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.


Patent No. 1015443A: Apparatus For Macerating Wort

Today in 1912, US Patent 1015443 A was issued, an invention of Robert Hoffmann, for his “Apparatus for Macerating Wort.” There’s no Abstract, but in the description he explains the problem and his solution:

In macerating they wort in making beer the sparging water has hitherto been poured on to the wort by means of a rotary sprayer spraying over or sparging the wort. As the sparging water falls from a certain height on to the surface of the wort it is not only impossible to avoid unintentionally mixing the wort with the sparging water,’but the latter is also undesirably cooled. Both disadvantages thus involve a loss of yield from the grain and thus mean an incomplete’ working.

Now as compared with the ordinary apparatus for maceration this invention consists in the sparging water not being, allowed to fall from a height on to the surface of the wort but being introduced in layers on to the surface of the wort, so that the grain during maceration is slowly compressed by the sparging water and does not mix therewith.

This improved apparatus consists in other’ words in the sparging water being allowed to flow on to the wort in a continuous stream without first having to fall through the air — on to the surface of the wort.


A Beer Bestiary

A Bestiary is an old-fashioned idea, from the Middles Ages, where various animals and other creatures, often fanciful, mythical and fictitious, were illustrated, and then there was a detailed description of each beast, usually accompanied by an allegorical story with a moral or religious teaching. You can see examples of many of these imaginary creatures at the Medieval Bestiary. A Los Angeles illustrator and graphic designer, Ian O’Phelan, has created a modern version, which he calls a “Beer Bestiary.” With just four mythical creatures in his bestiary, his fantastic four you’ll likely recognize, if not individually, at least for what they can become as a superhero team, your next beer.

Barley Beast
Virginal Hops
Water Bear
Cockatrice d’Yeast

Trouble Brewing: Changes In FDA Rules For Spent Grain

There was an interesting article recently on Craft Beer Business detailing how changes to the FDA regulations regarding spent grain might effect breweries. Under a proposed new “definition, craft breweries would be labeled animal feed manufacturers and be regulated as such by the FDA.” Given that most breweries have to find something to do with their spent grain, whether selling it or donating it, if the proposed rules take effect, it will undoubtedly alter the way breweries dispose of their grain. Check out the article, FDA rule regulates spent grain sold as animal feed, to see the rule changes.

Spent grain at Russian River’s production brewery after brewing a batch of Pliny the Elder in May 2009.

Beer In Ads #773: Beer — The Healthful Refresher

Wednesday’s ad is for the Barley and Malt Institue, located in Chicago, Illinois. They remind me a bit of the Beer Belongs series by the U.S. Brewers Foundation, with a beautiful illustration with a ribbon of text and information at the bottom of the ad. What a great tagline: “Beer — The Healthful Refresher brewed with the Goodness of Malt.” The text goes on. “Invigorating! That’s the word for wholesome, refreshing, beer or ale brewed with Barley Malt.”