Patent No. WO2004020570A1: Effervescent Hop Tablet

Today in 2004, US Patent WO 2004020570 A1 was issued, an invention of James F. Boyd, assigned to Yakima Chief Inc., for his “Effervescent Hop Tablet.” Here’s the Abstract:

Effervescent formulations of hop adjuncts for use in the process of beer brewing, or more generally the manufacture or production of malt beverages are disclosed. These manufacturing processes can include primary fermentation, when added to the wort, secondary fermentation, when added to the green beer, and storage, when added to beer. The effervescent product includes an effervescent material, such as a carbonate compound, combined with brewing kettle hop adjuncts. The hop adjuncts may include any combination of conventionally derived hop materials or extracts, including alpha acids, beta acids, resins and oils. Preferably, the effervescent formulations are formed into the shape of a tablet, and serve to simplify and improve the efficiency and metering of the hop adjuncts into the brewing process.


Patent No. 1054121A: Hop-Cluster Machine

Today in 1913, US Patent 1054121 A was issued, an invention of Emil Clemens Horst, for his “Hop-Cluster Machine.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

My invention relates to means for mechanically picking hops and has particular reference to a machine for picking the hops from. clusters which have been separated from the vine during the earlier picking operations.

This mechanism is in a sense a combination with the machine shown in my co-pending application, filed of even date herewith and entitled separating cylinders. In that application an inclined cylinder of polygonal cross section is shown, there being separating means underneath the cylinder. It was found that many clusters of hops did not pass through the interstices in the cylinder but passed as clusters out of the lower end of the machine.

It is the object, therefore, of the present invent-ion to provide novel mechanism whereby any clusters which pass through the separating cylinder shall enter the cylinders of the present invention and there be finally separated.


Patent No. 398330A: Hop-Shovel

Today in 1889, US Patent 398330 A was issued, an invention of Benjamin F. Jacobs, for his “Hop-Shovel.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

The invention relates to improvements in hop-shovels; and it consists in the constrution and novel combination of parts, as hereinafter set forth.

It has been the practice to remove the hops from the kiln by means of a rake, which is objectionable, for the reason that when the hops are first dried and yet warm they break up very easily and are very sensitive to the handling they receive. When raked out of the kiln, they not only break, but lose their dust, which detracts materially from their marketable value. The object of my invention is to obviate this difficulty by providing a bag to hold the hops and the dust when it is desired to remove the hops from the kiln.


Patent No. 667478A: Hop-Drying Box

Today in 1901, US Patent 667478 A was issued, an invention of Adolf Wolf, for his “Hop-Drying Box.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

My invention relates to boxes for holding loose material, such as hops, in the process of drying the same, and has for its object to provide a construction which permits the box to be readily turned upside down without discharging the contents thereof and while leaving the top open for a thorough evaporation and escape of steam. For this purpose I provide the box with a removable top and a removable bottom, constructed and secured in a novel manner, as will be fully described hereinafter, and particularly pointed out in the appended claim.


Beer Birthday: Ralph Olson

Today is Ralph Olson’s 65th birthday. Ralph was the general manager/co-owner of HopUnion, a co-op that supplies hops to many of the craft breweries. Ralph’s pretty much retired but can still be seen at occasional beer events throughout the country. He’s been a good friend to and very supportive of the craft beer industry. Join me in wishing Ralph a very happy birthday.

Ralph Olson, the Big Cheese from HopUnion. If you look carefully in between his “Sponsor” and “Exhibitor” badge you can see his title really is officially “the Big Cheese.

Ralph and me at the end of the brewer’s reception at GABF in 2007.

Dave Keene, from the Toronado, Dave Pyle, Ralph and Becky Pyle, who are also with HopUnion, along with my friend Dave Suurballe.

Ralph sandwiched between Jessica, the former event coordinator for the AOB and Chad Kennedy, brewer at Laurelwood Public House & Brewery in Portland, Oregon at GABF in 2006.

With Natalie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing, who’s accepting an award at the Alpha King Hop Challenge in 2006. If you look closely, you can find the award money.

Ralph with the other HopUnion Ralph, Ralph Woodall, and Rob Widmer, the younger half of Widmer Brothers Brewing, at the 15th Anniversary Party for the Celebrator Beer News.

Patent No. 2187526A: Hop Picking Machine

Today in 1940, US Patent 2187526 A was issued, an invention of Edouard Thys, for his “Hop Picking Machine.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to hop picking machines the picking of hops in the fields where they are grown.


Patent No. 3552975A: Hop Flavors For Malt Beverages

Today in 1971, US Patent 3552975 A was issued, an invention of Paul H. Todd Jr. and Leonard R. Worden, assigned to Matt Brynildson’s first company; the Kalamazoo Spice Extract Co., for their “Hop Flavors for Malt Beverages and the Like.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

Process for producing 4-deoxytetrahydrohumulone from lupulone by hydrogenolysis thereof after downward adjustment of pH into the acid range, optional subsequent oxygenation to tetrahydrohumulone, and optional isomerization and reduction to produce hexahydroisohumulone; hexahydroisohumulone itself; use of hexahydroisohumulone, in beverage flavoring; beverages flavored therewith; and employment of the portion of the non-volatile nonisomerizable hop extract fraction which dissolves in water at a pH of at least 9 as starting material in the first-mentioned production processes; use of tetrahydroisohumulone in beverage flavoring, especially by isomerizing tetrahydrohumulone in the beverage; beverages and especially malt beverages so flavored.



Patent No. 2919806A: Hop Strainer

Today in 1960, US Patent 2919806 A was issued, an invention of Alvin Hock and Clarence Rechtin, assigned to the Brighton Corp., for their “Hop Strainer.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

Our invention resides in the provision of a novel hop strainer especially designed for obtaining instant separation of wort from hops.

Our invention relates in general to that type of mechanism shown in Patent No. 2,412,400 which issued to Alvin Hock on December 10, 1946. Novel features, however, have been incorporated in the machinery of the instant invention as will be emphasized in the passages which follow.

It is an object of our invention to provide a hop strainer which will remove a maximum amount of Wort from the hops without bruising or crushing the hops sufficient to impart an undesirable bitterness to the Wort. Accordingly, an important feature embodied in the construction of a hop strainer according to the teachings of our invention is that of cascading the wort and hops in a sheet or sheets against a perforated plate or screen in such a manner that the combined wort and hops contact the plate or screen in such a way that the great majority of the wort will strike through the plate or screen instantly while the hops are washed along the plate or screen without driving the hops lint and seed through the plate or screen and without undue splashing.

Another very important object of our invention is to provide means for moving the hops and wort along another’ perforated plate or plates in such a Way as to accomplish further separation of the wort from the hops again without subjecting the hops to extreme pressures or harsh treatment.

A further object of our invention is to provide a final pressing action by means of which the last usable wort lis separated from the hops at the final stage in the separation process, this also being accomplished without damage to the hops and wort.

Another important object of our invention is to provide a hop strainer which may be .cleaned easily and quickly so as to protect the purity of the brew and make it economical to use.


Patent No. 2536927A: Hop-Picking Machine

Today in 1951, US Patent 2536927 A was issued, an invention of Porter E. Griswold, for his “Hop-Picking Machine.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

My invention relates to a machine especially designed for use in the hop-picking industry for stemming hop clusters.

Hops are generally grown on trellises from sixteen to twenty feet high, the vines being trained over these trellises. In picking by machinery, the vine stalks are out about four feet from the ground and passed through the hop-picking machine, the hops being removed mechanically from the vines during the traverse of the latter through the machine. Some of the hops are removed from the vine -in the form of clusters or bouquets, such clusters having more or less of the stems or small branches, which are undesirable in the finished product, and it is necessary to pull these clusters apart to free the hops from this trash.

The object of the present invention is to design a simple, practical machine of large capacity for this work..

The invention consists of the parts and the construction and combination of parts as hereinafter more fully described and claimed, having reference to the accompanying drawings, in which Figure 1 is a plan view of the invention, one-half of the outer casing being broken away to show the inner stemming centrifugal cone. Fig. 2 is a side elevation in partial section of the invention. Fig. 3 is a detail of the cooperating series of outer and inner, or stationary and movable, pickers.