Patent No. 2245650A: Grain Separating Machine

Today in 1941, US Patent 2245650 A was issued, an invention of Ovie N. Christopherson, for his “Grain Separating Machine.” There’s no Abstract, but it’s described generally as and “invention provid[ing] an improved highly efficient machine for the separation of various grains or seeds according to their thickness or transverse diameter,” making two claims:

1. In a separating machine, a separating screen, means for simultaneously imparting to said screen endwise reciprocating and transverse movements, said screen having elongated slots extended in the direction of its longitudinal reciprocating movement, the transverse movement thereof :being crosswise of the direction of said slots.

2. The structure defined in claim 1 in which said screen is in the form of a rotary drum and the transverse movement thereof being in a constant direction.


Patent No. 3450600A: Malting Apparatus In Series

Today in 1969, US Patent 3450600 A was issued, an invention of James Richard Allan Pollack, Alan Aldred Pool, and Graham John Ellis, assigned to Arthur Guinness Sons & Co. Dublin, The Irish Mallsters Association, and Rimer Mfg. Co. Ltd., for their “Malting Apparatus In Series.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

[This invention is an] Apparatus for malting steeped cereal grain comprising two vessels one of which is a malting vessel and the other a storage vessel. The internal surface of the malting vessel converges downwardly toward the outlet. Sweeper means within the malting vessel is gyrationally mounted adjacent the outlet, grain engaging means provided on the sweeper, and the sweeper is adapted to sweep over substantially the whole area of the convergent surface for loosening the grain to be discharged. Means associated with the malting vessel for adjusting temperature, humidity, and rate of air flow therein to condition the cereal grain. First transfer means for conveying grain discharged from the malting vessel to the storage vessel. Second transfer means associated with the storage vessel for returning to the inlet means of the malting vessel grain discharged from the storage vessel.


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Patent No. 2641357A: Device For Cleaning Out The Bottoms Of Grain Elevators

Today in 1953, US Patent 2641357 A was issued, an invention of Lester Jones (presumably not the economist with the NBWA), assigned to Pabst Brewing Co., for his “Device for Cleaning Out the Bottoms of Grain Elevators.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it states that the “invention appertains to the handling of grain, and more particularly to a novel cleaning attachment for a grain elevator.”

In the handling of grain by bucket elevators, there is a clearance between the bottom wall or pan of the elevator housing and the elevator buckets. Consequently, a certain small portion of grain lies in an inactive state on this bottom wall or pan. If this grain is not periodically removed, there is danger that the same will spoil or become infected and contaminate the grain passing through the elevator. This condition is recognized, and provisions have been made to remove the inactive grain, but in all constructions with which I am familiar, it is necessary to shut down the elevator to effect the cleaning thereof. Consequently, there is a tendency to put off the cleaning of the elevator as long as possible.


Patent No. 650377A: Malting-Drum

Today in 1900, US Patent 650377 A was issued, an invention of John F. Dornfeld, for his “Malting-Drum.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

The primary object of the invention is to provide, in a malting-drum, an improved construction for positively stirring the steeped barley contained in the drum, whereby the contents of the drum are properly stirred and mixed at all times.

A further object is to provide an improved means for introducing water into the malt whenever necessary in an even and regular quantity and in such manner that the water is thoroughly mixed with the malt.


Save The Bees, Save The Beer

Beer, of course, is an agricultural product, two of its main ingredients are very dependent on a good harvest. Both hops and barley (and other grains such as wheat and rye) grow best when they’re planted in the right place and the conditions are present to encourage their best selves. I received an e-mail a few days ago with the intriguing message. “Bees pollinate 1/3 of our food, including the hops used to make beer. Save the bees, save the beer.”


The e-mail was about an Indiegogo campaign to create a “community open to anyone who cares about bees, the environment and food,” called BeeWithMe, which will consist of “a dynamic new website that teaches people how easy and fun it is to raise a diverse range of gentle bees.” Unless you’ve been cryogenically frozen recently, you no doubt have heard that bees are disappearing from our environment, which could have devastating consequences for our food supply and our life cycle more generally. Find out how to participate at You Can Help Save the Bees, which begins:

Imagine a world without bees. There would be no blueberries, no cherries, no pumpkins – not even beer.

Here’s the problem: Most farmers depend on a single type of bee to pollinate our food and that bee, the honey bee, has been struggling.

You can be part of the solution and protect our food supply by raising gentle, native bees in your backyard or supporting someone else who does.

Keep your favorite foods on the table by contributing today and joining the BeeWithMe network that will collaborate to raise more native bees and grow more food.

Most of the pledge levels involve getting your own bees, some to simply release in your back yard, up to everything you need to raise your own bees. There are also teacher’s packages for classrooms and levels for entire garden clubs and communities. Please bee generous. And remember, save the bees, save the beer.


Patent No. 3796143A: Device For The Germination And Drying Of Malt

Today in 1974, US Patent 3796143 A was issued, an invention of Gisbert Schlimme and Manfred Tschirner, for his “Device for the Germination and Drying of Malt.” Here’s the Abstract:

A device for the germination and drying of malt charged onto the radially outer portion of an annular rotating rack and gradually shifted radially inwardly by means of rotary worm means extending radially across said annular rack and being suspended by threaded spindles for movement downwardly and upwardly between charge and discharge openings in an outer wall surrounding said annular rack.


Patent No. 3647473A: Malting Grain

Today in 1972, US Patent 3647473 A was issued, an invention of Peter Michael Howlett, and Keith Christopher Stowell, for their “Malting Grain.” Here’s the Abstract:

A process and apparatus for dehusking cereal grain by a dry mechanical method at a temperature not above about 105 DEG F., and wherein the moisture content of the grain is above about 8 percent by weight in order to damage the grain so that substantial rootlet growth is prevented without substantially damaging the aleurone layer. The dehusked grain is subsequently malted and there are advantages compared with conventional malting of husked grain.


Patent No. 2290089A2: Barley For Production Of Flavor-Stable Beverage

Today in 2011, US Patent 2290089 A2 was issued, an invention of Søren Knudsen, Lene Mølskov Bech, Klaus Breddam, Finn Lok, Ole Olsen, and Birgitte Skadhauge, assigned to Carlsberg A/S, for their “Barley for Production of Flavor-Stable Beverage.” Here’s the Abstract:

According to the invention, there is provided null-LOX-1 barley and plant products produced thereof, such as malt manufactured by using barley kernels defective in synthesis of the fatty acid-converting enzyme lipoxygenase-1. Said enzyme accounts for the principal activity related to conversion of linoleic acid into 9-hydroperoxy octadecadienoic acid, a lipoxygenase pathway metabolite, which – through further enzymatic or spontaneous reactions – may lead to the appearance of trans-2-nonenal. The invention enables brewers to produce a beer devoid of detectable trans-2-nonenal-specific off-flavors, even after prolonged storage of the beverage.


Patent No. 7332342B2: Barley Kernel Husk Evaluation

Today in 2008, US Patent 7332342 B2 was issued, an invention of Isao Kishinami, assigned to Sapporo Breweries Ltd., for his impossibly long patent name, “Disposing barley kernels with husks in a sulfuric acid solution having a 40% to 60% concentration, agitating the solution having the barley kernels disposed therein for a prescribed time, and observing the degree of husk remaining on the barley kernels subsequent to the agitation.” Here’s the Abstract, only slightly longer than the title:

An object of the present invention is to provide a method for evaluating the physical strength of husks of a barley ingredient for malt manufacture. Barley kernels with husks are disposed in a sulfuric acid solution with a concentration of approximately 40% to 60%, and are agitated for a prescribed time (e.g. approximately 1 hour) using a stirrer bar or the like. After agitation, the barley kernels are treated with a mixed liquid of Methylene Blue and Eosin, and the degree of peeled husk (remaining degree) is examined by referring to the degree of dyed barley kernels, to thereby evaluate the physical strength of the husks of the barley kernels.


Patent No. 6100447A: Method Of Barley Transformation

Today in 2000, US Patent 6100447 A was issued, an invention of Liying Wu and Raymond L. Rodriguez, for their “Method of Barley Transformation.” Here’s the Abstract:

A method for stably transforming barley from mature barley seeds as starting material is disclosed. The method involves germinating mature barley seeds until early shoot development occurs, exposing scutellar or embryo tissue cells on the embryo side of germinated seeds, and introducing foreign DNA into the cells. The cells are initially grown under conditions that allow expression of a selectable marker introduced with the foreign DNA, then on a callus-growth medium effective to suppress callus formation in the absence of the selectable marker. Successfully transformed calli can be cultured in suspension to obtain a desired foreign protein, or regenerated into plants, to obtain the foreign protein from the transformed plants, e.g., germinated seeds.