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. 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.


Patent No. 206976A: Improvement In Sacks For Baling Hops

Today in 1878, US Patent 206976 A was issued, an invention of Charles A. Sands, for his “Improvement In Sacks For Baling Hops.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The object of this invention is to furnish an improved method of baling hops and other products in compact, quick, and convenient manner; and the invention consists of a sack, open at both ends and hemmed, in connection with heads, over which the sack is tied by means of strings drawn through the hems after the hops are compressed.


Patent No. 655330A: Hop Bleaching And Drying Kiln

Today in 1900, US Patent 655330 A was issued, an invention of James Dowdell and Arthur B.C. Dowdell, for their “Hop Bleaching and Drying Kiln.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

Our invention relates to a means for bleaching and drying hops or other material.

It consists, essentially, of a room or compartment having a foraminous floor adapted to support the hops to be dried and in conjunction therewith a covering which may be drawn over the surface of the hops to confine and prevent heat and moisture from escaping therefrom during the process of bleaching. The sulfur fumes produced in any usual or suitable manner are caused to rise into the hops and are there retained until the bleaching is perfected, after which the covering may be removed, and heat being applied the drying will be completed.


Patent No. 6769981B1: Hop Vine Processor

Today in 2004, US Patent 6769981 B1 was issued, an invention of Kenneth J. Perrault and Charles J. Perrault, for their “Hop Vine Processor.” Here’s the Abstract:

A method and apparatus for the processing of hop vines. An automated hop processor cuts bulk-harvested hop vines into manageable segments with a minimum of handling operations. The bulk of hop vines are off-loaded onto an in-feed conveyor by positioning a transport on the in-feed conveyor. After verifying proper position of the transport a fork can be inserted into the transport. The transport is moved off of the in-feed conveyor and the fork removed from the bulk of hop vines. The Hop vines are then moved on the in-feed conveyor to a cutter, after verifying the transport is clear of the in-feed conveyor. The in-feed conveyor is stopped when the hop vines are in position for cutting and the hops are cut with a cutting mechanism. The cut hop vines are then conveyed to a shredder for shredding and further processing into component hop cones and hop vine silage.


Patent No. 1348139A: Stem Picker

Today in 1920, US Patent 1348139 A was issued, an invention of Horst Emil Clemens, for his “Stem Picker.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to a stem picker and especially to a machine for separating stems from hops and the like.

Picking of hops by machinery is resorted to at the present time in several of the larger hop; growing districts and is becoming more and more a necessity due to the scarcity of labor and troubles connected therewith. Hops picked in this manner contain a considerable quantity of leaves and stems and other foreign matter, the major portion of which are removed by separators of various types. It happens however that while the leaves are comparatively easily removed that there still remains a considerable quantity of stems and it is the purpose of the present invention to provide a machine which is particularly adapted for removing the stems. The invention briefly stated involves a longitudinally extending inclined draper belt from the surface of which projects the hops, from which it is series of pins are delivered desired to remove the stems, to one end of this draper belt and will, during the travel of said belt, tend to roll off the belt and to a conveyer which removes them from the stem picking machine, stems` and other similar material being hung up on the pins and later removed as will hereinafter be described.

The invention also involves a mechanism for maintaining the draper in a state of continuous vibration thereby insuring a perfect removal of the hops deposited thereon While in no way impairing the action of the stem separating mechanism.


Patent No. 3045679A: Hop Picker

Today in 1962, US Patent 3045679 A was issued, an invention of Fritz Kibinger and Hans Eder, for his “Hop Picker.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

The present invention relates to a device for the harvesting of hops.

In order to sever the strobiles of hops from the branches carried by the bines, a picking device has been proposed having driven shafts on the periphery of a rotary disc, perpendicular to the plane faces thereof, with revolving cutter tools, to which tools gratings were associated fixed to the said disc as supporting means for the material to be separated and as deflectors for the strobiles, the material to be separated being thrown into the space enclosed by the gratings.

Each of the gratings associated with such a rotating cutter tool consisted of two wires, bars or the like, partly curved in the shape of circular arcs, arranged one above the other, the lower being below the plane of the cutter tools. The radius of curvature of each wire, bar or the like in its arcuate range was smaller than the largest radius of the cutter tool, and both wires, bars or the like were connected to one another by deflector bars, preferably of V-shape, extending substantially radially to the axes of the cutter tools. The bends of the deflector bar-s had a distance from the axis of rotation of the associated cutter tool which exceeded the radius of the cutter tool. The spacing between the wires, bars or the like forming the grating, which are to be considered as fixed relative to the axes of rotation of the cutter tools, was so dimensioned that even the smallest strobile could not pass between these wires, bars or the like. A second disc was also associated with the rotary disc above which deflector means and severing means were arranged. Both of these discs were rigidly connected to one another by stays and were mounted on an axle. Between these two discs driving means were provided for the shafts of the cutter tools. Each rotating shaft was provided with several cutter tools arranged one above the others and having associated gratings, and provision was made for varying the spacing of the cutter tools arranged one above the others from one another. Additionally, bars taking part in the rotation may be arranged between any two adjacent cutter tools, which bars move the out material outward.

The use of such a picking device is based on the assumption that the branches severed from the bines are cut into pieces so that the branches had to be cut into pieces either by hand or by a special cutting device before being inserted into the device. This picking device has proved successful as such, but has the disadvantage that the danger of jamming exists when too much of the mate rial is thrown into the picking device.

The present invention has the main object of providing a device for the harvesting of hops which can be used not only for the dividing of branches into pieces, but also for the picking, depending on how its associated components are arranged relative to one another. It is also an object of the present invention to use in a pure severing device the same components as in a picking device. It is yet another object of the invention to effect an improved, and particularly a quicker supply of the material.


Patent No. 860746A: Frame For Hop-Scoops

Today in 1907, US Patent 860746 A was issued, an invention of John N. Hoffman, for his “Frame For Hop-Scoops.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

My invention relates to improvements in scoops for picking up and conveying hops, or the like, and it consists in the features of novelty hereinafter described and claimed.

The object of the invention is to provide a hop scoop of simple, strong and durable construction and one which may be conveniently operated.


Patent No. 3044879A: Anactinic Malt Product And Hop Extract Therefor

Today in 1962, US Patent 3044879 A was issued, an invention of William C. Herwig, Thomas L. Kissel, and Gilbert H. Koch, assigned to Miller Brewing, for his “Anactinic Malt Product and Hop Extract Therefor.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to manufacture of anactinic malt beverages such as beer and ale, and to intermediate products.

It is well known that beer and ale and similar malt beverages are produced from water, barley malt, adjuncts and hops. The malt and adjuncts furnish the carbohydrates and other growth essentials which make up the wort. This wort, boiled with hops, in turn forms the basic substance for fermentation in the fermenting tanks. The hops give the characteristic bitter flavor and pleasant aroma to the beer. They assist in preserving the beer and improve its foam holding capacity.

Unfortunately, beer and ale and other similar malt beverages are not stable to light. Light of both visible and-invisible wave lengths affects them adversely producing actinic damage in the form of a characteristic skunky odor. Such a beer is commonly known as light struck. The actinism is caused by chemical changes, producing compounds probably mercaptans in nature. Tests show that the olfactory threshold level of odoriferous compounds of this character is very low, in the range of a few parts per billion. This shows clearly the acute nature of the problem. 7 Many efforts have been made in the past to overcome this difficulty. Much time has been expended on packaging of beer and ale to exclude light. Colored bottles have been used and opaque packages are common. It is not uncommon to label them Do Not Expose to Light.

To compete with modern day merchandising, a malt beverage has to be removed from the case and put on the shelf, or at least a portion of the container is exposed for easy vision and access. Modern reach-in coolers have clear glass windows and fluorescent lights which aggravate the problems. Even canned beer or keg beer can be adversely affected by sunlight if, as is usually the’ case, it is drunk from a glass. glass to direct sunlight for a short a time as a few minutes will result in the impairment of the taste and production of the characteristic skunky odor. Beer at picnics and sporting events is often exposed for hours to direct sunlight. In such cases, the deleterious effects can be very marked.

q We have discovered a way to overcome the hazard of product exposure to light which forms the basis of our invention, and have thereby achieved a substantially anactinic malt beverage. The term anactinic is intended The exposure of beer in the 3,044,879 Patented July 17, 1962 bitterness in the finished product, but eliminate the photoactive elements thereof.

A still further object of the, present invention is to provide a method of treating hop extract in the presence of a reducing agent to provide a concentrated product having particular application in malt beverages production, whereby its use will not affect the desired characteristics of the beverage, but will eliminate photoactive elements therein.

The soft resins and oils, which are contained in the glands produced on the hops and known as lupulin glands, are valuable constituents of the hops as used ,in the brewing process. The soft resins consist principally of (a) the alpha acids, (b) the beta acids, and (c) the uncharacterized soft resins. The alpha acids are known as humulones and the beta acids are known as lupulones. The alpha acids are the source of antiseptic and bitter substances in beer. The beta acids or lupulones have low solubility in kettle wort and beer, thus do not appreciably enter into the brewing process.

It is known that chemical changes are made in the humulones during brewing resulting in the compounds known :as isohumulones, i.e. isohumulone, isocohumwlone, isoadhurnulone, and isoprehumulone. These isocompounds are formed in the kettle during the boiling stage of the brewing process, and we have discovered that these compounds are the ones that cause the beer to become sensitive to light in the presence of sulfhydryl comhumulone, and prehumulone, is isomerized to the corresponding isohumulones. It is known that during the isomerization of the humulones to isohumulones, a new side chain is formed which now contains a carbonyl group.

It is these isohumulones-isohumulone, isocohumuloue isoadhumulone, and isoprehumulone which we have found to be involved in the photochemical reaction with sulfhydryl compounds to produce the ‘actinic damage resulting in the characteristic light struck aroma.

to succinctly describe a beverage which will not be subject to actinic damage. The word is herein coined and is derived from the word -actinic plus the prefix an, meaning not. This is the Greek equivalent to the Latin in and consists of alpha privative plus nu movable.

We have found that three factors are necessary for the reaction causing malt beverages. to become light struck. They are photo energy in the wave length region of 1,000 to 10,000 angstroms, a sulfhydryl bearing compound, and a chemical component derived from the raw materials, hops, during the brewing process.

The primary object of the invention is to provide a hop extract and malt beverage that is stable to light and will not produce unpleasant olfactory characteristics.

A further object of the invention is to so treat the hops in malt beverages so as to retain the aroma, bouquet and We are of the belief that when the isohumulones are group can be altered by means of reduction to a secondary alcohol, and by such alternation, be prevented from reacting with the sulfhydryl groups normally present in beer components.


Patent No. 733732A: Screen For Hop Separating Machines

Today in 1903, US Patent 733732 A was issued, an invention of Jacob Mueller, for his “Screen For Hop Separating Machines.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes these claims:

This invention relates to an improved screen for separating hops from the seeds after they have been separated from their stems by one of the well-known machines used for this purpose, such as the one for which Letters Patent were granted to me, No. 314,116, and dated March 17, 1885, or any other suitable machine; and the invention relates more specifically to a compound screen by which the larger leaves of the hop-scales are separated from the seeds and the smaller leaves from the lupulin or fine gummy particles in a very effective manner in four separate receptacles, so that the seeds and other parts which are not used in brewing processes are separated from the lupulin, scales, and leaves, which permits thereby a better utilization of the hop seeds in the brewing process, as the objectionable parts of the same have been separated and for this purpose the invention consists of a screen for separating hop-scales after they are removed 0 from their stems which comprises an oscillating shaker provided with a bottom screen and conveying-hopper and a plurality of inclined screens arranged below the lower end of the shaker, said screens being of different character and degrees of fineness,so as to separate the hop-scales from the seeds, lupulin, and smaller particles and pass each into suitable receptacles; and the invention consists, further, of certain details of construction and combinations of parts, which will be fully described hereinafter and finally pointed out in the claims.