Today in 2003, US Patent EP 1100865 B1 was issued, an invention of Francis Lloyd Rigby, for his “Process and Apparatus for Obtaining Lupulin Products from Hops.” Here’s the Abstract:
A process and apparatus for the physical separation of lupulin from hops is provided. The process releases the lupulin glands by drying, freezing, and shaking, under specific and controlled conditions. For separating the lupulin from the hop cones a separator is provided that includes a substantially cylindrical and concentrically mounted coarse screen and fine screen. A raw hops product is received into the coarse screen that allows the coarse lupulin fraction to pass through while the coarse waste in retained within. The fine screen has a larger diameter than the enclosed coarse screen. A coarse lupulin fraction is received into the fine screen allowing the lupulin product to pass through the fine screen while the fine waste is retained within the fine screen to be discharged out the end of the fine screen. An agitator is mounted to a shaft within the separator and is utilized to beat the raw hop product. The separation process provides high yield of lupulin without sacrificing purity of product as compared to other physical separation processes. Additionally, the yield and purity of the process of the present invention compares closely to the yield and purity achieved by conventional chemical extraction methods. A superior natural hop material is thereby produced as compared to extracts, pelletized hops or baled raw hops. Lupulin can be substituted for hop extracts produced by conventional methods providing a substantial price advantage.