Patent No. 864560A: Keg Sprinkling Machine

Today in 1907, US Patent 864560 A was issued, an invention of Otto L. R. Ritter, for his “Keg Sprinkling Machine.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to sprinkling machines for sprinkling kegs, barrels, bottles, jars and analogous articles.

The invention primarily contemplates a machine provided with a rotatable and disappearing nozzle for applying the cleansing medium, the latter actuating the nozzle when supplied to wash or rinse an article gravity when the cleansing medium supply is cut off, thereby permitting the article to be readily removed after it has been washed or rinsed without in the least damaging the nozzle.

The invention further contemplates a machine provided with a support for the article to be washed or rinsed, said support being capable of rotation upon a vertical axis, and provided-with means for opening a hot or cold cleansing medium supply. The nozzle by its rotation projects the cleansing medium outwardly in all directions, and it is thus rendered more effective in treating a greater surface area of the article cleansed. The movement of the nozzle is rendered easy and Without obstruction when rotated by providing a ball bearing therefor, all of which will be more fully hereinafter set forth.


Patent No. 20110206487A1: Keg Handling Equipment

Today in 2011, US Patent 20110206487 A1 was issued, an invention of Terry George Morgan, for his “Keg Handling Equipment.” Here’s the Abstract:

A keg conveying trolley has a pair of wheels, a central post and a slide which carries a hook for grasping the keg rim. The slide is lockable at different keg heights. A foot plate assists in tipping the trolley to an inclined position for wheeling the keg from one place to another. The keg stacking version has a winch worked by hand or a cordless drill. The keg is supported by a rise and fall carriage. The carriage can be modified to be multitask. Variants can lift gas bottles on their side, truck tires for placing on wheel studs and odd shaped loads.


Patent No. 3685508A: Tank Construction

Today in 1972, US Patent 3685508 A was issued, an invention of Le Roy W. Heilmann, for his “Tank Construction.” Here’s the Abstract:

A tank bottom having spaced inner and outer members, said inner member being made of relatively thin material having good heat transfer, said spaced inner and outer members forming part of a pressure chamber for heating the contents of said tank, said pressure chamber being subjected to relatively high pressures and temperatures, said inner bottom having strengthening means connected to the outer surface thereof, said strengthening means not being connected to said outer member, said inner member being strong enough to hold the contents of the tank but not strong enough to withstand the cyclical pressures within the pressure chamber over a period of use without said strengthening means.


Patent No. 656418A: Device For Drawing Steam Beer

Today in 1900, US Patent 656418 A was issued, an invention of James O’Connor, for his “Device For Drawing Steam Beer, Etc.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

My invention relates to an apparatus which is designed for drawing liquids under pressure; but it is especially useful when connected with casks containing what is known as steam-beer or beer in which carbonic acid gas is contained to produce a high pressure and head within the cask.

It consists of connections between one or more casks and a distributing-chamber and connections between said chamber and a cylinder containing a piston which is reciprocable within the cylinder, so that when beer is admitted into the cylinder the piston will be moved toward the opposite end until the de sired amount of beer has been admitted, which is shown by a suitable recording device. The beer is drawn from the cylinder through a discharge-cock, and the gas in the beer is so diffused and caused to escape from the beer that little or no foam results when it is drawn from the cylinder. A second cylinder in line with the first contains a piston, the piston-rod connecting the pistons in both cylinders, so that they move in unison. A four-way cock is interposed between the cylinders, and water under pressure is brought through this cock and allowed to enter the second cylinder while the beer is entering the first and the cock is turned so as to allow the water to escape from this cylinder and to enter the first cylinder to return the piston therein to its normal position after the boot has been drawn.


Historic Beer Birthday: Fritz Goetz

Today is the birthday of Fritz Goetz (August 20, 1849-May 3, 1917). He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but moved to Chicago as a young man, eventually going into the copper business, which changed names a few times, but settled on the Goetz Company. In addition to copper brewing equipment, they also sold tanks, and general brewing and bottling equipment. The business was so successful that in his obituary, it was noted that “There is hardly any brewery, bottlery or malting plant in the United States or Mexico where there is not some machine or apparatus manufactured by the Goetz Company.”

Here is his obituary from the American Brewers’ Review for 1918:


Patent No. 434430A: Keg And Barrel Washing Machine

Today in 1890, US Patent 434430 A was issued, an invention of Joseph J. Danks, for his “Keg and Barrel Washing Machine.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The object of my invention is to produce a keg and barrel washing machine which will be simpler of construction, more convenient to use, less expensive, and more durable than similar previous machines. A machine similar to this is shown and described in Patent N 0. 330,550, for a keg-washing machine, dated November 17, 1885, and granted to H. Binder.

That machine has two independent support ing-frames with a keg-holder supported by-one frame and a valve supported by the other, with their respective axes parallel and an operative mechanical connection between them, consisting of gearing or its equivalent. The principle of construction of that machine requires such a mechanical connection between the keg holder and the valve, and also is limited in operation to an oscillating turning motion. The Valve part or plug has two side openings near each other, which, with the oscillating motion necessary, causes uneven wear on one side of the valve-plug and in time causes the valve to leak, when the machine must be repaired, and since such machines are worked continuously such wear results soon and is objectionable.

In order to attain the objects above mentioned, I have devised my machine so that the axis of the valve and that of the keg holder may coincide, and so that the valve plug and holder may be rigidly connected together, and hence no operative mechanical connection be required between the valve and keg-holder, thus having a simple and inexpensive arrangement with a single frame. Further, I make but one side opening in the valve plug and am enabled to rotate the keg holder and valve in either direction continuously, thus avoiding undue wear of the parts.


Patent No. 566173A: Hop Picking Machine

Today in 1896, US Patent 566173 A was issued, an invention of Sylvanus Hemingway, for his “Hop Picking Machine.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

My invention relates to hop-picking machines, and has for its object to provide a machine which will perform the work which has heretofore been done, to a large extent, by hand-picking.

My improved hop-picking machine has a capacity for work which makes it possible for a large harvest of hops to be picked and prepared for market in a comparatively short space of time, thereby Overcoming one of the difficulties experienced by hop-growers, who, on account of the comparatively short season for picking the hops and the scarcity of help, are frequently put to serious inconvenience in the preparation of the product for the market.

In carrying out my invention I have borne in mind the necessity of providing a machine which would strip the hops from the vines without’ crushing the flowers but which would It will be observed also that my invention as embodied in the machine presented in the present application will thoroughly clean the hops after they have beer stripped from the vines, separating the leaves which may have been torn from the vines from the hop-blossoms, which latter will be deposited in suitable receptacles, while the refuse will be deposited at either end of the machine.


Patent No. 3201328A: Continuous Fermentation Apparatus For Beer Production

Today in 1965, US Patent 3201328 A was issued, an invention of Rees Philip Williams, for his “Continuous Fermentation Apparatus For Beer Production.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to the manufacture of beer, and more particularly to the fermentation of Brewers Wort, i.e. wort plus yeast as well known in the art, under steady rate conditions.

Hitherto, the fermentation process has been carried out, on a commercial scale, by batch processes which are relatively slow and involve the utilisation of relatively very bulky vessels for adequate production in quantity.

The object of the present invention is to provide apparatus suitable for use in carrying out such fermentation as a continuous process, with the advantages of relatively smaller vessels and higher production rate.

Fermentation of wort by yeast, in the production of beer, may be carried out by a continuous process including a first step of forming a mixture of sterile wort and yeast in first vessel means under temperature conditions selected to ensure multiplication of the yeast, a second step of continuously removing wort and yeast mixture which has dwelt in the first vessel means for a predetermined period of time and passing said removed mixture through second vessel means at a rate and under temperature conditions selected to ensure rapid fermentation by the yeast and production of a yeast crop, and a third step of continuously removing wort which has dwelt in the second vessel means for a predetermined period of time and passing said wort through third vessel means at a rate permitting settling.

According to the present invention, apparatus suitable for use in carrying out the above-described method, but not limited thereto, comprises a first vessel for making a ferment mixture such as sterile wort and yeast, means for controlling the temperature of the mixture in the first vessel, a second vessel having an inlet and an outlet, the inlet being connected to the outlet of the first vessel, means for controlling the temperture of mixture in the second vessel, a third vessel having an inlet and an outlet, the inlet being connected to the outlet of the second vessel, and means for controlling the temperature of fermented liquid in the third vessel.

The second vessel means could be simply a single vessel in which substantially the whole of the vigorous fermentation took place, but it is preferred to constitute the second vessel means by two vessels through which the mixture passes in succession, whereby the second method step referred to above itself includes two successive stages the first of which is a continuous passage of the mixture through a vessel at a rate and under conditions of temperature ensuring rapid fermentation, and the second of which is passage of the product through a further vessel at a rate and under conditions of temperature ensuring continuation of the rapid fermentation and a climax of the yeast crop production.

According to the type and characteristics of the beer to be produced, and of the wort and yeast to be used in the process, it is desirable to be able, at will, to both speed up and slow down the rate of fermentation. For

this purpose, gas or a mixture of gases may be introduced in the first and/or the second vessel means according to the effect sought. For example, air or pure oxygen may be introduced to boost the fermentation action, i.e. to rouse the yeast, and carbon dioxide or nitrogen may be introduced to slow down the fermentation process.

During the latter part of the active fermentation phase a yeast head is produced, e.g. in the second vessel means (and in the second of the two individual vessels where two in series are used). This head my be continuously removed together with a small content of wort, this wort being separated and recirculated, e.g. introduced back into the flow path for example immediately after the second vessel means.

It is preferred to arrange the apparatus so that the entire flow occurs by gravity through vessels arranged in series at progressively lower levels.

In a preferred embodiment, the second vessel is in two parts which are connected serially and are each provided with their individual means for controlling the temperature of the mixture therein. It is further preferred to have the temperature controlling means acting independently at separate levels, e.g. by two or more fluid jackets arranged along the vessels wall.

Preferably also, each vessel is provided with means, such as a simple conduit connected to a pump or pressure source, for the introduction of gas for quickening (e.g. rousing) and for slowing of the fermentation.

The first vessel, wherein multiplication of the yeast takes place, may be provided with agitator means adjacent the inlet end for assisting the flow and a stirrer adjacent the outlet end for ensuring mixing.

Where the process involves the production of a head on the fermented material, e.g. a yeast head, means are advantageously provided for continuous removal of such a head from the vessel in which it occurs, e.g. means for removal of the relatively copious head formed during the climax of fermentation in the third vessel. Means may also be included for continuously treating the removed head material by pressing it for removal of its wort content for recirculation.

In a preferred embodiment, for use in brewing of beer, the series of vessels are arranged successively at lower levels to give a flow of liquid through the apparatus by gravity, the inlet of each vessel being adjacent to the lower part of that vessel and the outlet of each vessel being adjacent the upper part of that vessel.

Where a gas or gases are given off during the process, one or more of the vessels may be provided with means for continuous removal of the gas, e.g. for continuous removal of carbon dioxide from the second vessel.

Where the process being carried out involves the formation of solid deposits, means may be provided for its continuous removal, e.g. for the removal of sludge from the bottom of the second of the two serially connected parts of the second vessel.

Carbon dioxide gas may also be injected in the third vessel for gasifying-of the liquor.

Where a relatively longer dwell time of the liquid in any vessel is desired, the cross-section of the vessel may be proportionately increased. Thus, by varying the size and cross-section of the vessels, the apparatus and process can be adjusted to suit the natural characteristics of the particular yeast which the brewer wishes to use.


Patent Nos. 767960A & 767961A: Pasteurizer

Today in 1904, both US Patent 767960 A and US Patent 767961 A were issued, and both are related inventions of William J. Ruff, under the same name: “Pasteurizer.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims for the first one:

My present invention relates to an apparatus for pasteurizing. beer, one of the principal objects of my invention being to simplify the construction and cheapen the cost of the apparatus, as well as improving its efficiency, by dispensing with a tank through which the bottles of beer are carried to expose them to the different temperatures to wit, in first at temperating the beer, then heating it to the maximum temperature, and finally cooling it to approximately atmospheric temperature.


And here’s a description of the claims for the second patent:

The object of my present invention .is to produce a pasteurizer wherein the bottles of beer are submerged in a water-bath during the time that they are subjected to the maximum temperature, while the preliminary heating and final cooling of the beer is effected without having the bottles submerged in the bath, the result being that a comparatively small amount of waterY is necessary to accomplish the work of pasteurization.


Patent No. 503190A: Hop Picking Machine

Today in 1893, US Patent 503190 A was issued, an invention of Backus A. Beardsley, for his “Hop Picking Machine.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

My invention relates tothat class known as hop-pickers; and more particularly refers to a new and useful improvement on machines designed for this purpose.