and other liquids that foam when drawn, which shall be so constructed as to show at once how much of the liquid there may be in the measure, however foamy it may be, so that there need be no waiting for the foam to subside, and no refilling.

The invention consists in the combination of the detachable glass tube, the rubber rings, and the screw-plug with the case,the measure, and the elbow-pipe connected with the interior of the measure, or with a box or trap secured within said measure; and in the combination of the screw-cap, provided with the hole and the handle, with the box or trap secured in the interior of the measure, and connected with a glass tube by an elbow-pipe, as hereinafter fully described.


Pre-Pilsner Pilsen

This morning Pilsner Urquell tweeted the quetion “What happened in Plzen in the 1830s to make the citizens decide to build their own brewery?”


The answer Pilsner Urquell gives to Plzen Before Pilsner Urquell is a short history lesson about Bohemia in the mid-1800s.

What was the town of Plzen like when Pilsner Urquell was founded back in 1842? To get a feel for things, imagine the number 563. That’s the total number of dwellings — just 563 buildings for living in — that stood in Plzen at the time of the town’s 1840 census.

Despite its small size, Plzen was still a relatively important place, especially after the construction of the military barracks that were built there in 1826 (this was crowd-funded and paid for by the citizens), after which the town’s population and strategic importance grew substantially. By 1840, Plzen had grown to 10,184 inhabitants, up from 6,447 inhabitants some fifty years earlier.

Along with the barracks, Plzen also developed a more cultivated side in the 1820s and 1830s, developing a merchant class and showing theatrical performances and concerts in both Czech and German languages. Perhaps because of that cosmopolitanism, as well as the town’s setting not far from the Czech-Bavarian border, a number of imported beers, including many Bavarian dark lagers, began showing up in Plzen by the mid-1830s. These proved to be quite popular, and some residents complained that Plzen was flooded by imported beers. Ironically, the imports were quite cheap, much cheaper than Plzen’s own beer at the time, which thus had trouble selling fast enough to keep up with its relatively short shelf life.

The result was a major problem for local beer lovers. The first solution suggested by the citizens of Plzen? A ban on all imported beer. Only after this idea was laughingly dismissed by the town’s mayor Martin Kopecký did the good people of Plzen came up with their second proposal: to build a new brewery that could compete with the imports.

It’s funny to see concerns about imports being an issue even 175 years ago, something that’s still talked about today.

The image Pilsner Urquell uses part of with the story is from 1649. It was a “copper engraving, uncolored as published,” and is a “Bird’s eye view of the city of Pilsen, published in the Topographia Bohemiae by Matthaeus Merian.”


Patent No. 2570844A: Hop-Picking Machine

Today in 1951, US Patent 2570844 A was issued, an invention of Axel Oslund, for his “Hop-Picking Machine.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to hop picking machines.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a hop picking machine for picking hops from hop vines wherein the vines will be extended through the machine in a vertical direction by a traveling conveyor which is connected to the vine stems and through picking drums acting upon opposite sides of the vine as the vine is pulled upwardly and wherein the drums are arranged in pairs working upon opposite sides of the vine and wherein these drums may be staggered with respect to each other throughout the height of the machine.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a vertical hop picking machine wherein the drums are arranged in pairs and wherein the individual drums from the lower position to the top position are brought closer together for each pair so that the last pair of the drums will be so close that they almost touch one another.

Other objects of the present invention are to provide a hop vine picking machine which is of simple construction, inexpensive tov manufacture and efficient in operation.


Patent No. 2808806A: Keg Striping Device

Today in 1957, US Patent 2808806 A was issued, an invention of Joseph L. Tysinger, assigned to Schaefer Brewing Co., for his “Keg Striping Device.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to a device for painting stripes around the periphery of beer kegs and the like.

Heretofore it has been necessary to paint stripes on beer kegs and the like by hand, or by placing the keg on a device which rotates the keg and holding a paint applying element against the rotating keg. It has been proposed to apply paint or a like coating by means of a roller which is rotated by frictional contact with the rotating keg. Similar methods have been used to apply paint or other lluid coatings to other cylindrical bodies.

These methods of applying paint and similar` coatings to cylindrical bodies are not only expensive but are time-consuming, and they require the provision, operation and maintenance of oftentimes complex machinery, depending upon the size and nature of the cylindrical body being coated. l c

It is an object of this invention to provide a simple yet reliable means for. applying a coating around the periphery of a substantially cylindrical body.

It is another object of this invention to provide a simple yet effective device by which a stripe can be painted around a substantially cylindrical body.

It is a still further object of the present invention to provide a device for striping a keg or other cylindrical body, which device does not include complex machinery to rotate the cylindrical body, and requires no complex means to apply the paint or other coating.


Patent No. 2016926A: Apparatus For Emptying And Cleaning Beer Pipes

Today in 1935, US Patent 2016926 A was issued, an invention of Rees Damon, assigned to Rahr Malting Co., for his “Apparatus For Emptying and Cleaning Beer and Other Pipes.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

My invention relates to methods of and apparatus for cleaning pipes, and other liquid containers and connections.

It is particularly applicable to the pipes, tanks, containers, and connections between the beer kegs and drawing faucets of beer dispensing apparatus, which are usually cleaned at the present time by discharging through the pipes and connections a cleaning fluid, such as water containing a cleaning material, and sometimes also air under pressure.

Before cleaning such pipes and connections, it has been necessary heretofore to draw 01f a considerable amount of beer in the pipes, which ‘was thus wasted. Furthermore, after the dispensing apparatus has been out of use overnight or during holidays, it has been necessary when dispensing was resumed, first to draw off all the beer in the pipes, etc., down to the supply kegs, because the beer becomes stale and otherwise deteriorates when it has been left standing in the pipes for a considerable period of time. All this beer was thus wasted causing considerable loss every day.

My invention comprises first a simple, convenient and effective method of and apparatus for forcing and restraining the beer in the pipes and. connections back into the supply kegs and thus saving all the beer, before cleaning the pipes and also before closing the bar for the night or holidays.

My invention also comprises a simple, convenient and effective method of and apparatus for cleaning the pipes and connections.

My invention also comprises various novel features of construction and combinations of parts hereinafter fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims.


Patent No. 3840435A: Malting Apparatus

Today in 1974, US Patent 3840435 A was issued, an invention of Rees Damon, assigned to Rahr Malting Co., for his “Malting Apparatus.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

Apparatus for malting barley including an elongated germination compartment and a plurality of vertically extending, transversely spaced augers moveable longitudinally within the compartment for intermittently mixing the barley during the germination period. To remove the malted barley from the germination compartment, the compartment floor includes a centrally positioned, longitudinally extending opening. A plurality of longitudinally spaced pairs of gates are pivotably mounted within the floor opening; the gates comprising each pair are pivotally attached to opposite edges of the opening for pivotal movement between a generally horizontal floor-forming position closing the opening and a downwardly inclined position allowing the malt within the compartment to pass through the opening to suitable means (e.-g. a conveyor) for transporting the malt to a drying kiln. A transversely extending auger is removeably mounted immediately behind the vertically extending augers and adjacent the compartment floor for moving the barley transversely within the germination compartment toward the centrally positioned floor opening during the compartment unloading operation. Pneumatic switches are positioned along the side of the germination compartment to automatically and independently pivot (i.e., open) the floor gates at successive predetermined positions of the transversely extending auger.


Patent No. 1087120A1: Method Of Fermenting

Today in 1980, US Patent 1087120 A1 was issued, an invention of Walter T. Nagodawithana and Janet M. Cuzner, assigned to the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company, for their “Method of Fermenting.” Here’s the Abstract:

A method of fermenting a fermentable substrate, such as brewer’s wort. The substrate, having a high concentration of fermentable carbohydrate which would normally ferment very slowly or incompletely, is fermented by utilizing water dilution at a process point in the fermentation. The dilution is effected after the initial foam head produced in the fermentation collapses so that the headspace of the fermenting vessel normally allocated for the foam can be used for the fermentation of the diluted substrate. The water dilution reduces the osmotic pressure and ethanol concentration in the substrate, thus allowing the fermentation to proceed without inhibition by the combined effect of the two factors. The reduced osmotic pressure also increases the ethanol gradient between the inside and the outside of the yeast cells to enable the fermentation to proceed to completion.


Patent No. 710631A: Bung And Bung Attachment

Today in 1902, US Patent 710631 A was issued, an invention of Paul A. Johnson, for his “Bung and Bung Attachment.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

My invention relates to an improved bung and faucet for kegs or barrels for beer, ale, and other liquids; and the object thereof is to provide a tight bung easily put in place and a faucet so constructed that said bung may be readily opened and the contents of the keg or barrel removed therefrom at will.