Patent No. 655330A: Hop Bleaching And Drying Kiln

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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.

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Patent No. 6769981B1: Hop Vine Processor

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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.

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Patent No. 1348139A: Stem Picker

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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.

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Patent No. 3045679A: Hop Picker

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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.

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Patent No. 860746A: Frame For Hop-Scoops

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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.

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

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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.

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Patent No. 733732A: Screen For Hop Separating Machines

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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.

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Patent No. 2248153A: Method For Emulsifying The Essential Principles Of Hops

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Today in 1941, US Patent 2842293 A was issued, an invention of Lyndon D. Wood, assigned to the Nat Hops Lab Inc., for their “Method for Emulsifying the Essential Principles of Hops.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this:

In order to make an emulsion, it is generally necessary that the insoluble mat-erialheld in suspension be very finely divided, otherwise the materials will separate in the container. When that occurs, it is necessary .to shake the mixture each time before it is used.

In the making of emulsions it has been found necessary heretofore to employ what is known as an emulsifying agent in the form of a tasteless, odorless gum such as tragacanth or gum acacia. Small amounts of these gums, which are readily soluble in water are mixed with the insoluble material, and the mass is beaten in machines designed for the purpose. The beating or pounding has the effect of finely dividing the material which it is desired to emulsify and hold in suspension.

In medicine many remedies which it is desired to administer are thus emulsified. It is claimed for the use of emulsions that in emulsified form the odor and taste is blanketed, and they are unobjectionable to the patient. Also, because of the fine division, they are much more readily assimilated and more quickly and easily digested. The same claim is made for those which are use-d industrially, that is, that this small division of the essential material makes it possible for it to be more readily mixed and dissolved in whatever it is planned to use it, and that the time of mixing and assimilating is very much shortened.

No emulsion of the essential principles of hops has heretofore been made, so far as I am able to find.

I have made many experiments and attempts to emulsify hops, and was unable to make a satisfactory emulsion until the present process was developed by me. The difficulty in making an emulsion of hops is probably due to the fact that it has been extremely difficult to effect a satisfactory division of the resins chiefly found in the lupulin of the hops. In my experiments, I have tried combining them with purified mineral oils, which are a very common component of emulsions. I have tried many vegetable oils such as cotton seed oil, soy bean oil, corn oil, flax seed oil, sesame oil, etc. I have also tried animal fats and oils such as butter, lard, fish oil, etc.

The process I have designed is entirely new, and seems to work perfectly. Emulsions made by this process have been kept for weeks and months, and I find no separation by precipitation or otherwise into their component parts. The process I have designed for making this emulsion is as follows:

I take one part or :portion of any hops extract or concentrate, made by any suitable process, but preferably by the process herein described, in which my first procedure is to suitably prepare the hops by pulverizing them to a degree of fineness by which they will pass a 20 mesh screen or sieve. This may be done in any one of several types of mills which can be adapted for the Work. The mill should be enclosed in such a way that no air currents are present in which the aroma of the hops can be dispersed From the mill the prepared or pulverized hops should be conveyed to a closed tank or receptacle where a suitable solvent is applied. The solvent which I have found most “efficient is acetone, although it may be not-ed that the essential principles of hops, namely, hop oil, lupulin, tannin, and hop seed oil are partly soluble in either petrolic ether, alcohol, methanol, high grade gasoline, ethyl acetate, etc., and in certain hot fatty oils.

I then mix with the powdered hops a highly efficient solvent, acetone. The amount of acetone applied will depend somewhat on the amount of moisture in the dried hops, and also on their age, which affects the percentage of gamma or hardened resins they contain. In general, however, it will be found that one pound of acetone should be applied to one pound of pulverized hops. This application of solvent should be made in a closed container, as the solvent is volatile and in an open container evaporates rapidly, carrying off by evaporation a small fraction of the desirable hops aroma.

The length of time which the pulverized hops should be submitted to: the action of the acetone in the closed container will depend upon the a e of the hops and the extent to which the resins in the lupulin have hardened. If the hops are fresh and have been dehydrated at low temperatures the percentage of hardened or gamma resins will be less than those in hops which were subjected to a higher degree of heat in dehydrating, and particularly those of older growth and those which have been stored in uncooled warehouses. For fresh hops, dehydrated at low temperatures and kept in cooled storerooms, an hour will be sufficient time for the action of the solvent to soften and make soluble the lupulin. For hops of older growth and those which were subjected to greater heat in drying and storing, the period of time which they would be subjected to the action of the solvent might be extended to twenty-four hours, or even longer.

After the hops have been submitted to the action of the acetone for the required period of time, they should be moved in a closed conveyor to a percolator, also closed, for the extraction of a considerable portion of the solvent and extract. This process of percolation can be expedited by the use of a vacuum pump, if desired.

When old hops are used in which the lupulin has hardened and particularly those in which a rancid odor has occurred from the oxidation of hop oil, I employ activated carbon, which may be made from the vegetable fibrous material of the hops residue after extraction has been made by percolation and pressure. This activated carbon may be used in two ways;

(a) By mixing it in finely powdered form with the pulverized hops while they are in a dry state. When this method is employed one-fourth ounce of activated carbon will be used to each pound of pulverized hops. The prepared hops should be stirred and shaken until the activated carbon has been thoroughly mixed with them, then be permitted to stand in a closed container for a period of time not less than two hours. The activated carbon absorbs the excess oxygen of oxidized material which has produced the rancidity and thus restores the odor of fresh hops.

(1)) Or, the activated carbon may be applied to the liquid extract, in which one-fourth ounce of activated carbon is used to each pound of the extract; permitting it to slowly settle; and after a period of from two to four hours the carbon may be removed from the extract by filtration will not contain as large a percentage or fraction of the resinous lupulin as it will carry. The extract obtained by this percolation may then be reemployed on another similar portion of pulverized hops, and the process repeated until the extract has reached the point of saturation, which will be indicated by its specific gravity as well as by the degree of its liquidity.

After the pulverized hops have been submitted in this way’ to the action of the acetone in the tank and in the percolators, the hops are then conveyed in a closed container to a press, preferably’ of the hydraulic type to avoid heat, in which sufficient pressure is applied to express from the hops residue all of the extract obtainable, after which the residue of hops will be found upon inspection or analysis to contain nothing but vegetable fibrous materials and no tannin, oils, or lupulin. This shows that all of the essential principles of the hops have been entirely extracted.

The liquid extract obtained from these several percolations and from the pressing of the hops is then put into an evaporating pan or preferably a jacketed vacuum still, and a degree of heat (60 C.) is applied sufficient only to evaporate all the acetone.

After finding by analysis the amount of tannin and lupulin which the extract contains, I carefully measure, weigh, observe its degree of liquidity, and by an observation of its specific gravity, etc., and by applying the same tests to subsequent lots manufactured, I secure uniformity by the addition of an amount of alcohol, glyceryl laurate, and tannin sufficient to secure such uniformity. The amount of glyceryl laurate used will vary but in any event would not be more than one ounce to each pound of emulsion produced. The function of the addition of this glyceryl laurate is two fold; first, to continue the resinous material in a soft solvent condition, and to make it soluble in the hop wort; second, it assists in the emulsification of the resinous material.

To the hops extract obtained as above described, or in any other suitable manner, I add an equal amount of malt syrup, preferably made from barley malt. The mixture is put into a hoinogenizer, or into what is known as a colloidal machine, which is commonly employed in making other emulsions, and in which the mixture is beaten until the small particles of resinous lupulin contained in the hops extract are finely divided.- No emulsifying agent such as gum tragacanth or other gums usually employed in the making of emulsions is used in this process. The result is a very perfect emulsion which will retain its form without separation indefinitely.

Due to the fact that by my process of making the hops extract I have made available and retained all of the hop seed oil found in the seeds in the hops blossoms, I assume that this oil has a beneficial effect in the making of this emulsion. To some extent, it produces the same effect as the oils used in the making of other emulsions. Among the advantages in the use of this emulsion in the place of bulk hops in brewing are the following:

First, by effecting a much finer division of the resinous lupulin, the resins which give a bitter flavor to all beer and ale are much more quickly dissolved in and assimilated by the hot water used in brewing.

Second, a better distribution. of the lupulin in the beer is obtained than by the use of boiling bulk hops in the wort.

Third, its use in this finely divided form greatly shortens the time required to hop the beer by the methods now employed.

Fourth, this emulsion has the same advantages as follows the use of hop extract in the creation and maintenance of foam on the beer when it is served. This is produced by the small fraction of hop seed oil found in the extract.

Fifth, another advantage is that due to the finer subdivision of the flavoring principles, the emulsion is more quickly and evenly dispersed in the wort or unfinished beer and the time required for cooking the bulk hops in the beer therefore, the time of making each brew is considerably shortened. To illustrate: Most brewers cook the hops in the wort for from one to two hours after the cooking of the grain has been completed. In brewing tests which we have made, we secure the same result by stopping the brewing or cooking as soon as we have introduced the emulsion.

of brewing is con- In further explanation, We have found that four ounces of emulsion containing only about one ounce of hop extract will flavor as much beer as four ounces of extract or as one pound of bulk hops. This can only be explained by the fact that in emulsifying the resinous lupulin contents of the hops or hops extract, we subdivide each particle of these flavoring constituents into many thousands of finer particles. That is the principal reason for putting it into the form of an emulsion rather than in the form of an extract. It greatly increases the flavoring power or ability as compared with the extract or bulk hops from which it is made.

The method or process above described for the making of hops emulsion is entirely a cold one. The advantage of a cold process over the prior art is that it retains all of the aromatic principles of the hops, which are easily volatilized and driven off by the application of heat.

The only stage of the process in which any heat is used is to vaporize the acetone, and only a slight degree of heat-not over 60 degrees C.- is required for that purpose.

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Patent No. 4276738A: Hop Picking Machine

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Today in 1981, US Patent 4276738 A was issued, an invention of Dominick Ferraro, for his “Hop Picking Machine.” Here’s the Abstract:

A picking machine is described for harvesting hops from vines that have been trained over a low profile trellis. The machine includes two sets of vertical picking conveyors that straddle the vines. The conveyor sets are transversely adjustable toward or away from the vine. A forward picking conveyor set includes picking fingers that move continuously downwardly, stripping hops down from opposite sides of the vine downwardly onto horizontal receiving conveyors. A rearward set of picking conveyors follow the forward set with picking fingers moving upwardly. The upwardly moving picking fingers lift the vine, “stringing” the vine vertically and stripping the remaining hops so they will fall downwardly onto receiving conveyors below.

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