US 3343726 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
P 1967 C. R. JOHANNINGMEIER 3,343,726
BEVERAGE MIXER AND DISPENSER Filed Oct. 24, 1965 3 z I? 52 FIG 3 I N VENTOR.
CHARLES R. JOHANNINGMEIER BY% M ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,343,726 BEVERAGE MIXER AND DISPENSER Charles R. Johanningmeier, Springville, Iowa 52336 Filed Oct. 24, 1965, Ser. No. 504,318 Claims. (Cl. 222-129.1)
This invention relates to an apparatus for mixing and dispensing beverages and more particularly relates to such an apparatus that can be installed in a home refrig erator to provide for the mixing and dispensing of high quality carbonated beverages.
Beverages, including soft drink carbonated beverages, are being consumed at ever increasing rates. At the present time, such beverages can be purchased for home use only in bottles, or in a few instances, cans. This is somewhat inconvenient since the bottles must be returned in order to receive a refund on the deposit made at the time of purchase. Also, once a bottle or can of a carbonated beverage is opened the entire contents must be consumed within a short time or some, if not all, of the carbonation will be lost and the remaining contents will have a flat taste. This is particularly a problem when carbonated beverages are purchased in large quantity bottles.
Some restaurants, drug stores, and other establishments, as well as the familiar pop stands" seen at sporting events, fairs, races, and other events, dispense beverages from a bulk dispenser or fountain in which a beverage syrup is mixed with carbonated water or with carbon dioxide and the resulting beverage is dispensed in the desired amount to the customer for immediate consumption. Horever, commercial units of this type are all relatively expensive and not therefore readily salable to the individual consumer for use in his home. Also, such systems are generally quite bulky and generally not suitable for home use. Since the trend by the consuming public is to purchase goods in larger quantities at less unit cost, milk and other dairy products are more commonly being sold in large quantity containers and to a limited degree, are sold in dispenser containers stored in the home refrigerator. Beer is also now sold in small kegs for home use. However, no one to my knowledge has designed a suitable home use dispenser for carbonated soft drinks that is inexpensive enough to be attractive to the individual consumer.
It is therefore a principal object of the invention to provide an improved apparatus for mixing and dispensing carbonated beverages.
It is another object of the invention to provide an improved apparatus for mixing and dispensing carbonated beverages that is suitable for home use. In accordance with this object, the apparatus of the invention is designed to fit in most home refrigerators and thus utilize available refrigeration.
It is a still further object of the invention to provide improved apparatus for mixing and dispensing carbonated beverages, which apparatus is simple, substantially fool proof, and which can be produced and sold at a price attractive to the average consumer.
These and other objects and features of the invention will be readily apparent from a consideration of the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate a preferred embodiment of the invention and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an apparatus for mixing and dispensing beverages, which apparatus is made in accordance with the principles of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the apparatus of FIG. 1 showing the connections to the carbon dioxide eontainer; and
FIG. 3 is a rear view of the apparatus.
Referring now to the drawing, the beverage mixing and dispensing apparatus includes an enclosed somewhat rectangular shaped container 10 which has a front wall 12, rear wall 14, side walls 16 and 18, a bottom 20, and a top 22. The top 22 is formed with two concave recesses 24 extending from the front wall -12 to the rear wall 14. The recesses 24 are separated by a divider 26 which also extends from front to rear about midway between the sidewalls 16 and 18.
The recesses 24 provide places into which are removably seated two syrup containers 28 each of which preferably is a half cylinder. Thus, with the syrup containers 28 properly in place in the recesses 24, the flat side of each container 28 will be at about the same level as the top of the divider 26, and the top of the container 10 will therefore be substantially fiat. Each of the containers 28 has a connecting spout 30 on one end, as shown, the spouts 30 extending outwardly and downwardly from the front of the apparatus when the containers 28 are in place in recesses 24. These containers form the subject of my copending design patent application, Ser. No. 85,879 filed June 24, 1965.
Near the top of the front wall 12, and preferably centrally located, there is formed an inlet spout 32 which has fitted on its end a removable cap 34. The spout 32 provides a place for filling the container 10 with water, and preferably the spout 32 extends upwardly at a slight angle for a purpose described hereinafter. At the lower end of front wall 12 is an outlet 36 to which is connected a dispensing valve 38 of any suitable type. The outlet 36 is located at as low a point as possible in order that substantially all the contents of the container 10 can be discharged by gravity without tipping the container.
Removably mounted on the front wall 12 of container 10 is a panel 40. Panel 40 preferably has a notch 42 along its lower edge which notch 42 fits over the outlet 36 behind dispensing valve 38 to assist in retaining the panel 40 in place on the front wall 12. Panel 40 also has an opening 44 near its upper edge which permits the panel to be slipped over the inlet spout 32. Thus, the panel 40 is retained in place on the front wall 12 by engagement of the opening 44 with the inclined inlet spout 32 and by engagement of the notch 42 around the outlet 36. The panel 40 has afiixed to it two dispensing devices 46 of any suitable type and design which will provide for the dispensing of a metered amount of liquid each time the dispensing actuator 48 is engaged. The dispensing devices 46 are connected at their upper ends by suitable hoses 50 to the spouts 30 of the syrup containers 28. Thus, each of the metering-dispensing devices 46 is continuously fed syrup by gravity from the container 28 to which it is connected.
Along the rear edge of sidewall 16 there is formed a recess 52 which extends vertically to the top 22 from a point above the bottom 20. Recess 52 thus forms a platform 54 for supporting a container 56 containing pressurized carbon dioxide. A connector '58 is provided on the upper portion of rear vertical wall 60 of recess 52 for connecting the interior of container 10 to the outlet of the carbon dioxide container 56. A pressure reducing valve 62 is preferably provided in the line between the connector 58 and carbon dioxide container 56 to regulate the pressure of the carbon dioxide atmosphere in container 10. p
A second rectangular shaped recess 64 is also provided in sidewall 16 adjacent the recess 52. Recess 64 provided for the mounting of a fluid pump 66 which has its inlet and discharge sides connected by suitable hoses 68 to fittings 70 and 72 provided on the vertical wall 60. The pump 66 can be of any suitable type and is preferably powered electrically by batteries (not shown) or by connection to a source of electrical power. The pump 66 serves to withdraw gas from the top of the container through fitting 72 and pump the gas into the bottom through the fitting 70. When the container 10 is filled with water and a pressurized atmosphere of carbon dioxide is being maintained in the container 10 through connector 58, the pump 66 serves to circulate the carbon dioxide through the water by withdrawing it from above the water and introducing it into the water at a low level through fitting 70. The pump 66 will continuously circulate the carbon dioxide through the water until the water is saturated. The amount of carbon dioxide which the water in the container 10 will hold depends, of course, upon the temperature of the water and the pressure in the container 10. When the container 10 is placed inside a refrigerator or is otherwise cooled, the water can absorb a considerable amount of carbon dioxide by constantly re-circulating the carbon dioxide through the water. Over a period of time the water will thus attain the desired amount of carbon dioxide concentration for carbonated beverages. Although this is a relatively slow process, the desired concentration of carbon dioxide can be obtained by letting the pump 66 run overnight while the container and its contents are cooled to the usual temperature existing in a home refrigerator.
To prepare the apparatus for use in dispensing carbonated beverages, the user fills the container 10 with water, preferably cold water, through inlet spout 32, to a level below the top 22 and below the fitting 72 to which the suction side of pump 66 is connected. A filled syrup container 28 is then placed in each of the recesses 24 on top of the container 10, and each container 28 is connected by a hose 50 to one of the dispensing devices 46. A container 56 filled with carbon dioxide is then positioned in recess 52 and placed in communication with the interior of container 10 through connector 58 andpressure regulating valve 62. The entire unit is then placed in a refrigerator to cool the water and the pump 66 is started and allowed to run continuously.
When the .user desires to obtain a carbonated drink, he merely places a cup or other container under one of the dispensers 46 and draws a measured amount of syrup from one of the containers 2.8. He then fill-s the cup from the dispensing valve 38 with carbonated water. The agitation produced by the dispensing of the carbonated water will mix the syrup and water and result in a high quality drink. By using two syrup bottles 28, two different flavors of drinks can be provided. Obviously, the container 10 could be made larger with any number of syrup containers provided to provide a variety of flavors. However, the overall size of the unit should be limited so that it will fit into a home refrigerator.
The apparatus thus provides a very inexpensive and simple fountain-type home drink mixer and dispenser. A device of this type can be manufactured and sold for a price attractive to the average homeowner. Refrigeration is obtained by placing the apparatus in a refrigerator, and the overall dimensions and proportions of the apparatus should be sized so that this is possible. A unit constructed according to the principles of the invention will provide many drinks at a cost to the user much less than that of a bottled beverage and with a quality at least equal thereto.
Having thus described my invention in connection with an illustrated embodiment thereof, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various revisions and modifications can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is my intention, however, that any such revisions and variations and modifications which are obvious to those skilled in the art will be included within the scope of the following claims.
1. A beverage dispenser and mixer comprising, a closable fluid container that is substantially airtight when closed, means for introducing liquid into said container, means for introducing and supplying pressurized gas into said container, pump means for continuously recirculating gas in said container through the liquid in said container, said pump means having its inlet communicating with the interior of said container at a point above the maximum liquid level and its discharge connected so as to communicate with the liquid in said container near its lowest level, and means for dispensing the liquid from the container.
2. A beverage dispenser and mixer comprising an enclosed fluid container, a closable inlet for introducing water into said container, means on said container providing for connection to a pressurized source of carbon dioxide for introducing carbon dioxide into said container, a fluid pump having its suction side connected to the upper portion of said container at a point above the maximum water level and its discharge side connected to the container near the lowest water level for continuously recirculating the carbon dioxide in said container through the water, a syrup container for holding a quantity of beverage syrup, a metered dispensing device connected to said syrup container, and a dispensing valve near the bottom of said fluid container for controllably dispensing the carbonated water therefrom.
3. A method of producing carbonated liquid of a desired concentration comprising: introducing liquid into an enclosed, fluid tight container; filling the container less than completely full of liquid to provide a space above the liquid; introducing carbon dioxide gas into said container; maintaining a predetermined pressure greater than atmospheric within said container; and continuously recirculating said gas through said liquid by withdrawing gas from said space and introducing it into said container near the lowest level of said liquid until the desired concentration is attained.
4. A beverage dispenser and mixer comprising an enclosed fluid container, a closable water inlet spout projecting from the upper front of said fluid container, means on said container providing for connection to a pressurized source of carbon dioxide for introducing carbon dioxide into said container, a fluid pump having its suction side connected to the upper portion of said container and its discharge side connected to the lower portion of the container for continuously recirculating the carbon dioxide in said container through the water, a panel removably mounted on the front of said container, a syrup container for holding a quantity of beverage syrup, a metered dispensing device aflixed to said panel and connected to said syrup container, and a dispensing valve near the bottom of said container for controllably dispensing the carbonated water therefrom, said panel having an opening therein through which the water inlet spout extends when said panel is in place on the front of the container, whereby said spout partially supports said panel.
5. The beverage dispenser and mixer of claim 4 in which said dispensing valve is located on the front of said fluid container and said panel has a notch in its lower edge to fit around said valve so that said valve partially supports said panel.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 140,629 7/1873 Johnson 22213l 357,272 2/1887 Donavin 222-131 381,027 4/1888 Price 222 X 872,669 12/ 1907 McCormick 222132 X 2,032,722 3/1936 Schwab 222l31 3,185,348 5/1965 Pollack et al 222--130 X 3,206,069 9/1965 Jacobs et al 222-1291 X 3,266,672 8/1966 Dean 222129.1
RAPHAEL M. LUPO, Primary Examiner.