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Publication numberUS3599843 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 17, 1971
Filing dateApr 14, 1969
Priority dateApr 14, 1969
Publication numberUS 3599843 A, US 3599843A, US-A-3599843, US3599843 A, US3599843A
InventorsJohnston Mack S
Original AssigneeRepublic Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Keg tapping device
US 3599843 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [111 3,599,343

KEG TAPPING DEVICE 3,410,458, which is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 587,627, Oct. 18, 1966, now Patent No. 3,442,448, which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 406,682, Oct. 27, 1964, now abandoned which is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 502,092, Oct. 25, 1965, now Patent No. 3,439,844, Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 395,084, Jan. 25, 1966, now Patent No. 3,231,154, which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 150,9 2 lflov., 1 9 6l,

[72] Inventor Mack S. Johnston 54 26 Claims, 8 Drawing Figs.

21 App]. No. 815,542 521 U.S.Cl o. 222/399, I ZZZ/400.7, 222/464 [22] Filed Apr. 14, 1 969 [SI Int. Cl. ..B65d 83/00, 565d 83/14 9 "11 l [so 1 Field of Search 222/4001, Republic Corpornfion 399, 400.5, 490, 507, 327, 398, 399, 46432116739097, Beverly Hills, Calif. Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. [56] References (med 814,833, Mar. 26, 1969, now abandoned UNITED STATES PATENTS Continuation-impart of application Ser- 2,223,0 l 2 l 1/1940 Wanderski et al. 222/4007 676,29], Oct. 18, 1967, which is 8 2,790,571 4/1957 Flaith et al. 2 l 7/99 continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 3,065,885 I 1/1962 Chatten 222/4007 611,610, Jan. 25, 1967, now Patent No. 3,439,844 4/1969 Johnston 222/398 Primary Examiner Raphael H. Schwartz Attorney-LeBlanc & Shur ABSTRACT: Disclosed is a tapping device for beer kegs and the like including a keg adapter semipermanently secured within the keg opening and a coupler releasable secured to the adapter. The adapter includes a axially movable subassembly containing gas and liquid passages and gas and liquid valves in the respective passages. The coupler includes liquid and gas passages and a depending probe for displacing the subassembly and thereby opening the liquid and gas valves whereby S gas under pressure is communicated into the keg and liquid is now abandoned. withdrawn therefrom.

PATENTEU AUG] 7 ISYI SHEET 1 OF 3 FIG? FIG!

INVENTOR m0 rrnH MACK S. JOHNSTON ATTORNEYS VIIIIIIJ PATENIED AUG! 7 I911 SHEET 2 [IF 3 PATENTEDAUGITISTI 3 599, 43

sum 3 1F 3 0 .new m %?A? 1 w w m w h i n! lm L. g

KEG TAPPING DEVICE This application is a continuation-in-part of copending application, Ser. No. 676,291, filed Oct. 18, 1967, now abandoned, in favor of continuing application Ser. No. 814,883, filed Mar. 26, 1969, which is a continuation-in-part of copending application, Ser. No. 611,610, filed Jan. 25, 1967 (issued Nov. 12, 1968 as U.S. Pat. No. 3,410,458); which is, in turn, a continuation-in-part of copending application, Ser. No. 587,627, filed Oct. 18, 1966 (issued Jan. 14, 1969 as U.S. Pat. No. 3,422,448); said application Ser. No. 587,627 being, in turn, a continuation of application Ser. No. 406,682 (now abandoned) filed Oct. 27, 1964; this application is also a continuation-in-part of copending application Ser. No. 502,092 filed Oct. 22, 1965, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,439,844, issued Apr. 22, 1969; which in turn, is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 406,682 (now abandoned) filed Oct. 27, 1964; said application, Ser. No. 406,682 being a continuation-inpart of application, Ser. No. 395,084 (issued Jan. 25, 1966 as U.S. Pat. No. 3,231,154) filed Sept. 8, 1964 and application Ser. No. 150,982 (now abandoned) filed Nov. 8, 1961; said application Ser. No. 395,084 being, in turn, a continuation of said application Ser. No. 150,982.

The present invention relates to a new improved tapping device for drawing fluid such as beer from containers such as beer kegs or barrels, using a gas to drive the fluid from the container, the tapping device including a keg adapter semipermanently installed in the keg opening at the brewery to seal the keg and a coupler which is releasably secured to the keg adapter at a beer dispensing establishment wherein the coupler and keg adapter have communicating gas and liquid passages for admitting gas under pressure into the keg and driving the beer from the keg. More specifically, the present invention relates to a new improved keg adapter for use with conventional beer kegs having standard three-quarter inch diameter openings and wherein the keg adapter is inserted into the keg opening from without the keg and has novel enlarged liquid and gas passages.

The present invention constitutes a novel improvement over the beer tapping devices disclosed in my U.S. Pat. No. 3,353,724, issued Nov. 21, 1967, and my copending application Ser. No. 502,092 filed Oct. 22, 1965. The majority of the beer kegs in use in the United States at the present time have a three-quarter inch diameter beer dispensing opening in the top wall of the keg and are designed to receive a tapping unit connected to the keg by means of a bayonet type coupler. Commonly, the keg is tapped by knocking in a hung sealingly engaged within the keg opening and inserting an elongated tap rod with an associated siphon device for drawing the beer from the keg, the latter being fastened to the keg by means of the bayonet type connection. These siphon devices include means for injecting gas or air under pressure through the tap rod into the keg and to drive the beer up through the siphon. External valves for controlling the flow of gas into the keg and the beer from the keg are also conventionally employed.

Modern tapping units have replaced the bung in the top of the keg with a keg unit or adapter which serves to seal the keg opening until tapped and carries liquid and gas passages for respectively transferring gas from the outside to the inside of the keg and liquid from the inside to the outside of the keg. Normally closed liquid and gas valves are disposed in the respective liquid and gas passages. It is generally desirable to install the keg adapter in the keg opening from outside the keg. It will thus be appreciated that the keg adapter body housing the valving apparatus and passages must be constructed as to be receivable within the three-quarter inch diameter opening. A number of variously constructed keg units have been proposed. Most however, do not take into account the facts of life concerning the dispensing of a quality beverage particularly where beer is dispensed and this constitutes a further constraint, in addition to the limitation imposed by the use of the keg opening, limiting the design of keg adapters, particularly the arrangement of the beer and gas valves and the size of the passages in the keg adapter. For ex ample, beer unlike any other liquids, must be handled with extreme care lest it lose those qualities such as taste, proper head and foam, and freedom from cloudiness, which the public demands. Thus, if the flow path from the keg to the dispensing apparatus is too tortuous or contorted or if there is too large a pressure drop across the tapping device caused by a restricted flow path, the beer will become flat or wild, i.e., too much foam. Thus, the valves and passages in the keg adapter must be specially constructed to avoid the foregoing problems and yet must be disposed in a keg adapter receivable in the small keg opening from without the keg while simultaneously ensuring the drawing of quality beer at a proper flow rate.

Furthermore, a keg adapter should not only be designed for successful tapping of a single keg to provide the desired flow rate and quality of the beer, but it has also been found desirable, particularly in many large beer dispensing establishments to provide kegs connected in series wherein a plurality of kegs are behind and dispense beer to a single faucet. In such installations, the tapping device in the first keg is connected to the gas source in the usual fashion. The beer outlet through the first tapping device is connected through suitable hosing to what would normally be the gas inlet on the tapping device in the next serially connected keg. Similarly, the beer outlet from the second tapping device or keg would likewise be connected by suitable hosing to what would normally be the gas inlet passage in the tapping device associated with the third serially connected keg. This type of hookup would be provided for all the serially connected kegs with the beer outlet of the tapping device associated with the last keg being connected to the dispensing faucet. It will thus be seen that the gas under pressure drives the beer from the first keg into the second keg with the beer in the second keg being driven into the third keg and so on with the beer in each keg being delivered to succeeding kegs until the beer is wholly dispensed through the faucet and all the kegs are empty. The passages as well as the associated valves therein in each of the tapping units must accordingly be designed as to accommodate the flow of both gas and beer. The flow through these passages must not be such as to diminish either the quality or the flow rate of the beer dispensed. It has been found where conventional tapping devices have been employed in kegs connected in series that the cumulative efiect of restrictions in the flow passages diminishes the flow rate of the beer to undesirable levels also diminishing the quality of the beer. This has been found to be particularly true where more than three kegs are connected in series.

A further problem associated with keg adapters of the type discussed is the possibility of the beer spitting when the coupler is initially applied to the keg adapter but prior to its final securement. For example, the coupler usually has a depending probe which opens the beer valve prior to final securement and hence sealing of the coupler to the adapter. Since the pressure in the keg normally exceeds the external pressure, beer will tend to flow through the partially opened beer valve and spit out of the keg between the coupler aml adapter before final securement and a seal therebetween is accomplished. Surging of the beer into the gas passages when the keg pressure exceeds the gas supply pressure is another undes rable characteristic of keg adapters of this type. In either case, beer enters undesirably into the gas passages, resulting in dried beer and yeast accumulations resulting in bacterial formations.

Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a novel, improved tapping device for liquids and the like having improved liquid and gas passages and valves therefor.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a novel improved beer tapping device having enlarged liquid and gas passageways.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a novel, improved tapping device usable with a large number of kegs connected in series to a dispensing faucet wherein the rate of flow of beer through the faucet is not substantially diminished and is substantially the same as the rate of flow of beer through a faucet connected to a single pressurized keg utilizing the tapping device hereof. A related object of the present invention is the provision of enlarged liquid and gas passages wherein the cumulative effect of restrictions in the passages does not deletoriously affect the quality or the rate of flow of beer through the dispensing faucet in series installation.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a novel, improved keg adapter for use with kegs of the type having a three-quarter inch tapping opening and wherein the keg adapter includes a subassembly housing the liquid and gas valves and movable to provide an enlarged opening through the gas valve.

It is still further an object of the present invention to provide a novel, improved keg adapter having beer and gas passages and valves therefor and including a novel check valve for preventing spitting and surging of the beer when the keg is tapped.

It is a related object of the present invention to provide a novel, improved keg tapping device comprised of a substantially all metal construction. and which is inexpensively constructed, easy to install, rugged in use, and reliable in operation.

These and further objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent upon reference to the following specification, appended claims and drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view of a beer keg and a tapping device therefor constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of parts forming the keg adapter of the tapping device hereof;

FIG. 3 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the keg adapter hereof as installed in a keg with parts broken out for ease of illustration;

FIG. 4 is a plan view thereof;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 3 illustrating the liquid valve in the keg adapter in an open position as opened by the lower end of the probe of a coupler unit;

FIG. 6 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the coupler unit and keg adapter illustrating the coupler unit in final securement to the keg adapter about the keg opening and with the liquid and gas valves in the keg adapter in an open position;

FIG. 7 is a schematic illustration of the tapping device hereof utilized in a series installation; and

FIG. 8 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the lower end of the keg adapter illustrating the check valve in a closed position.

Referring now to FIG. 1, there is illustrated a conventional beer keg 10 having an opening 12 in its top wall 14 which receives the keg adapter A of the present invention, the adapter being semipermanently installed in the keg 10 at the brewery. A dispenser coupler unit 8 forming a part of the keg tapping device hereof may be readily connected with keg adapter A at the beer dispensing establishment to form a complete tapping assembly as hereinafter amplified. Briefly, the coupler unit B has a gas inlet port 16 adapted to receive a coupler 18 attached to the end of a gas supply hose 20 which, in turn, communicates with a source of gas or air under pressure indicated at 22. If desired, a valve 24 may be placed in the hose 20 so that the gas or air pressure may be controlled at the location of keg I0. The coupler B has a beer exit fitting 26 attachable to the end of a flexible hose 28 by means of which beer is supplied from keg 10 to a dispensing faucet 30. A suitable valve 32 may be provided in beer dispensing hose 28 as desired for controlling the flow of beer from keg 10. The arrangement shown in FIG. 1 is merely for the purpose of illustrating the usage of the present invention and the components thereof other than the tapping unit comprising the keg adapter A and the coupler unit B are conventional and do not comprise any part of the present invention.

Referring now to FIG. 3, there is illustrated the keg adapter A secured within the opening 12 of the keg l0. Keg opening 12 comprises a standard three-quarter inch diameter opening which is common to the standard so-called Peerless" type beer keg and includes an annular keg neck 34 having an outwardly projecting flange 36 adjacent its upper end. Keg adapter A includes a cylindrical housing or body 38 adapter to be received within the keg opening 12 from without the keg and having an outwardly directed flange 40 about its upper end. An annular recess is fonned on the underside of flange 40 for receiving an O-ring seal 42. For purposes as will become clear, an annular recess or groove 44 is formed about the inner wall of body 38 adjacent its upper end leaving an annular lip or rim 46. As seen in FIG. 4, the lip 46 is provided with four equally spaced notches 48. The lower end of body 38 terminates in a reduced diameter bore 50 defining an annular shoulder 52 with with the central bore 54 through body 38.

A retainer insert 56 is received within the upper end of bore 39 and comprises a polygonally shaped centrally bored member which, as seen in FIG. 2, is preferably cubic in shape and hence square in cross section. Insert 56 includes a central tubular bore 58 in coaxial alignment with the central bore 54 through cylindrical body 38. As best seen in FIG. 2, insert 56 has the lower end of each of its four edges cut away as at 60 in FIG. 2 to form curved or arcuate corners. The four comers are further notched as at 62 adjacent the upper surface of the insert to define a projecting shoulder 64 at each corner. To secure insert 56 in body 38, the insert is placed into the bore 54 and rotated until the shoulders 64 of the insert are aligned with and passed through the respective notches 48 through rim 46. The insert is then inserted further into bore 54 until shoulders 64 engage the lower edge of annular groove 44 which prevents the insert from further travel into the bore of body 38. Insert 56 is then rotated through approximately 45 into the position illustrated in FIG. 4 with the shoulders 64 riding in the annular groove 44. To retain the insert 56 in body 38, a locking ring 66 is radially contracted for insertion into bore 54 past rim 46 and is then permitted to expand to engage within annular groove 44 below rim 46 and above shoulders 62. In this manner, the insert 56 cannot be axially displaced from housing 38 in either direction, notwithstanding rotation of insert 46 to a position aligning shoulders 64 below notches 48. As will be seen from the ensuing description, the space between the sidewalls of the cubic insert 56 and the arcuate walls of the cylindrical body 38 define a portion of the gas passage through keg adapter A.

The foregoing described particular construction of the upper end of body 38 and its cooperation with the valve retainer insert is fully disclosed in my copending application, Ser. No. 676,291, filed Oct. I8, [967 and that disclosure is hereby incorporated by reference to that application as though fully set fourth herein.

It is a particular feature hereof that such gas passages are increased in size and to this end as seen in FIG. 2, the flat sides of insert 56 are cut out to provide longitudinally extending grooves 68. Accordingly, the space between the sidewalls of insert 56 and arcuate walls of cylindrical body 38 is substantially increased.

When keg adapter A is secured within the keg opening 12, the foregoing described parts, i.e., body, 38, insert 56 and locking ring 66, are fixed with respect to the keg opening. The keg adapter A is also provided with a movable subassembly generally indicated at 70 and which constitutes a continuation of the beer and gas passages to be described formed through the body 38 and insert 56 as well as housing the beer and gas valves for adapter A. Subassembly 70 extends coaxially relative to body 38 and comprises an upper sleeve 72 having an externally threaded lower end for threaded connection as at 74 with the internally threaded upper end of a sleeve extension 76, the lower end of extension 76 being, in turn, internally threaded to threadedly receive. as at 78, the upper externally threaded end of a valve retainer body 80. Sleeve 72 has a central bore 82 and an enlarged diameter portion 84 intermediate its ends to define annular shoulders 86 and 88. The upper end of sleeve 82 is received within the central bore 58 of insert 56 and opposite ends of a coil spring 90 respectively bear against shoulder 52 on body 38 and shoulder 88 on sleeve 72 to maintain shoulder 86 against the underface of insert 56. The upper end of sleeve 72 and insert 56 are preferably coterminal. Sleeve 72 defines with body 38 an annular passage within bores 50 and 54 for transmitting gas and/or beer into the key in cooperation with the spaces between the sidewalls of insert 56 and body 38 previously described. An O-ring seal 94 is provided about the lower end of sleeve 72 for sealing against sleeve extension 76. For reasons hereinafter disclosed, an axially outwardly facing shoulder is formed about the inner wall of sleeve 72 at a location spaced axially from its upper end.

A beer valve is carried by subassembly 70 and comprises an annular chuck washer 96 clamped between the upper end of retainer body 80 and a shoulder 98 on sleeve extension 76. Extension 76 and retainer body 80 have central bores 100 and 102 respectively and retainer body 80 has a reduced diameter bore 104 forming a shoulder 106 intermediate its ends. A valve is provided in retainer body 80 and comprises a disc 108 having a bifurcated stem 110 extending through the central passage in chuck washer 96. A pair of shoulders 112 are formed adjacent the upper ends of bifurcated stem 110 for reasons which will become clear. A projection 114 depends from disc 108 and the upper end of a coil spring 116 engages about projection 114 against disc 108. The lower end of spring 116 bears against shoulder 106 and spring 116 biases valve 108 into a normally closed sealing position against chuck washer 96. The upper end of a siphon tube 118 is suitably secured within the bore 104 of retainer body 80 as by brazing or the like. The tube 118 is bent intermediate its ends as to lie offset from the side filling opening 119 of the keg for the purpose of avoiding interference with the filler rod when the keg is filled at the brewery. The lower end 120 of siphon tube 118 has truncated conical shape and, for reasons which will become clear, is spaced about the bottom wall of keg 10 when keg adapter A is installed in the keg at the brewery.

A valve actuating tube 122 is coaxially received within sleeve 72 and has an annular flange 124 about its lower end. The lower end of tube 122 rests on shoulders 112 formed on the upper ends of bifurcated valve stem 110 with the flange 124 on tube 122 retaining tube 122 against outward axial movement. It will thus be appreciated that downward movement of the tube 122 in keg adapter B displaces valve 108 against the bias spring 116 to provide a liquid passage through adapter A whereby beer may be withdrawn from keg 10 through the siphon tube 120, bores 104 and 102, the passage through chuck washer 96 and about the bifurcated stern of valve 108, the bore I00, the central passage through tube 122 and the upper portion of the central bore 82 through sleeve 72.

As noted hereinbefore, there is provided an enlarged gas passage between the sidewalls of insert 56 and body 38 and about sleeve 32. This passage is normally sealed adjacent the lower end of sleeve 72 by an O-ring 126 carried about the upper end of sleeve extension 76. The O-ring 126 seals against the inner wall of body 38 adjacent the lower end of bore 50. Displacement of subassembly 70 downwardly as seen in FIG. 6 in a manner to be described locates O-ring seal 126 beyond the lower or inner end of body 38 thereby providing an annular gas passage between extension 76 and body 38.

A novel, improved gas check valve 128 is provided about the lower end of body 38 to prevent beer from flowing or surging through the gas passage outwardly of adapter A when the keg pressure exceeds the gas supply pressure and spitting when the keg is being tapped. The novel gas check valve 128 comprises a sleeve of flexible material, preferably silicon rubber, secured at its upper end about the lower end of body 38. The lower end of valve 128 terminates below retainer body 80 in an annular formation radially spaced about siphon tube 118 as to permit liquid to pass from the keg about tube 118 into the valve 128. As seen in FIG. 2, a plurality of vertically extending slits 132 are provided adjacent the upper end of sleeve 128 to permit ingress of gas into the keg when gas valve 126 is opened. The gas may also flow into the keg between siphon tube 118 and formation 132. The lower end of retainer body is provided with a chamfered surface 134 adjacent formation for reasons as will become apparent in connection with the operation of the novel valve 128 to be described.

To install keg adapter A within keg opening 12, the siphon tube 118, valve 128 and body 38 are inserted into opening 12 until flange 40 rests on key flange 36. An externally threaded collar 136 is clamped over the flange 40 on keg adapter A to retain the latter, in cooperation with ring 138, secured within the keg opening. The securing m :ans including collar 136 and ring 138 is disclosed in my U.S. Pat. No. 3,422,448 issued Jan. 14, 1969; the disclosure of which is herein incorporated by reference to this patent as though fully set forth herein. As more fully described therein, ring 138 includes a thin wall section and inwardly and upwardly projecting diametrically opposite tabs 139 formed on its inner periphery. The ring 138 is snapped over the flange 36 as to rest on top of the keg with the tabs extending upwardly. Collar 136 is then placed over the upper end of the adapter and threaded about ring 138 whereby ring 138 is drawn up within the lower inside portion of collar 136 until the upper ends of tabs 139 engage the un' derside of keg flange 36. Thus, when collar 136 and ring 138 are assembled, they cooperate with the keg flange to securely lock the keg adapter B within opening 12 to prevent longitudinal or rotational movement of the unit 8 relative to the opening and seal the keg adapter A to the keg flange 36 by O- ring seal 42.

The coupler unit B is also described and illustrated in my U.S. Pat. No. 3,422,448. Particularly, coupler unit B comprises a generally cylindrical head 142 having a central vertically extending bore 144 of three diameters indicated at 146, 148 and 150. A tubular arm 152 having a central bore 154, preferably formed integrally with head 142, is adapted to receive the end of a piece of tubing for connecting coupler unit B to a tank of pressurized gas or air, such as the tank 22 shown in FIG. 1. The coupler unit B also includes a generally tubular probe 156 which is located within the bore 144 and which has a central bore 158 that forms the sole liquid passageway through the coupler unit. The exterior of probe 156 is provided with grooves 160 and 162 for receiving respective sealing rings 164 and 166 which may be O-rings of neoprene rubber. The upper end of probe 156 has an outwardly extending flange 168 having an outer diameter and thickness substantially equal to the inner diameter and depth of bore 146 whereby when the probe is positioned within the head 142, the upper end of probe 156 is aligned with the top of the head as shown in FIG. 6. The probe 156 is also provided with an O-ring seal 170 for sealing between the probe and the head 142 adjacent the upper end of the probe. A cap, not shown but fully disclosed in my aforementioned U.S. Pat. No. 3,422,448, threads about the u per end of head 142 to retain probe 156 in coupler unit B.

An annular member 172 is secured about the slightly enlarged lower end of head 142 by a snapring 174 and retains a collar 176 rotatably mounted on coupler head 142 between arm 152 and snapring 172. The collar 176 has a plurality of handle portions 178 formed integrally therewith and is internally threaded as at 180 for cooperation with the externally threaded portion of the collar 136 to secure keg adapter A within the keg opening 12.

In use, the keg adapter A is secured within the keg opening 12 at the brewery in the manner described previously. It will be noted that, prior to tapping, liquid valve 108 and gas valve 126 seal the respective liquid and gas passages through the keg adapter A with the O-ring 42 sealing between adapter A and keg flange 36. Annular formation 130 of check valve 128 is also spaced axially from the chamfered surface 134 as seen in FIG. 3. When the keg is at the dispensing establishment and is to be tapped, the coupler unit B is aligned over the keg such that the lower end of probe 156 engages within the upper end of bore 82 and sleeve 72, with the lower seal 166 sealing between the probe 156 and bore 82 as seen in FIG. 5. The lower end of probe 156 also engages the upper end of tube 122 and downward movement of coupler unit B on adapter A displaces the tube 122 and valve disc 108 downwardly against the bias of spring 116 to open the liquid valve. Collar 176 on coupler unit 8 is also threaded about collar 136, the downward movement of coupler B caused by this threading action causes the lower end of the probe 156 to fully open liquid valve 108. When the valve is fully open, the lower end of probe 156 then engages the internal shoulder 95 on sleeve 72. Further threading action between the collars 176 and 136 causes probe 156 to jointly displace the tube 122 and sleeve 72 downwardly. Thus, the entire subassembly 70 is displaced downwardly relative to body 38 and insert 56 with the liquid valve 108 being maintained in the fully opened position by the joint movement of the tube 122 and sleeve 76. Downward movement of subassembly 70 carries the gas valve 126 beyond the lower end of sleeve 38 to provide communication between the annular chamber between sleeve 72 and body 38 and the space within gas check valve 128.

When coupler unit B is finally secured to the keg in sealing engagement against keg flange 40 as by an O-ring seal 182 carried about the lower end of head 142, the valves 108 and 126 are maintained in their fully opened position as illustrated in FIG. 6. Note that the entire subassembly 70 is displaced downwardly when the keg is tapped and that the lower end 120 of siphon tube 118 is also moved downwardly to the position illustrated in FIG. 6 closely adjacent the bottom wall of keg 10. Accordingly, an open gas passage formed through the tapping device hereof comprising the bore 154 through arm 152, the annular passage between probe 156 and head 142, bore 150, the spaces between the sidewalls of the insert 56 and the inner wall of sleeve 72, bores 54 and 50, the annular opening between the lower end of body 38 and gas valve 126, and the slits 132 in the gas check valve 128. When the keg is tapped. the gas also flows downwardly through the annular passage between formation 130 and siphon tube 118 into the keg. The gas admitted under pressure drives the beer upwardly through the siphon tube 118 and bores 104 and 102, through the open valve 108 into the central passage through tube 122 and through the passage 158 in probe 156.

It is a particular feature hereof that spitting of the beer when the keg is initially tapped is prevented by the unique check valve 128. To this end, when the keg is tapped, the valve 128 collapses about retainer body 80 as seen in FIG. 8 due to the greater internal keg pressure, and draws the annular formation 130 at its lower end upwardly into sealing engagement about the chamfered surface 134 about retainer body 80. The collapsing of the valve closes slits 132 and this, in conjunction with the seal about chamfered surface 134, precludes admission of beer under pressure into the gas passages through the keg adapter. The beer within gas check valve 128 will thus not be under pressure and spitting will not occur.

In normal operation, the gas flowing into the check valve 128 through the open gas valve 126 will drive any beer within check valve 128 back into the keg. Anytime the keg pressure exceeds the gas supply pressure, check valve 128 will operate as previously described to preclude flow of beer into the gas passages. Since the subassembly 70 is displaced downwardly relative to valve 128, the lower end of the valve cannot be initially sealed against surface 134 as downward displacement of subassembly 70 would extend the flexible valve 128 such that beer flow through the valve body would be severely restricted. The valve, in other words, might become taut and bias the slits 132 shut to preclude sufficient flow particularly in a series installation. In the foregoing arrangement, the flow passage is always fully open when the external pressure is equal to or greater than the internal pressure and adequate flow is insured while spitting is prevented. The slits 132 plus the flow through the lower end of valve 128 provide a combined enlarged passageway for ingress of beer when the keg is in a series installation and thus there are no restrictions of the flow rate of beer in the series installation as well as when a single keg is tapped.

As evident from the foregoing, the described tapping device is particularly adapted for use in a series installation as the enlarged gas passages hereof permit passage of beer therethrough without restrictions in the flow path which might otherwise diminish the flow rate and quality of the beer. As seen in FIG. 7, the tapping device hereof is located in a plurality of kegs with the gas inlet 16 of the first keg connected to the gas pressure source 22 in the usual manner. The beer outlet passage from this first keg as well as the outlets from the succeeding kegs except the last keg is connected via a suitable hose 186 with what would normally be the gas inlet passage 16 on the tapping device of the next serially connected keg. The beer passage from the last serially connected keg would be connected to the faucet in the usual fashion. Accordingly, the beer flowing from the first keg would be admitted into the second keg through its tapping unit, particularly, the enlarged gas passages previously described. In accordance with the present invention, such passages are on the order of size as the beer passages whereby the rate of flow through the kegs to the faucet and the quality of the beer dispensed is in no way diminished.

What I claim and desire to be secured by United States Letters Patent is:

1. A keg adapter for semipermanent installation in the opening in one of the walls of a keg having top, bottom and sidewalls whereby the keg adapter seals the keg about the opening and provides for withdrawal of liquid from the keg, comprising: a generally tubular body receivable in the keg opening and having gas and liquid passages for respectively permitting ingress of gas into the keg and withdrawal ofliquid from the keg, a tubular member coaxially located in said tubular body and having a reduced diameter as to define an annular portion of said gas passage between said body and said member, means carried by said body for mounting said member for axial movement between first and second positions, a gas valve in said gas passage cooperable with said member for sealing said gas passage when said member lies in said first position and for opening said gas passage when said member lies in said second position, said mounting means including means biasing said member into said first position to maintain said gas valve in a normally closed position, said member being movable into said second position to open said gas valve, said member having at least a portion of said liquid passage extending therethrough, a normally closed liquid valve carried by said member in said liquid passage portion, a siphon tube carried by said member in communication with said liquid passage, said siphon tube being movable with said member, and a gas check valve carried by said body for preventing liquid flow into said gas passage when the pressure in the keg exceeds the gas pressure, said check valve comprising a flexible sleeve secured about the inner end of said body and having an annular formation adjacent its lower end about said siphon tube, said annular formation being spaced from said siphon tube to normally permit gas flow into the keg. said member carrying an annular valve seat about the lower end thereof, said annular formation being sealingly engageaol" against said annular valve seat in response to pressure in the keg in excess of the gas pressure.

2. A keg adapter according to claim I wherein said valve sleeve has a plurality of elongated slits spaced thereabo t for permitting flow of gas into the keg.

3. A keg adapter according to claim 1 wherein said annular formation is axially spaced from said annular seat when said member lies in said second position, said flexible valve being collapsible in response to pressures in the keg in excess of the gas pressure to displace said annular formation into sealing engagement against said annular valve seat.

4. A keg adapter for semipermanent installation in the opening in one of the walls of a keg having top, bottom and sidewalls whereby the keg adapter seals the keg about the opening and provides for withdrawal of liquid from the keg, comprising: a generally tubular body receivable in the keg opening and having gas and liquid passages for respectively permitting ingress of gas into the keg and withdrawal of liquid from the keg, a tubular member coaxially located in said tubular body and having a reduced diameter as to define an annular portion of said gas passage between said body and said member, means carried by said body for mounting said member for axial movement between first and second positions, a gas valve in said gas passage cooperable with said member for sealing said gas passage when said member lies in said first position and for opening said gas passage when said member lies in said second position, said mounting means including means biasing said member into said first position to maintain said gas valve in a normally closed position, said member being movable into said second position to open said gas valve, said member having at least a portion of said liquid passage extending therethrough, a normally closed liquid valve carried by said member in said liquid passage portion, said mounting means including a polygonally shaped insert having a central bore, and means for retaining said insert coaxially within said body adjacent the outer end thereof with the sidewalls of said insert and said body defining portions of said gas passage in communication with said annular gas passage portion, the outer end portion of said tubular member being slidably received in the central bore of said insert.

5. A keg adapter according to claim 4 wherein said liquid valve comprises an annular valve seat carried by said member and spaced axially inwardly of said insert, a valve element, a spring engaging between said member and said element biasing said element into sealing engagement against said seat, a tubular extension slideably received in said tubular member and engageable with said valve element, said extension being movable axially from a first position to a second position to open said liquid valve when in said second position and means for normally retaining said extension in said first position.

6. A keg adapter according to claim 5 wherein the outer ends of said member and said insert lie substantially in a common plane normal to the axis of said adapter, said member having an inwardly directed shoulder axially inset from the outer end thereof for engagement with a probe, the outer end of said extension lying intermediate the outer end of said member and the shoulder carried thereby when said extension lies in its first position,

7. A keg adapter according to claim 4 wherein said biasing means includes a spring engaging between said body and said member for urging said member in an axially outward direction, said tubular member including a shoulder portion engageable against said insert when said member lies in said first position to retain said member in said body against axial outward movement.

8. A keg adapter for installation in a keg having top, bottom and sidewalls with an aperture in at least one keg wall, whereby the adapter seals said keg and provides means for removal of liquid therefrom, said keg adapter being characterized in that it comprises: a generally cylindrical body adapted to be received in said keg aperture, means for securing said boc to the keg, means for providing a seal between the exterior of said body and the keg in which said adapter is installed, a sleeve carried by said body for axial movement between first and second positions, said sleeve defining a gas passage between said sleeve and said body for permitting gas to flow from the outside of said keg to the inside thereof, a gas valve in said gas passage and cooperable between said body and said sleeve to seal said gas passage when said sleeve lies in said first position and to open said gas passage when said sleeve lies in said second position, means for normally retaining said sleeve in said first position, said sleeve further defining a central liquid passage bypassing said gas passage to permit passage of liquid from the interior of said keg to the exterior thereof, a valve seat and a valve element in said sleeve, means carried by said sleeve for resiliently biasing said valve element against said valve seat to normally close said liquid passage, a

siphon tube means connected with the interior end portion of the liquid passage in said body, and an insert in said body adjacent the outer end thereof, said retaining means including a spring engaging between said body and said sleeve for urging the latter in an axially outwardly direction into said first position engaging said insert, said insert being adapted to preclude further outward axial movement of said sleeve, said insert having a central bore and a polygonally shaped cross section respectively defining a portion of said liquid passage through said bore and portions of said gas passage between the sidewalls of said insert and said body, a portion of said sleeve being slidably received within the central bore of said insert,

9. A keg adapter according to claim 8 wherein the sidewalls of said insert have axially exteneing grooves for enlarging the flow passage between said sidewalls and said body.

10. A keg adapter according to claim 8 wherein said body has a radially inwardly directed rim adjacent the outer end thereof, said rim having a plurality of notches spaced circumferentially, the comer edges of said polygonally shaped insert being received through said notches when said insert is inserted through the outer end of said body, means cooperating between said insert and said body to prevent axial inward movement of said insert when in said body, and a ring received through the outer end of said body and engageable between the under face of said rim and said insert to retain said insert in said body.

11. A keg adapter according to claim 8 wherein said valve seat and said valve element are spaced axially from said insert, a coaxial tubular extension slidably carried within said sleeve for axial movement between first and second positions, means for biasing said extension into said first position, said extension being engageable at its inner end with said valve element to open said valve in response to axial movement thereof into said second position.

12. A keg adapter according to claim 11 wherein the upper end faces of said sleeve and said insert are substantially coterminal adjacent the outer end of said body, a radially inwardly directed shoulder on said sleeve, axially inset from the outer end thereof, the outer end of said extension being located intermediate the outer end of said sleeve and said shoulder whereby a probe receivable in said sleeve first engages said extension to axially displace the latter to open the liquid valve and then engages said shoulder to open said gas valve.

13. A keg adapter for installation in a keg having top, bottom and sidewalls with an aperture in at least one keg wall, whereby the adapter seals said keg and provides means for removal of liquid therefrom, said keg adapter being characterized in that it comprises: a generally cylindrical body adapted to be received in said keg aperture, means for securing said body to the keg, means for providing a seal between the exterior of said body and the keg in which said adapter is installed, a sleeve carried by said body for axial movement between first and second positions, said sleeve defining a gas passage between said sleeve and said body for permitting gas to flow from the outside of said xeg to the inside thereof, a gas valve in said gas passage and cooperable between said body and said sleeve to seal said gas passage when said sleeve lies in said first position and to open said gas passage when said sleeve lies in said second position, means for normally taining said sleeve in said first position, said sleeve further defining a central liquid passage bypassing said gas passage to permit passage of liquid from the interior of said keg to the exterior thereof, a valve seat and a valve element in said sleeve, means carried by said sleeve for resiliently biasing said valve element against said valve seat to normally close said liquid passage, siphon tube means connected with the interior end portion of the liquid passage in said body, and a flexible gas check valve carried by said body and about said siphon tube for valving said gas passageway to the interior of said keg.

14. A keg adapter for semiperrnanent installation in the opening of one of the walls of a keg having top, bottom and sidewalls whereby the keg adapter seals the keg about the opening and provides for withdrawal of liquid from the keg,

comprising: a generally tubular body receivable in the keg opening and having gas and liquid passages for respectively permitting ingress of gas into the keg and withdrawal of liquid from the keg, a tubular member coaxially located in said tubular body and having a reduced diameter as to define an annular portion of said gas passage between said body and said member, means carried by said body for mounting said member for axial movement between first and second positions, a normally closed gas valve in said gas passage cooperable with said member for sealing said gas passage when said member lies in said first position and for opening said gas passage when said member lies in said second position, said mounting means including means biasing said member into said first position to maintain said gas valve in a normally closed position, said member being movable into said second position to open said gas valve, said member having at least a portion of said liquid passage extending therethrough, and a normally closed liquid valve carried by said member in said liquid passage portion including a valve seat carried by said member, a movable valve element, and a spring engaging between said member and said element for biasing said element into sealing engagement against said seat.

15. A keg adapter according to claim 14 wherein said gas valve includes an annular sealing ring about said member engageable with said body when said member lies in said first position, said ring being spaced from said body when said member lies in said second position.

16. A keg adapter according to claim 14 wherein said biasing means and said spring respectively urge said member and said valve element in like axial directions, the force exerted on said valve element by said spring being less than the force exerted on said member by said biasing means.

17. A keg adapter according to claim 14 wherein said gas valve precludes flow into and out of the keg when said member lies in said first position, and a gas check valve carried by said adapter for pennitting flow through said gas passage in one direction only.

l8. A keg adapter according to claim 14 including a siphon tube carried by said member in communication with said liquid passage, said siphon tube being movable with said member.

19. A keg adapter according to claim 14 together with a coupler unit comprising a cylindrical head, a tubular probe coaxially carried by said head and having a reduced diameter defining an annular gas passage between said probe and head, said probe having a liquid passage therethrough, means for coupling said coupler unit to said keg adapter with the liquid and gas passages in said coupler unit lying in respective communication with the liquid and gas passages in said keg adapter, and means on said probe for engaging said member in said first position to displace the latter into said second positron.

20. A keg adapter according to claim 19 including means carried by said probe for opening said liquid valve, said opening means and said engaging means carried by said probe and said liquid valve and said member being arranged such that said liquid valve is at least partially opened by said probe when said probe engages said member in said first position.

21. A keg adapter according to claim 14 wherein the keg wall has a laterally outwardly projecting flange spaced from the one wall including collar means releasably engageable with said body for securing said keg adapter within the keg opening, said collar means including a ring having a laterally inwardly extending projection for underlying the keg flange.

22. A keg adapter according to claim 23 wherein the outer ends of said member and said insert lie substantially in a common plane normal to the axis of said adapter, said member having a radially inwardly directed shoulder axially inset from the outer end thereof for engagement with said probe, the outer end of said extension lying intermediate the outer end of said member and the shoulder carried thereby whereby said probe first engages said extension to open said liquid valve and then said member to open said gas valve.

23. A keg adapter according to claim l9 wherein said valve seat carried by said member is spaced axially from the outer end of said member, a tubular extension slidably received in said tubular member and engageable with said valve element, said extension being axially movable from a first position to a second position to displace said valve element against the bias of said spring and thereby open said liquid passage, and means on said probe for engaging said tubular extension and displacing the latter into said second position.

24. A keg adapter for installation in a keg having top, bottom and sidewalls with an aperture in at least one keg wall, whereby the adapter seals said keg and provides means for removal of liquid therefrom, said keg adapter being characterized in that it comprises: a generally cylindrical body adapted to be received in said keg aperture, means for securing said body to the keg, means for providing a seal between the exterior of said body and the keg in which said adapter is installed, a sleeve carried by said body for axial movement between first and second positions, said sleeve defining a gas passage between said sleeve and said body for permitting gas to flow from the outside of said keg to the inside thereof, a normally closed gas valve in said gas passage and cooperable between said body and said sleeve to seal said gas passage when said sleeve lies in said first position and to open said gas passage when said sleeve lies in said second position, said sleeve further defining a central liquid passage bypassing said gas passage to pennit passage of liquid from the interior of said keg to the exterior thereof, a valve seat and a valve element in said sleeve, said valve element being movable independently of said sleeve, means carried by said sleeve for resiliently biasing said valve element against said valve seat to normally close said liquid passage, and siphon means connected with the interior end portion of the liquid passage in said body.

25. A keg adapter according to claim 24 including an insert in said body adjacent the outer end thereof, said retaining means including a spring engaging between said body and said sleeve for urging the latter in an axially outwardly direction into said first position engaging said insert, said insert being adapted to preclude further outward axial movement of said sleeve.

26. A keg adapter according to claim 24 wherein the keg wall has a laterally outwardly projecting flange spaced from the one wall including collar means releasably engageable with said body for securing said keg adapter within the keg opening, said collar means including a ring having a laterally inwardly extending projection for underlying the keg flange.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4509663 *Mar 29, 1982Apr 9, 1985Draft Systems, Inc.Locking mechanism and valve assembly
US4860931 *Mar 16, 1988Aug 29, 1989Romneya Trading Co.Keg tap
US5303845 *Aug 10, 1992Apr 19, 1994Yugen Gaisha Yakiniku Restaurant DaikoBeer self-service system
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US5937885 *Feb 26, 1997Aug 17, 1999Value Plastics, Inc.Fluid fitting coupling system
US7448653Jun 10, 2005Nov 11, 2008Value Plastics, Inc.Female connector for releasable coupling with a male connector defining a fluid conduit
US7806139Jan 20, 2006Oct 5, 2010Value Plastics, Inc.Fluid conduit coupling assembly having male and female couplers with integral valves
US7806151Apr 4, 2006Oct 5, 2010Entegris, Inc.Drum cap venting device
US9046205Dec 22, 2010Jun 2, 2015Nordson CorporationFluid connector latches with profile lead-ins
US20080251545 *Jul 2, 2008Oct 16, 2008International Business Machines CorporationLiquid Refrigerant Transfer Tool
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WO2006110752A2 *Apr 7, 2006Oct 19, 2006Entegris IncDrum cap venting device
Classifications
U.S. Classification222/399, 222/464.1, 222/400.7
International ClassificationB67D1/08, B67D1/00
Cooperative ClassificationB67D1/0832, B67D1/0802
European ClassificationB67D1/08B2A, B67D1/08A2
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 21, 1988AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: DRAFT SYSTEMS, INC., 19791 BAHAMA STREET, NORTHRID
Effective date: 19880219
Owner name: SECURITY PACIFIC BUSINESS
Mar 21, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: DRAFT SYSTEMS, INC., 19791 BAHAMA STREET, NORTHRID
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:SECURITY PACIFIC BUSINESS;REEL/FRAME:004945/0279
Effective date: 19880219
Owner name: DRAFT SYSTEMS, INC., A CA. CORP.,CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SECURITY PACIFIC BUSINESS;REEL/FRAME:4945/279
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SECURITY PACIFIC BUSINESS;REEL/FRAME:004945/0279
Dec 4, 1986ASAssignment
Owner name: SECURITY PACIFIC BUSINESS CREDIT INC., 45 SOUTH HU
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:DRAFT SYSTEMS, INC., A CA. CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004640/0257
Effective date: 19841010
Owner name: SECURITY PACIFIC BUSINESS CREDIT INC.,CALIFORNIA
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:DRAFT SYSTEMS, INC., A CA. CORP.;REEL/FRAME:4640/257
Feb 13, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: DRAFT SYSTEMS INC.
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:CONSOLIDATED GOLD ASSETS, INC., A CORP. OF CA.;REEL/FRAME:004361/0104
Effective date: 19801001
Feb 13, 1985AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: CONSOLIDATED GOLD ASSETS, INC., A CORP. OF CA.
Owner name: DRAFT SYSTEMS INC.
Effective date: 19801001