Patent No. 732682A: Beer Filter

Today in 1903, US Patent 2085186 A was issued, an invention of Jacob Frederic Wittemann, for his beer “Filter.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

My invention relates to improvements in filters or filtering-presses designed particularly for use in filtering beer and the like. In devices of this nature it is the general aim to provide as large a filtering-surface as possible, and this is usually done by multiplying Heretofore each element has generally consisted of several separate parts which must be assembled and also separately handled when it is desired to change the filter, as by substituting a fresh filtering mass and adding new elements.

The objects of the present invention are to produce a filter composed of interchangeable elements all the parts of each of which are combined in one fixed construction and to so construct these elements that when assembled the beer or other fluid to be filtered has ready ingress to and egress from the filter, while the air, water, or other foreign matter in the filter is readily discharged.


Patent No. 2322749A: Heating And Treating Wort

Today in 1943, US Patent 2322749 A was issued, an invention of John F. Silhavy, for his “Heating and Treating Wort.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

This invention relates to heating and boiling wort and more particularly relates to heating and boiling wort by using submerged combustion and passing hot products of combustion through the wort or passing gases through the wort while heating it.


Patent No. 763606A: Combined Brewing Kettle, Hop-Jack Tank And Cooker

Today in 1904, US Patent 763606 A was issued, an invention of Carl F. Hettinger, for his “Combined Brewing Kettle, Hop-Jack Tank and Cooker.” There’s no Abstract, although in the description it includes this summary:

My invention relates to brewing-kettles used in the preparation of malt liquors, and has for its object to provide a brewing kettle which may be converted alternately into a cooker or a hop-jack tank without interfering the preparation of malt liquors.

My improved apparatus or kettle being first used as a cooker, the ingredients are the mass is then conveyed into the usual mash is treated and supplemented in the mash-tub the brewing kettle is cleaned for the reception of the wort from the mash-tub. A hop strainer is then put into position in the kettle, so that after the wort has been boiled hops may be added to the wort in the kettle and the latter be used as a hop-jack tank, as will be hereinafter fully described.

The principal object of my invention is to provide one apparatus to serve the purposes and functions of three apparatus, with bet whereby not only a material saving in the cost of installation of a brewery is gained, but also the space occupied by such apparatus may be used for other purposes or the building may be made so much smaller.

My improved combined cooker, brewing kettle, and hop-jack tank consists of a vessel, an agitator therein, a removable telescoping hop-strainer, means for removing the same, a clean-out in the bottom of said vessel, and means for heating the latter; and my invention further consists of the improvements hereinafter more fully described, and pointed out in the claims.


Patent No. 243297A: Alcohol Still

Today in 1881, US Patent 243297 A was issued, an invention of Oliver L. Perin, for his “Alcohol Still.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

My invention is in the nature of an improvement upon a continuous still for the manufacture of alcohol for which Letters Patent were granted myself, Daniel Horan, and Dominick McGoen, July 20, 1880, and has for its object the arrangement of the several elements of the vaporizing-chambers in a novel manner, to be hereinafter described, which is calculated to improve the efficiency of the still, and at the same time will materially cheapen the construction thereof; and it consists in constructing the vaporizing-chamber of the usual rectangular form, and providing a bottom or licor of copper or other suitable material, which shall contain a great number of small perforations. Upon this bottom I erect three (or any odd number more than three) partitions, alternately attached to the opposite end timbers of the chamber. The partitions are made as much shorter than the clear length of the chamber as the width of spaces between the partitions and side timbers of the chamber and between adjacent partitions. At the end of one of the spaces between a partition and its corresponding side timber of the chamber I construct a box or bay with a weir or overflow plate of copper, raised two or three inches above the floor or bottom of the chamber. The partition at the bay is raised higher than the edge of the weir, in order that all beer or mash delivered into the bay shall be compelled to pass over the weir in a thin sheet, and be evenly distributed over the bottom of the chamber as it flows along the next connecting channel. From the next chamber above a down-pipe is’ suspended, which dips into the bay below the level of the Weir-plate sufficiently to form a seal against the steam-pressure in the chamber and prevent the steam ascending to the next chamber above through At the opposite side of the chamber a down-pipe is suspended to dip into the bay of the next lower chamber. The upper end of the down-pipe is raised sufficiently above the floor or bottom of the chamber to which it is attached to maintain a thin sheet ot’ liquid over the perforations in the bottom previously mentioned. The beer or mash flows through the down-pipe into the bay, over the weirplate and down one channel. formed by the partitions previously mentioned, and up the next, and down the next, and so on until it reaches the down-pipe at the opposite side of the chamber, through which it descends to the next chamber below, where the same operation is repeated, the direction of the currents of beer, however, being reversed. Meanwhile the beer or mash, passes over the floor, the steam (introduced first into the lowest chamber but one of the still) and the spirituous vapor ascends from chamber to chamber through the perforations in the bottoms of the chambers, these perforations being of such dimensions that no beer or mash can descend through them against the pressure (usually five or six pounds) in the still. The heat in the steam being transmitted to the beer to expel the spirit, it condenses and works back through the down-pipes to the bottom of the still, where it is drawn oft with the residuals of the beer as slop.


Patent No. 521650A: Beer Filter

Today in 1894, US Patent 521650 A was issued, an invention of Carl Hafner, for his “Beer Filter.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

This invention relates to certain improvements vin filters, particularly beer filters. The object of the invention is to provide an improved beer filter exceedingly cheap, simple and durable in construction, and which will thoroughly and economically filter the ,beer 1n an improved manner.

The invention consists in certain novel features of construction and in combination of the parts more fully pointed out hereinafter and particularly described in the claim.


Patent No. 1029838A: Method Of Finishing And Preparing Beverages

Today in 1912, US Patent 1029838 A was issued, an invention of Jacob Frederic Wittemann, for his “Method of Finishing and Preparing Beverages.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

The invention relates to a new and improved system or method of enhancing the value of fermented beverages such as beer, wine, cider, etc, by their treatment with the volatile products of the fermentation of such beverages.

The object. of my invention is to treat such beverages when they are matured, clarified or filtered, either or all,, to the required standard, but lacking sufficient incorporation of carbonic acid gas and fermentation ethers, generated during the fermentation of such liquids to impart to them the desired degree of effervescence, flavor and improved character by incorporating with such beverages such volatile fermentation products .while .the latter remain substantially in the same condition, as when generated by the fermentation of such beverages, but at such density or pressure and temperature that the stated object shall be attained, namely, that .the more or less quiescent state in which such beverages mature and clarify most readily, is transformed into a condition of effervescence or a foam-maintaining state at a temperature at which they attended by more or less disintegration, deterioration or other undesirable change in the character or composition of this complex gas, owing to improper treatment thereof, such as overheating during dry me chemical compression or compression in the presence of insufficient cooling medium, or its contact with a more or less impure cooling medium or with disintegrating metal surfaces, or owing to its degeneration or decomposition while kept in storage under high pressure. By my improved method all such undesirable changes or alterations in the composition, flavor and taste of the volatile products of fermentation are avoided when they are incorporated in the desired proportion with a matured, but-as yet more or less unmerchantable, beverage, owing to its lack of a sufficient proportion of such gas. The compression of the gas to the necessary density in which it capable of producing the desired effect in such beverages is preferably effected in part by its retention within the fermenting vessel, up to a pressure within a safety limit, dictated by the nature or construction of such vessel, and with the beverage into which it is to be incorporated by a liquid and gas-forcing mechanism such as a force pump.

As {this invention will find its principal use in the manufacture of beer, I shall hereafter use the term beer as a generic term for all similar beverages and in the accompanying drawing show an embodiment of ,one apparatus for carrying out my new and improved method or process as it would be used in a brewery; but I in no wise confine the use of my invention to beer only, as the process can as readily be applied to the manufacture of other similar beverages and by the use of other constructions of apparatus according to varying conditions or requirements, yet carrying out. the same method in principle.


Patent No. 1764841A: Fermenting Vat

Today in 1930, US Patent 1764841 A was issued, an invention of Hans Kock, for his “Fermenting Vat.” There’s no Abstract, though it’s described this way in the application:

My. invention relates to improvements in fermenting vats, and the object of the improvements is to provide a vat which can be used for fermenting beer and other liquors, storing the beer and filling the same into hot ties. With this object in view my invention consists in forming the vat at its top with an opening adapted to have either one of the attachments necessary for fermenting the beer, storing the same and filling the same into bottles secured thereto, and constructing such attachments so that they can be readily mounted on and dismounted from the said vat.


Historic Beer Birthday: Max Delbrück

Today is the birthday of Max Emil Julius Delbrück (June 16, 1850-May 4, 1919). He was a German chemist who spent most of his career exploring the fermentation sciences.


His Wikipedia entry is short:

Delbrück was born in Bergen auf Rügen. He studied chemistry in Berlin and in Greifswald. In 1872 he was made assistant at the Academy of Trades in Berlin; in 1887 he was appointed instructor at the Agricultural College, and in 1899 was given a full professorship. The researches, carried out in part by Delbrück himself, in part under his guidance, resulted in technical contributions of the highest value to the fermentation industries. He was one of the editors of the Zeitschrift für Spiritusindustrie (1867), and of the Wochenschrift für Brauerei. He died in Berlin, aged 68.

And here’s his entry from Today in Science:

Max Emil Julius Delbrück was a German chemist who spent a forty-five year career leading development in the fermentation industry. He established a school for distillation workers, a glass factory for the manufacture of reliable apparatus and instruments, and an experimental distillery. Giving attention to the raw resources, he founded teaching and experimental institutions to improve cultivation of potatoes and hops. He researched physiology of yeast and application in the process of fermentation, production of pure cultures, and the action of enzymes. He started the journals Zeitschrift fur Spiritus-Industrie (1867) and Wochenschrift für Brauerei, for the alcohol and brewery industries, which he co-edited.


Over the years, I’ve found a few great Delbrück quotes:

Yeast is a machine.

          — Max Delbrück, from an 1884 lecture

With the sword of science and the armor of Practice, German beer will encircle the world.

          — Max Delbrück, from an address about yeast and fermentation in the
               brewery, to the German Brewing Congress as Director of the Experimental
               and Teaching Institute for Brewing in Berlin, June 1884


Patent No. WO1999007820A3: Lipid Removal

Today in 1999, US Patent WO 1999007820 A3 was issued, an invention of Charles Bamforth, Robert Muller, and Kamini Dickie, for their “Lipid Removal.” Here’s the Abstract:

A method for removing lipids material from beer or other beverages. The beer is contacted with immobilised lipid binding protein which binds any lipid present in the beer or other beverage. After the lipid removal stage is complete there are no lipid binding additives remaining in the beverage.


Patent No. 1302922C: Process For Producing A Malt Beverage Having Improved Foaming Properties

Today in 1992, US Patent 1302922 C was issued, an invention of Joseph L. Owades, for his “Process for Producing a Malt Beverage Having Improved Foaming Properties and Product Produced Therefrom.” Here’s the Abstract:

The foaming properties of a brewed malt beverage are improved by adding to the beverage during the normal brewing process a measured quantity of ginseng.