Imported: 10 Mar '17 | Published: 27 Nov '08
USPTO - Utility Patents
A vacuum still for the distillation of grape products has a boiler to heat grape products to a temperature at which nutriments have no or minimal damage, the vapors from the vapor space of the boiler passing through three condensers in series. A vacuum is applied through the condensers in series to the vapor space of the boiler, the concentrated grape product in the boiler being processed into a food product containing the nutriments and vitamins contained in the grape product.
This invention relates to a still for processing grape products under vacuum.
During the past few years large areas of plantings of vines have occurred and it is the belief of the inventor and many others grape juice production far in excess of the grape juice required for wine production will result in a large surplus of grape juice. This will result in lower prices not only for the wines but the return to the individual growers will be substantially reduced. This known to be happening at the present time, there is no market for the grape juice and large areas of vines will be left with the grapes rotting on the vine.
Grape juice is a natural food product being high in sugars such as fructose and glucose. In addition grape juice contains a large number of nutriments and vitamins and includes elements such as potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, chlorine as well as a number of elements in minor quantities.
In addition it is known to produce food products from grape juice, such as de-alcoholized white wine, grape nectar from concentrated grape juice having a consistency similar to honey, grape syrup having a consistency similar to Maple Syrup, and grape syrup with a chocolate flavouring used as a topping for ice cream.
However it is very desirable in processing grape juice for food products that the nutriments in the grape juice are not destroyed or harmed in any way.
Thus it is an object of this invention to provide a still for processing grape products in a manner to maintain or substantially maintain all the nutriments in good condition.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description, taking in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein, by way of illustration and example, an embodiment of the present invention is disclosed.
According to the present invention, although this should not be seen as limiting the invention in any way, there is provided a still for processing a grape product, Comprising a boiler for containing the grape product to be heated, a heater for heating the grape product in the boiler to temperature below which possible damage may occur to the nutriments in the grape product, and vacuum means to apply a reduced pressure in the boiler through a condenser system to remove the volatiles from the grape product.
Preferably the grape product is heated to a temperature in the range of 122 F. (50 C.) to 156 F. (70 C.).
Preferably the pressure in the boiler is reduced close to zero atmospheric pressure.
Preferably the condenser system comprise a plurality of condensers connected in series, preferably three condensers.
Preferably the grape product is grape juice or de-acidified white wine.
The vacuum still has a storage vessel 1, a boiler 2, first condenser 3, second condenser 4 and third condenser 5. The boiler 2 includes a heating coil 6 fed by steam or hot water from a heater 7 through line 8, the boiler being supplied with the grape product by pump 9 though line 10.
Each condenser 3, 4 and 5 has a respective water cooling jacket 11, 12 and 13. pump 14 supplies cooling water from cooling tank 15 through water supply line 16 to flow through each cooling jacket in series, from jacket 13 through jacket 12 and return from jacket 11 through line 17 back to the tank 15.
Cooling jacket 11 of condenser 3 has the inlet of cooling coil 18 connected to the vapor space of the boiler 2 by vapor line 19, the outlet of cooling coil 18 opening into the condenser 3.
Cooling jacket 12 of condenser 4 has the inlet of the cooling coil 21 connected to the vapor space of condenser 3, the outlet of the cooling coil 21 opening into condenser 4.
Similarly cooling jacket 13 of condenser 5 has the inlet of cooling coil 24 connected by line 25 to the vapor space of condenser 4, the outlet of cooling coil 24 connected by line 26 to condenser 5, a vacuum pump 28 is connected by line 27 to the vapor space of condenser 4.
Thus it can be seen that the vacuum pump 28 through line 27 provides a reduced pressure through each of the condensers 3, 4 and 5 and respective cooling coil 24, 21 and 18 to the vapor space of boiler 2. As the cooling water flows through the cooling jackets in series from jacket 13 through jacket 12 to cooling jacket 11, cooling jacket 11 will be warmer than cooling jacket 12 which is warmer than cooling jacket 13. Thus during operation the vapors are further cooled as they pass through the coils of the respective condensers thus ensuring the greatest amount of condensate is removed from the vapors.
The vacuum still can be used for various liquids. If wine, such as de-acidified wine is the raw material, alcohol and water are the products produced, the water is excellent drinking water full of vitamins and nutriments, and the alcohol can be used for brandy or fortifying other wines. Alternatively the alcohol can be used as a fuel to produce power.
Grape juice, preferably de-acidified grape juice can be the grape product, whereby in the boiler the grape juice is concentrate, the vapors being condensed in the condensers to produce fruit water. The concentrated grape juice is the processed into a food product with a Baume of 37 to 43.
As shown taps are provided at the bottom of the boiler and the condensers to permit the removal of the resultant products.
While the vacuum still is primarily directed to the processing of grape products to produce products with vitamins and nutriments by operating at a temperature which preserves the quality of the nutriments, it can also be used for operation at higher temperatures. However it is preferred the vacuum still be used for processing a grape product in a temperature range of 122 F. (50 C.) to 156 F. (70 C.), more particularly at a temperature of 143.6 F. (62 C.).
While the drawing indicates steam is used for heating the boiler, it is to be realized other forms of heating can be used such as hot water, solar heated water, electrical elements and gas heating. Also it is to be noted whereas the condenser system is described as three condensers in series, it is to be noted the invention also includes the use of two condensers in series, however it is realized not all the volatiles may not be removed.
Although the invention has been herein shown and described in what is conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is recognized that departures can be made within the scope of the invention, which is not to be limited to the details described herein but it is to be accorded the full scope of the appended claims so as to embrace any and all equivalent devices and apparatus.