Patent No. 3390000A: Separation Of Lupulin From Hops

Today in 1968, US Patent 3390000 A was issued, an invention of Robert J. Brison and John H. Litchfield, assigned to John I. Haas Inc., for their “Separation Of Lupulin From Hops.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

In the production of beer or ale one important ingredient employed is hops. Hops contain certain soft resins which impart not only bitterness to the beer, but also aroma. In the usual practice the hop cones which include the leaves, stems, petals, lupulin and at times, seeds, are boiled in their entirety within a sugary wort in order to extract the necessary resins and aromatic oils from the lupulin thereof. The lupulin particles are closed cup-like fibrous containers filled with hop flavoring substance including a relatively small amount of moisture, and essentially soft bitter resins and volatile aromatic oils.

It has been known however, that the flavor content of lupulin deteriorates in the ordinary practice of drying the hops prior to shipment to the brewery and that oxidation of lupulin occurs easily if the dried hops are not placed in sealed containers (preferably in an inert atmosphere) thus avoiding further oxidation thereof.

It will be recognized that such a procedure is costly since it involves packaging and handling extraneous -materials. Efforts dating back to the mid-nineteenth century have been directed to separating the lupulin from the hops although certain economic disadvantages have prevented their widespread acceptance. Further, many of these efforts result in a lupulin product excessively fragmented or crushed, thus exposing its valuable constituents to unnecessarily rapid and disadvantageous oxidation.

It is therefore an important object of the instant invention to overcome the disadvantages of prior art methods of separating lupulin from hops.

It is a further object of the instant invention to provide an improved method of separating lupulin particles from hops in the substantial absence of damage or comminution of said lupulin particles.

Another object of the instant invention is to provide an improved, simplified and economical method of separating lupulin particles from hops in the absence of appreciable particle size reduction and in the absence of appreciable oxidation or deterioration of the soft resin or volatile aromatic oil content `of said lupulin particles.

Still another object of the instant invention is to provide a simple, effective method of separating lupulin from hops which method can be implemented at the ranch or vine location and wherein the hops treated can be fresh (not dried, dehydrated or stored for any substantial length of time) or dried or a mixture thereof.


Beer In Ads #1596: Speaking Of Miracles

Wednesday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1951. This is an odd ad, showing a man who could easily be mistaken for being in drag, but is just dressed up as a gypsy or fortune-teller. Wearing a goofy grin, he’s seeing a bottle of Schlitz and a full glass of beer in his crystal ball, apparently giving him the idea that a cold drink of beer would be a miracle after a hard day of work.


Patent No. 703206A: Beer-Tapping Apparatus

Today in 1902, US Patent 703206 A was issued, an invention of Patrick H. Keefe, for his “Beer-Tapping Apparatus.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to certain new and useful improvements in beer-tapping apparatus wherein an air-supply is in communication with the cask or barrel containing the beer or like liquid, and has for its object to provide means for furnishing a constant supply of air to the liquid, so that the latter may be drawn on through a pipe, which conducts the same to a suitable and convenient point.


Beer Birthday: Steve Harrison

Today would have been longtime Sierra Nevada employee Steve Harrison’s 64th birthday. Unfortunately, Steve passed away in August of 2007. He was Sierra Nevada employee number one, and was responsible for a lot of their early success. I first got to know Steve in the mid-1990s when I was the chain beer buyer at BevMo. He was a terrific person and universally respected and beloved in the industry. Sierra Nevada had to hire two or three people to take over his responsibilities. Join me in raising a glass of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale to Steve’s memory today. Here’s to you, Steve.

The last time I saw Steve was at a CSBA meeting in San Diego in 2007, though we talked on the phone a few more times after that because he’d asked me to do some freelance work for him shortly after that CSBA meeting. You can almost make him out in the photo below. He’s in the middle, toward the back, in a blue shirt. He’s in between Tom McCormick (in a green shirt) and a man in a black shirt raising his glass below the giant boulder in the background.


A very young Steve, at right, with Michael Jackson and Lou. (Photo by Tom Dalldorf, from the Celebrator Beer News.)

The Steve Harrison Memorial Arch, which is at the northern entrance to the Steve Harrison Bike Path, which is located not very far from the brewery in Chico. (The photo was taken in 2010 by Jack Peters, and sent to me by Miles Jordan. Thank you, gentlemen.)

Patent No. 3891781A: Process For The Extraction Of Hops

Today in 1975, US Patent 3891781 A was issued, an invention of Kurt Bauer, Helmut Findeiss, and Alfred Krempel, for their “Protective Coating for Cans and Methods for Application of Coating Thereto.” Here’s the Abstract:

Process for extracting from hops the essential brewing ingredients thereof, viz., neutral substances, bitter substances and tannin, which process comprises subjecting a primary extract solution of hops, e.g., in alcohol or hydrocarbon solvents, said solution containing as ingredients the neutral substances, bitter substances and tannin, to a first liquid-liquid extraction, wherein either (i) the tannins or (ii) the neutral substances are separated off, leaving a solution of (i) neutral and bitter substances or (ii) tannins and bitter substances, and subjecting the latter solution to a second liquid-liquid extraction to separate said solution into its components; the first extractant is desirably an aliphatic, cycloaliphatic or aromatic hydrocarbon when the primary extract solvent is an alcohol or aqueous-alcoholic solution, to result in extraction of the neutral and bitter substances in a hydrocarbon phase and leaving of the tannin in the alcoholic phase, whereafter the neutral and bitter substances are separated from each other by treating the extract with a second extractant, desirably aliphatic alcohol containing water.


Beer In Ads #1595: The Bow Tie Tuxedo

Tuesday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1949. Part of Bud’s long-running “there’s nothing like it” series, the ad starts with “Waltz time, rhumba, foxtrot, swing,” showing a couple out dancing, dressed to the nines. You gotta love that teeny, tiny thin bow tie the man is wearing with his tux. But my favorite is a throwaway statement in the bottom right corner of the ad. “There’s more Budweiser — and there will be still more as our vast expansion program continues.” Uh oh.


Patent No. 2287500A: Sanitary Beer Comb And Cocktail Mixer Receptacle

Today in 1942, US Patent 2287500 A was issued, an invention of Peter Solinas, for his “Sanitary Beer Comb And Cocktail Mixer Receptacle.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

My invention relates to receptacles for cleansing beer combs and cocktail mixers.

Heretofore in the art where beer has been served over a bar it has been customary for the bartender to use a. beer comb to scoop off the excess top foam of a glass or stein of beer. The bartender by custom then places the beer comb in a glass of stationary water until he needs to use the beer comb again for another service. It is apparent that where a glass is used that the water is stationary and in a comparatively short time becomes stale and mixed with some of the beer leavings which have been introduced into the glass from time to time. It is obvious that very soon after the glass has first been used that the water will be so sour and distasteful that it will not properly clean the beer comb but will on the other hand leave the beer comb in such a condition that when the comb is next used to scoop out the top of a beer glass that the comb will leave stale drippings on top of the latest glass of beer to the distaste of a patron.

It is an object of my invention to provide a device whereby the beer comb may be conveniently held and entirely cleansed before each serving of a glass or stein of beer.

It is a further object of the invention to provide such a device in an accessible position and in which the beer combs may be easily placed.


Patent No. 4275097A: Protective Coating For Cans And Methods For Application Of Coating Thereto

Today in 1981, US Patent 4275097 A was issued, an invention of Frank L. Shriver, assigned to the Coors Container Company, for his “Protective Coating for Cans and Methods for Application of Coating Thereto.” Here’s the Abstract:

Apparatus and methods of applying a thin narrow width coating to can body members comprising a feed control means associated with a guideway means for causing rotating moving of the can body members across an elongated coating applicator roller member extending parallel to the path of movement of the can body members, the rotation of and spacing of the can body members and the rotation of the applicator roller member being controlled to apply the coating during substantially only one revolution of the can body member and less than one revolution of the roller member.

Beer Birthday: Brian Yaeger

Today is the 41st birthday of fellow beer writer Brian Yaeger, author of Red, White & Brew. Brian also writes online at his Red, White & Brew Beer Odyssey blog. A couple of years ago Brian and his lovely bride Kimberly lived in Portland, Oregon (having moved from San Francisco), but then moved to Amsterdam, before more recently moved back to Portland. Join me in wishing Brian a very happy birthday.

Brian Yaeger, Brian Lenzo, owner of Blue Palms Brewhouse, and Meg Gill
Brian with Brian Lenzo, owner of Blue Palms Brewhouse, me and Meg Gill at the Speakeasy Brewery during SF Beer Week in 2010.

Craig Cauwels with Brian, the Beer Chef Bruce Paton and me at a Schooner’s beer dinner at Cathedral Hotel in 2008.

Patent No. 2891555A: Machine For Plucking Hops

Today in 1959, US Patent 2891555 A was issued, an invention of Albert E. Brookes, for his “Machine For Plucking Hops or Like Plants.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to a machine intended primarily for plucking hop flowers from their bines, but also usable for analogous purposes such, for example, as the plucking of beans form their bines or the separation of seeds from herbs and the like, and has for its object to provide such a machine in a convenient and efficient form, and particularly to provide an improved means for gripping and traversing the bines relative to plucking means.

In a machine according to the invention a plurality of pairs of endless driving chains are arranged parallel with one another, each pair of chains having parallel runs between which the bine is adapted to be held transversely for movement relative to plucking means.