US 2118120 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 24, 1938. A SPANG 2,118,120
APPARATUS FOR AGING WHISKY Filed Aug. 28, 1957 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Flgl A lnvenron dossph FE Spcmg bym Anya Patented May 24, 1938 UNITED STATES 2,ll8,l20
PATENT OFFICE 3 Claims.
This invention relates to an apparatus for aging whisky or wine in the barrel or keg, and it has for its object to provide a novel and simple device for this purpose which can be inserted into the barrel or keg through the ordinary bunghole and which performs the quick-aging operation without causing any chemical reactions in the liquor such as are prohibited in liquor which is held in bond. In carrying out my invention I provide a combined agitator and heating unit, preferably an electric heating unit, constructed to be inserted into the keg through the bunghole and arranged so that when the device is in operation it heats the liquor somewhat and at the same time causes a circulation of the liquor within the keg so as to insure an even heating. The heating of the liquor combined with its circulation gives the liquor an aging effect thereby improving the quality thereof.
In order to give an understanding of the invention I have illustrated in the drawings some selected embodiments thereof which will now be described after which the novel features will be pointed out in the appended claims.
In the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a view showing a device embodying my invention installed in a barrel or keg of liq uor, the barrel or keg being shown in section;
Fig. 2 is a side view of the device with the bar- 3 rel or keg shown in transverse section;
Fig. 3 is a view similar to Fig. 1 but showing a different embodiment of the invention;
Fig. 4 is a fragmentary view showing the manner of introducing the agitator through the 35 bung-hole.
In the drawings I indicates a barrel or keg adapted to contain the liquor to be aged, said barrel having the usual bung hole 2.
My improved aging apparatus comprises a 40 bung element 3 of a size to fit the bung-hole 2 and one or more electric heating units 4 (in Figs. 1 and 2 and 2|, 22 in Fig. 3) carried by the bung and located within the barrel 2 when the bung is within the bung-hole. The bung 3 also 45 supports a shaft 5 which extends therethrough and which carries at its lower end a propeller in the form of agitator blades 6. When the device is in operation the heating units serve to heat the liquor in the barrel 2 and the agitator blades 50 6 serve to cause a circulation of the liquor within the barrel thus providing for distribution of the heat throughout the liquor in the barrel. The shaft 5 carrying the propeller blade 6 may be rotated in any suitable way. I have herein 55 shown for this purpose an electric motor 1, the
shaft 8 of which is coupled to the shaft 5. Said motor 1 is shown as mounted on a motor-carrying frame 9 which is secured to the bung 3 and which, when the bung is in place, rests on the barrel. This motor-supporting frame is shown as formed from a plurality of posts or supports ID, the upper ends of which are secured to the motor .1 and the lower ends of which are bent inwardly and upwardly as shown at H to form feet portions I2 that rest on the barrel I. The 10 ends l3 of the upwardly bent portions II are secured to the bung in some suitable way sothat the motor frame and the bung constitute a unit.
The heating elements may be of any approved type but preferably I will employ electric heat- 15 ing elements. In the construction shown in Figs.
1 and 2 each electrically-heated heating element is indicated at 4 and is illustrated as having the U shape shown best in Fig. 2, the upper ends of the legs of the U extending through the bung 3 and the lower ends being secured to a bearing member l4 through which the shaft 5 extends. The bearing member l4 and the bung 3 are to be made of insulating material. The heating elements 4 are the usual type which comprise a suit- 25 able resistance member which becomes heated when the current is turned on, this resistance member preferably being enclosed in an outer sheathing which is impervious to water. Each heating element 4 is connected in a suitable circuit l5, and if desired the circuits for the two separate heating elements may be connected in parallel and receive their electrical energy from any suitable source. Merely for illustrative purposes there is shown a source of electricity I6 having the leads I! to which the circuit wires l5 are connected. This same source of electricity may also be used for operating the motor 1, the current being supplied to the motor through a motor circuit 41.
In aging the liquor by heating it it is desirable that the temperature of the liquor should not exceed a predetermined amount, and to provide for this I propose to employ a thermostatic control for the heating circuit I! which is arranged so that when the temperature of the liquor in the barrel l reaches a predetermined point the heating circuit l'l will be opened automatically.
Any suitable thermostatic control may be employed. That herein shown comprises a chamber l8 containing a suitable liquid or gas and which is connected by a pipe connection l9 to the control device 20. This control device is of the known type having a switch which will be opened automatically when the pressure in the chamber l8 rises to a predetermined point and will be closed automatically when the pressure falls below a predetermined point. The pressure in the chamber l8, of course, varies with the temperature and the construction is such that when the temperature of the liquor reaches the upper limit the pressure in the chamber l8 will have been built up sufliciently to open the switch of the control device 28. When the temperature of the liquor falls below a lower limit then the reduction in pressure in the chamber l8 results in closing the switch of the control device again.
In Fig. 3 I have shown an embodiment of the invention wherein the bung 3 carries two electrodes 2|, 22 which are in the same circuit, the lower ends of the electrodes being secured to the bearing member M of insulated material. In the operation of this embodiment of the invention the current passes from one electrode to the otherthrough the liquor, and the liquor occupying the space between the electrodes is thus subjected to the action ofthe electric current. This tends to heat the liquor and also to assist in theaging operation. The agitating blades 6 keep the liquor in circulation so that all the liquor in the barrel is brought Within the electrifled zone between the electrodes 2|, 22.
25 is an expansion tank which is secured to the frame 9 and has a pipe 26 connected thereto which leads through the bung 3 and terminates within the keg The purpose of this expansion tank is to provide for overflow of the liquor when it expands as it is heated.
21 represents a, handle by which the unit may be manipulated. v
,1. An'apparatus for aging liquor in the keg comprising a bung member of a size to fit the bung-hole of the keg, a heating member carried by and depending from the bung, a bearing member secured to and supported by the heating member at its lower end, a shaft extending through the bung and the bearing member, an agitator on said shaft below the heating member, a motor-supporting frame secured to the bung and having portions constituting feet to rest on the keg at points, spaced from the bung when the latter is occupying the bung-hole of the keg, and a motor carried by said frame for rotating said shaft.
2. An apparatus for aging liquor in the keg comprising a bung member of a size to fit the bung-hole of the keg, a heating member carried by and depending from the bung, a bearing member secured to and supported by the heating member at its lower end, a. shaft extending through the bung and the bearing member, an agitator on said shaft, a motor for rotating the shaft, and a thermostat device responsive to changes in the temperature of the liquor in the keg for regulating the operation of the heating member. 7
' 3. An'apparatus for aging liquor in the keg comprising a bung member of a size to fit the bung-hole of the keg, an electric heating member carried by and depending from the bung, a bearing member of insulating material secured to and supported by the heating member at its lower end, a shaft extending through the bung and the bearing member, an agitator on said shaft, a motor for rotating theshaft, a supply circuit for supplying electricity to theheating element, and a thermostat device responsive to changes in the temperature of the liquor for opening the circuit when said temperature of the liquor rises to a predetermined point.
JOSEPH P. SPANG.