Today in 1963, US Patent 3078166 A was issued, an invention of James Shanks Hough and Robert William Ricketts, for their “Continuous Brewing.” There’s no Abstract, but the description states it’s for a “fermentation process in which means are secured for controlling the quantity of yeast present in the fermenting liquid and hence the rate of fermentation.” They continue in the application:
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a process whereby wort can be fermented with production of substantially smaller quantities of yeast than is possible in known processes.
Continuous processes for the fermentation of brewers wort are known and these are claimed to have a high rate of production in comparison with the conventional batch processes. In the known processes, however, a yeast separation stage is employed in which yeast is separated from the fermented wort and in most known processes the yeast separated from the fermented wort is recycled to the fermentation stage. The present invention permits a more compact apparatus to be used as no separate yeast separation stage is required unless it is specifically desired to produce yeast in conjunction with the production of beer. This is achieved by using a process which permits the separation of the yeast from the fermented wort to be effected in the actual fermentation vessel.