Patent No. 3407121A: Fermenter Yeast Cropping And Washing Device

Today in 1968, US Patent 3407121 A was issued, an invention of Gerald Einar Wilson and Louis A. Le Seelleur, assigned to John Labatt Breweries, for their “Fermenter Yeast Cropping and Washing Device.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

A fermenter vessel containing a yeast cropping and cleaning device consisting of a rotatable header pipe in the upper portion of the vessel with an end of the pipe extending outside the vessel and a series of orifices opening from the header into the vessel. The orifice outlets are offset a substantial distance radially from the axis of rotation of the header pipe either by providing an offset portion in the header pipe itself or by providing a series of branch pipes extending laterally from the header pipe with nozzles on the outer ends thereof. Conduit means connected to the external end of said header pipe by means of a connector and suction means associated with said conduit for cropping the yeast.

This invention relates to a yeast cropping and washing device for closed fermenting vessels used in the brewing industry.

The fermentation of wort is one of the most important steps in the brewing process. Brewers yeast, having the ability to assimilate simple nitrogenous compounds and reproduce and break down sugars to carbon dioxide and alcohol are introduced into the wort, whereupon through a controlled biological fermentation process, the wort is transformed into beer. The fermentation of wort is usually an operation carried out under relatively low pressure (1-3 p.s.i.g.) in large metal fermenting vessels capable of holding thousands of gallons of wort. The modern fermenting vessel is a closed vessel such as that described in applicants co-pending application entitled, Multipurpose Process Vessel for Heat Transfer Operations.

During the fermentation, top fermenting yeast forms on the surface of the liquid in the vessel and this is normally removed by skimming or is allowed to work over the rim of a tank into chutes or troughs. In the closed vessel it is, of course, necessary to use some form of yeast cropping device and according to the present invention a new device has been developed which can be used both for cropping yeast from the surface of the beer in the fermenter and for cleaning the fermenter after the beer has been removed.

The cropping and cleaning device according to this invention consists of a horizontally extending pipe which is rotatable within the fermenter and the rotatable pipe has a series of orifices which are adapted to draw off yeast from the fermenter or to spray cleaning solution into the fermenter. The pipe is arranged such that by rotating it the elevation of the orifices can be varied to permit the yeast to be drawn off to the desired level. One end of the rotatable pipe has a fluid connection to an external pipe through a connector which permits relative rotation between the two pipes while fluid is passing through. Suitable valve means are provided so that cleaning solution can be forced into the vessel or yeast can be drawn out of the vessel through the connector and rotatable pipe.


Patent No. 548618A: Steep Tank

Today in 1895, US Patent 548618 A was issued, an invention of William H. Prinz, for his “Steep Tank.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to a novel construction in a steep-tank employed for steeping barley and like cereals, and more especially relating to a steep-tank for steeping barley to bring the same to a condition for germinating in the manufacture of malt.

The object of the invention is to provide a construction whereby the steeping can be can ried on and the steep-tank emptied under the most favorable circumstances, at the same time providing means whereby the steep-water can be admitted from the upper or lower end of the tank.


Patent No. 266126A: Beer Pump

Today in 1882, US Patent 266126 A was issued, an invention of John Fowler, for his “Beer Pump.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention has relation to beer-pumps used in distilleries for pumping beer and mash; and it consists in the novel construction and arrangement of parts, as will be hereinafter fully described, and particularly pointed out in the claims.


Patent No. 2451156A: Process And Apparatus For Producing Alcohol By Fermentation

Today in 1984, US Patent 2451156 A was issued, an invention of Annibal Ramos De Mattos, for his “Process and Apparatus for Producing Alcohol by Fermentation.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to a process and apparatus for yeast fermentation and, more particularly, for producing alcohol by fermentation.

Commercially, alcohol is customarily produced by a batch or a modified batch process. In such processes the yeast necessary to convert the nutrient medium or wort into alcohol must be grown on the wort or on an outside nutrient medium. Yet as the conversion of the wort to alcohol takes place and the concentration of alcohol increases, the medium becomes toxic to the yeast. As a result, the alcohol ultimately present in high concentration kills a certain portion of the yeast, and the wort consumed in the production of this yeast is lost. Additionally, in such processes the concentration of yeast and its contact with the nutrient medium is seldom best adapted for optimum rate of alcohol conversion.

In the production of alcohol by conventional fermentation processes, it is usually necessary to kill or prevent the growth of bacteria which are deleterious to the propagation of the yeast or impede the conversion of the nutrient medium to alcohol. These deleterious bacteria are controlled either by subjecting the wort to heating at sterilization temperatures or by the introduction of chemical bactericides such as sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, fluorides, copper sulfate, and the like. It is also known that nutrients suitable for conversion to alcohol by fermentation, particularly cheaper nutrients such as low grade sugar, seldom contain all the elements necessary for the nutrition and propagation of the yeast which convert the nutrient into alcohol. As a result, the conventional nutrient medium must be complemented by the addition of so called stimulants such as the various mineral salts including, for instance, sulfates and nitrates of ammonia, calcium super-phosphates, and the like, or organic substances such as urea, malt, peptone, and the like.

The known commercial processes of producing alcohol by yeast fermentation may be divided roughly into four types; namely, progressive filling, division, continuous feeding, and a fourth process in which the yeast is recovered and reused in subsequent fermentation vats.

In the first-mentioned process a group of vats is placed in series and fermentation initiated in one of the vats. When the fermentation has reached a desired point, a portion of the fermenting wort in the first vat is transferred to a second vat to initiate the fermentation therein and so on for any desired number of vats.

In the second-mentioned process the contents of one vat is used for the purpose of inoculating other vats. For instance, after a group of vats has been used for fermenting wort to alcohol, one of the group is not discharged but is retained for the purpose of distribution to the vats which have been discharged for the purpose of initiating the fermentation of fresh wort.

The third-mentioned continuous feeding process is a very old process introduced by Guillaume, involving inoculating a multiplicity of fermentation vats from a culturing vat.

The fourth process is of more recent origin and was patented by Melle and Bolnot. In this last-mentioned process the pH of the fermenting wort is carefully controlled to approximate a pH of 3. When the fermentation is nearly complete, the partially spent wort and yeast are passed into a centrifuge where the yeast is recovered in the form of a liquid containing a high concentration of yeast. This liquid is used for the purpose of initiating the fermentation of a new charge of wort. This latter process has a number of disadvantages involving, as it does, the necessity for controlling pH of the fermentation mass and requiring the addition of conventional stimulants and the like used in other fermentation processes. The centrifuging device involves added equipment costs. The process makes possible some saving in fermentation equipment but not nearly so much as is possible in accordance with my continuous process described in detail hereinafter.


Patent No. EP0091322A2: A Brewing Unit

Today in 1983, US Patent EP 0091322 A2 was issued, an invention of Noel Roy Wilkinson, for “A Brewing Unit.” Here’s the Abstract:

An improved brewing unit in which energy is saved by providing a mash tun (14), hot water tank (10) and kettle (8) in a single unit (1), by partially enclosing the mash tun with the tank and if necessary pre-heating the water supply to the tank by using the heat from wort coolers provided between the unit (1) and fermentation tank (83, 85); further improvements are provided by constructing the kettle as a combined kettle and whirlpool in a single chamber having a circular wall (2) and a tangential inlet (92) to the wall, a pump (53) and wort boiler (6) being in circuit with the kettle so that wort is continuously circulated through the boiler and tangential inlet to the kettle whilst the worts are boiled. The combined kettle and whirlpool saves space and enables the process of brewing to be shortened with resultant savings in both energy and brewing time.



Patent No. 3106522A: Hop Separation Flights

Today in 1963, US Patent 3106522 A was issued, an invention of Florian F. Dauenhauer, for his “Hop Separation Flights.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The stripping of hops from hop vines by mechanical means results in the by-product of mixtures of considerable foreign material and stripped hops; such foreign material including vine fragments, branches, leaves and leaf fragments as Well as long and short stems all comrningled with individual hops. And, it has continuously been a problem in the art to reduce such foreign material to a minimum in order to avoid deleterious factors in beverages utilizing hop. The present invention is directed to the provision of means for effecting the separation of an appreciably increased quantity of leaves and leaf fragments at a hop-cleaning stage prior to the final cleaning stage so that the end result is appreciably cleaner hops having much less than 1% of foreign material intermingled or commingled therewith.

A primary object of the present invention is to provide hop separation flights capable of effecting the removal of substantial quantities of leaves and leaf fragments from moving mixtures of hops intermingled and commingled with foreign material, including leaves and leaf fragments.

Another important object of the invention is to provide improved hop separating flights of the indicated nature which are additionally characterized by their ability to relieve the load on the final cleaner or clean-up separating equipment and make the latter more effective in reducing the quantity of foreign material in mixtures of hops and foreign material.

A still further object of the present improvement is to provide hop separation flights of the aforementioned character which can readily be installed at a minimum of expense for utilization with hop separating machines of any type.


Patent No. 40200A: Improved Apparatus For Cooling Beer

Today in 1863, US Patent 40200 A was issued, an invention of Henry Steubing, for his “Improved Apparatus For Cooling Beer or Other Liquids.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The said apparatus is used in the following manner: Cold water or iced water is introduced into the space d from a reservoir, until the space d is filled with it and during the whole time of cooling. Then the ale, beer, or other liquid to be cooled is admitted into the hollow cylinder c steadily and continuously, when the same Will overflow into the space formed by the flange e, and will 110W down through the holes n n’ n on the outer mantel, a, into the space formed by the lower flange, j’, after which it flows out of the apparatus through the pipe i. Thus it will be seen that a certain quantity of iced water or cold water cools the ale, beer, or other liquid, rst by its contact on the inside b of the cooler, and then by its contact on the outside c of said cooler, thereby effecting `a great saving of the cooling material.


Patent No. 4474255A: Beer Keg Scale

Today in 1984, US Patent 4474255 A was issued, an invention of Stephen A. Blok and Frank A. Kapounek, for their “Beer Keg Scale.” Here’s the Abstract:

A weighing and supporting device for liquid container kegs, such as those for beer. The device comprises a flat, keg-receiving platform beneath which is located a weigh scale, the platform being pivotable between an inclined, dispensing position and a horizontal, weighing position. In the latter, the platform rests upon the scale and is free to move up and down on that scale to enable the platform and a keg supported thereon to be weighed. By taking periodic measurements of the weight of the keg supported on such a device, the need for a liquid metering device in the line of liquid flow from the keg is avoided.


Patent No. 2906624A: Apparatus And Method For Extracting Air From Beverages

Today in 1959, US Patent 2906624 A was issued, an invention of Pincus Deren, assigned to Pabst Brewing Co., for his “Apparatus and Method for Extracting Air from Beverages.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The present invention consists in the method or process of controlling the air content of carbonated beverages, especially bottled beer, and to the apparatus for carrying out the process.

It is well known that conventional practices in bottling carbonated beverages, particularly beer, causes a certain amount of oxidation of some of the constituents of the product, resulting in an undesirable change in flavor and in accelerated instability which greatly reduces the shelf life of the beverage.

Numerous attempts were made to eliminate’the excess air, and it was found that to remove the excess air successfully it was necessary to cause the beverage to foam and permit the latter to rise in the neck of the bottle to expel the air above the liquid level. Also, it was found that, to achieve good results, enough of the foam must be formed to fill the neck with fine bubbles to the top of the rim of the bottleneck.

One means for producing foam is by knocking the bottle sufliciently to cause the release of the gas in the beer; another means is by jetting or squirting a stream of beer into the beer in the bottle after it has been filled. A third method is by the injection of a stream of CO gas into the liquid.

Control of the degree of foaming by the methods just described is very difficult. When the knocking procedure is used, the condition of the surface of the bottle influences the degree of foaming. When jetting, either with beer or with CO gas, the liquid content is disturbed, and small variations in the temperature of the product and on the inside surface of the container will result in different degrees of foaming. The uncontrolled foaming results in either great variations in the final air content, or in the loss of large quantities of beer.

The primary object of the present invention is to overcome the disadvantages inherent in the conventional 7 Another object of the invention resides in the provision of novel means for removing most of the air before the foam is formed.

A further object is to reduce the losses of beverage due to excessive foaming and thereby practically eliminate socalled short fills.

A still further object resides in the provision of novel means for creating instantaneous suction on the liquid just as the foam starts to form to facilitate the removal of air.

Still another object of the invention consists in the provision of a new and novel apparatus to permit the process and the steps thereof to be accomplished and carried out successfully.

Numerous other objects and advantages will be apparent throughout the progress of the specification.


Patent No. 831635A: Beer Pipe Cleaner

Today in 1906, US Patent 831635 A was issued, an invention of Joseph Strunce, for his “Beer Pipe Cleaner.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to certain new and useful improvements in an apparatus to be used for cleaning pipes, and while it is more especially intended to be employed for cleaning beer-pipes, such as are used for drawing beer from kegs, casks, or vessels, yet it is applicable for cleaning pipes used for other purposes; and it consists in certain peculiarities of the construction, novel arrangements, and operation of the various parts thereof, as will be hereinafter more fully set forth and specifically claimed.