US 2660352 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 24, 1953 R. E; RENARD y BEVERAGE DEF'OAMING DEVICE Filed Sept. l5, 1950 az. c` V////////////////// 1E-5' I t ,6 3/
POLA No .E EEA/men Af TORN E Y Patented Nov. 24,k 1953 UNITED STATES 2,669,352
BEVERAGE QEF-AMINQ Boland E. Renard, Los G2405 Calif., assignor to `Pacific Can Company, San Francisco, Califg'a corporation of Nevada Application September 15, v1950i Sfil N9- 135.1067
t Claims. (ci, ogs-tai This invention relates to new and useful improvements inlbeverage defoaming devices, and more particularly to the removal of larsebllbbles from the head spaceof containers of foaming llqids 'prior totaling andthe substitution therefor of small bubblesN of gas induced by treatment of the liquid in the can. The invention is particularly useful in the treatment of canned beer, ale, and the like, in that the large, ain-filled bubbles normally existing in the head space of the can immediately after being filled 'are burst and the head space is filled with small, creamy bubbles of CO2 induced by heating and'mildly agitatng the beer near the surface to cause bubbles of CO2 in the liquid to rrise Reference is made to the co-pending application of Earl E. Jeremiah, Serial No. 103,344, filed July4 7,1949.
The presence of'air inside cans of beer, ale and similar products is extremely undesirable because of the deleterious effect of the oxygen in the air upon the taste and color of the beverage ULDOn aging. Air may reach the inside of the can from either of two sources: First, the air maybe entrained in the liquid during lling of the can, the air usually being associated lwith CO2 gas, and rising to the top of the can in large bubbles of uneven size. Second, inasmuch as the can is ordinarily not filled t the top of the flange-fthe unilled portion being Vcomiionly termed' head space -air may ll ythis space before the cover is applied and be sealed in the can. The present invention is an improved apparatus and method for eliminating air from both sources.
Superheated steam is used to accomplish the above-,described purposes, which is advantageous in that steam isV readily available in a brewery with little or no cost. Further, steam Vcannot have a deleterious effect upon the beer other than a slight dilution, even if a particular can should comefto rest under the apparatus for a prot'i'aCted period due to stoppage of theA filling line.. Further, there is noV danger of noxious or toxic gases being Ytrapped in the cans, as may oiflcfu'rV if'an open name of gas is used to burn off-air bubbles and should accidentally becomeI extinguished; nor is the color of the beer affected, as may be the case with devices which burn oithe foam.
One of the features of the present invention is the fact that the apparatus used/to accomplish the invention is compact and thin'byreasonjof the unique construction thereof and this permits thel installation of the apparatus in existing brewery filling lines without 'material alteration thereof.
Another feature of the invention is the equal 'distribution of steam which Vresults'A from' the aa' baratos hereinafter, 'dosofib'ed- Tho. oqual distribution of steam permits accomplishment of burstlos of tho air bubbles. a minimum; of time llo further. permits. oslo. 'ol tliin,v compact @PeoratuS.
The construction of the apparatus further pro,- vidas for 'the formation both of a fog of steam and jot of. steal each independent of the other allo oooh lnolooo rltly .oolltlfolltitolo` All of'tho f' s footlll'. orlo advantages of tho oon.- ction of the apparatus and method arev hereinafter described in greater detail! 1n add ion, invearis'is provided to avoid condensation' or reduction inthey temperature of the sta brslhioldns tho apparatus vfrom told lilldripping beerwhich might Contact the evice.
With the above and other objects, features and vadvantages in view, the invention consists in the matters hereinafter set forth and more particularly pointed out irl the appended claims., refe ence being had therein t the accompanying (ira ings, illwhioh: L
Fris. 1 is an exploded View of tho parts Compos.-
.lng the apparatus;
" Fig. 2 is a bottom plan View of the body inem- Fig. 3 is a llc'mgitudinal vertical section of the device, Vthe line on which said section is taken being indicated by line 3``3 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 4 is av section Asimilar to Figf3 as indicated 'cans lli are rst lled with beer, ale or similar y foaming liquid in a conventional filler. vlvB'ecause or t e highspeed at which such fillers commonly ope ate, it ispractically impossible to avoid the presence of a large percentage of air within-` the large, uneven bubbles occurring in the head space ofthe can and the interstices of such bubbles. lli allowed to remain in the can, after sealingtlfie og'gygenin the entrapped air will adversely affect the color and taste of the beer. The present invention is installed in thel line between the filler and the can seamer so as to condition the beer rpr'ior'to sealing the cover 'on the can. The conditioner not only removes the large air-contain- A ing bubbles, but' alsollsI the headl space of the can with small, 'creamy bubbles of CO; with little or. 'no y,ir therein or in the interstces. Thus when the cover has been sealed on the can, little or no air is entrained.
The large bubbles Aof air are burst by passing l t'liijolfighA 'a heated fog or atmospriere of, preferably, superheatedsteam which elevates the temperatu're 'ot the gas'in the bubbles until they burst.
` jet of superheated steam is forced slightly be- 3 the head space still iilled with creamy bubbles displacing al1 air with a slight crown above the level of the ange, is passed to the seamer and the cover applied.
Steam, preferably superheatedUused in con-` junction with the apparatus hereinafter described, may be produced in any of various ways, as by the use of a thermostatically-controlled electric heater in the steam line leading from the boiler to the instant device. The line of superheated steam is divided into two branches, one branch leading to the portion of the device which creates the fog of steam and the other leading to the jet of steam which causes foam to rise and iill the head space of the cans. Suitable control valves may. be installed in each branch line, each independently controlling the amount of steam in each branch. A preferred means for supplying steam under pressure is illustrated diagrammatically in Fig. 6. Steam under approximately 100 p. s. i. is introduced to heating chamber i said chamber being cylindrical and provided with a thermostatically-controlled electric heating element 52 which holds the steam passing through chamber 5I at a desired temperature, preferably 300? F. A strainer 53 is provided in the line to remove undesirable material.
'Ihe steam thence passes to a S-Way valve 54. This valve is preferably solenoid-controlled and connected into the motor control circuit for the seamer (not shown) so that when the seamer is stopped the flow of steam will be diverted to tra-p 55 and will not pass through the conditioner system. It is important that the steam be diverted else the can stopped immediately under the conditioner will be spoiled because an excessive amount of CO2 will escape therefrom and the beer will become flat, which produces an unfavorable customer reaction. However, so that the conditioner is not cooled excessively during temporary shutdowns, which would result in condensation of steam and consequent dilution of the beer, a by-pass is established through pipe 51 around valve 5d, the amount of flow through said by-pass being regulated by valve 58 to accomplish the objects of the preceding sentence.
From the S-way valve 54 the steam branches into two pipes 6I and 62, having regulating valves 63 and 64, respectively, and leading to fittings I6 and 3 I as hereinafter described.
The device which is the subject of the invention comprises three members, a bottommost perforate screen I I, a chamber-forming body I2, and an uppermost drip pan I3. Drip pan I3 is elevated above body I2 to intercept any beer or other cold liquid which might otherwise contact the body and chill the superheated steam. Screen I I and body l2 nt closely together, forming a seal, and since the body is formed with a plurality of channels and passageways routed out of the surface adjacent the screen, the two members form a chest for the superheated steam. A separate passageway is likewise formed for the jet of steam, as hereinafter described.
Steam employed to produce the fog or atmosphere of steam is introduced through a pipe fitting IS xed to the surface of the body I 2 opposite screen member II. Body I2 is drilled out as indicated by numeral I1 at a diameter substantially equal to the inner dimension of fitting I6 in order to form a port for the ingress of steam. Port II communicates through lateral passage- Way I8 with longitudinally extending channel I9 lwhich iswlocated proximate one longitudinally extending edge of body I2 and extends practically the entire length thereof, being routed into the surface of said body I2. Leading inwardly from said channel I9 is a plurality of lateral grooves 2l disposed at right angles to said channel, likewise routed into the surface of said body, and spaced apart approximately equal distances. Said grooves 2I terminate in substantially rectangular cavity 22 recessed into the surface of said body, said cavity occupying substantially one-half of the bottom surface area of said body and extending along practically the entire length of said body along the edge thereof opposite channel I9.
Sealed against body i2 by a plurality of screws 23 is screen member Il, the bottom and top surfaces of which are planar. It will be noted that screen II is perforated in a plurality of small holes 2li in a zone immediately below cavity 22. By reason of screen member II being sealed against body member I2, the ow of steam is confined within the passageways defined by channel I9, grooves 2l, and cavity 22. The arrangement of said channel i9 and grooves 2l is such as to insure even distribution of steam within lcavity 22 so that the Various perforations 26 in screen II receive and. discharge substantially equal amounts of steam. Thus an even, homogeneous fog of steam is produced through which cans It pass.
As has been stated, in addition to the fog created by steam emitted from perforations 26, a jet of steam is also produced which penetrates the large bubbles on the surface of the liquid in cans I and raises a creamy foam which lills the head space. Such steam is introduced into the chest through fitting 3| on the upper surface of body l2, there being a communicating hole 32 in the body member providing an entry port. Groove 33 extends laterally from said port 32 in the direction of cavity 22, there being a raised zone 34 in cavity 22 to provide stock into which said groove 33 may be cut and thus to create a passageway for steam which is separated from the steam entering through port Il. Screen member II is imperforate in the line immediately below said groove 34 except that a single hole 35 is formed adjacent the end of said groove, said hole being of slightly greater diameter than perforations 2S. The location of hole 36 is such as to be above the line of the centers of cans IIl being treated.
Drip pan I3 is attached to the upper side of body member I2 by screws 4I, said drip pan being dimensioned so that it does not intersect fittings I6 and 33. The purpose of the drip pan is to prevent cold liquid such as dripping beer from contacting body member I2, and thus to prevent condensation of the steam within cavity 22. Thus said pan is connected to body I2 along its two longitudinal edges l2 and 43 but is elevated from said body intermediate said edges as indicated by reference numeral 44. Along the lateral edges of pan I3 are upstanding sides 45 which prevent liquid from running over said edges. The upper surface of pan i3 is thus concave and also elevated above body I2 except at. edges l2 and 43. Thus pan I3 traps liquids which might otherwise drip onto body I2 and chill same.
In operation, cans IB are passed from the filler so that their top anges pass immediately below the under-surface of screen II and the path of travel of the cans extends substantially the length of the perforated portion of said screen. Steam entering through tting I6 is distributed substantially uniformly throughout cavity 22 and thus is emitted through perforations 26 in a continuous, homogeneous fog. Said fog heats and expands the bubbles of foam on the surface of the beer so that they burst. Simultaneously, steam entering through fitting 3| is emitted from hole 3E in form of a jet of mild pressure, which penetrates the foam on the liquid surface approximately 1/2 inch below said liquid surface, thereby agitating the liquid and partially warming same, thereby causing the CO2 in the liquid to rise in the form of a creamy head which lls the head space of the can and substantially displaces all air. Said creamy head endures until after the cover has been sealed on the can; thus the sealed container has a minimum of deleterious oxygen. The relative emission of steam through perforations 26 and hole 35 may be controlled by means of valves 63 and El! as may the pressure of the steam to the two branches. Thereby the two functions of the apparatus and method are accomplished without using an excessive amount of steam which might dilute or cause atness of the beer.
It will be understood that whereas a preferred embodiment of the invention has been described and illustrated, changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appended claims. For example, containers other than metal cans might be used with the conditioner and liquids other than beer and ale treated.
What is claimed is:
1. In a conditioner for open containers of foaming liquids initially havinfr large bubbles, a chest positioned bove the path of travel of said containers, said chest having a screen member perforated in a zone beneath which said containers pass, a body member sealed against said screen member, said body member being formed with a cavity in its surface facing said sceen member and overlying the perforate zone of said `screen member, a channel cut into said body said channel to said cavity, said cavity, said L grooves and said channel forming with said screen member passageways for steam, said screen member having a hole in a zone beneath which said containers pass, an additional groove in said body member providing communication for discharge of steam through said hole, first means for providing steam to said channel and second means for providing steam to said additional groove.
2. A conditioner as dened in claim 1 which further includes a drip pan elevated above, said body member and being concave upward to catch liquid and prevent contact of said liquid with said body member.
3. In a conditioner for open containers of foaming liquids initially having large bubbles, a chest positioned above the path of travel of said containers, said chest having a screen member perforated in a zone beneath which said containers pass, a body member sealed against said screen member, said body member being formed with a cavity in its surface facing said screen member and overlying the perforate zone of said screen member, a channel in said surface of said body member extending along one longitudinal edge of said body member, a plurality of spaced, lateral grooves formed in said surface and extending from said channel to spaced points along the inner longitudinal margin of said cavity, said cavity, said grooves and said channel forming with said screen member passageways for steam, and means for providing steam to said channel.
4. In a conditioner for open containers of foaming liquids initially having large bubbles, a chest positioned above the path of travel of said containers, said chest having a screen member perforated in a zone beneath which said containers pass, a body member sealed against said screen member, said body member being formed with a cavity in its surface facing said screen member and overlying the perforate Zone of said screen member, a channel cut into said body member and a plurality of grooves leading from said channel to said cavity, said cavity, said grooves and said channel forming with said screen member passageways for steam, said screen member having a hole in a zone beneath which said containers pass, an additional groove in said body member providing communication for discharge of steam through said hole, said groove extending through a raised portion extending into said cavity, rst means for providing steam to said channel and second means for providing steam to said additional groove.
5. In a conditioner for open containers of foaming'liquids initially having large bubbles, a thin chest positioned above the path of travel of said containers comprising, a screen member perforated in a zone beneath which said containers pass and a superposed body member, each of said members having surfaces sealed together around marginal edges, one of said surfaces being formed with a cavity overlying the perforated zone of said screen member, a channel in one of said surfaces and extending along one longitudinal edge thereof and a plurality of spaced, lateral grooves formed in one of said surfaces leading from said channel to said cavity and forming a passageway for steam, and means for providing steam to said channel.
6. In a conditioner for open containers of foaming liquids initially having large bubbles, a thin chest positioned above the path of travel of said containers comprising, a screen member perforated in a zone beneath which said containers pass and a superposed body member, each of said members having surfaces sealed together around marginal edges, one of said surfaces being formed with a cavity overlying the perforated zone of said screen member, a channel and a plurality of grooves leading from said channel to said cavity and forming a passageway for steam, means for providing steam to said channel, said screen member being provided with a steam jet hole, one of said surfaces being provided with an additional groove providing communication for discharge of steam through said hole, and second means for providing steam to said additional groove.
ROLAND E. RENARD.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Stewart Mar. 27, 1945