Title:
Pressure regulating bottle cap
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cap that can be used to seal a bottle containing a beverage, such as a home-brewed beverage. The cap contains a hole in the center of a top of the cap and a liner behind the hole, the liner having a slit or opening thereupon. The cap allows for excess gas, such as carbon dioxide, to exit the bottle, while preventing unwanted materials from entering the bottle.



Inventors:
Robertson, Steven Wayne (Juneau, AK, US)
Application Number:
11/043441
Publication Date:
11/10/2005
Filing Date:
01/26/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
215/307, 215/311
International Classes:
B65D51/16; (IPC1-7): B65D51/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SMALLEY, JAMES N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NATIONAL IP RIGHTS CENTER, LLC (BLUE BELL, PA, US)
Claims:
1. A cap apparatus, comprising: a cap; a hole in a top of the cap; a liner inside the cap fitting under the top of the cap; and a slit in the liner.

2. A cap apparatus as recited in claim 1, wherein the liner fits into a threaded member inside the cap.

3. A cap apparatus as recited in claim 1, further comprising a bottle sealed to the cap, the bottle comprising a home-brewed beverage.

4. A cap apparatus as recited in claim 1, wherein the slit in the liner is ⅛ inch thick.

5. A cap apparatus as recited in claim 1, wherein the hole has a ¼ inch thick diameter in a center of the cap.

6. A cap apparatus as recited in claim 4, wherein the hole has a ¼ inch thick diameter in a center of the cap.

7. A cap apparatus as recited in claim 1, wherein the liner is made of buna rubber.

8. A cap apparatus as recited in claim 1, wherein the liner is made of nitrile liner.

9. A cap apparatus, comprising: a cap with a ¼ inch thick hole in a top of the cap; a liner made of buna rubber inside the cap fitting under the top of the cap; a ⅛ inch thick slit in the liner that fits into a threaded member inside the cap; and a bottle sealed to the cap, the bottle comprising a home-brewed beverage.

10. A cap apparatus, comprising: a cap; means for providing an opening in the cap to allow discharge of gas; and means for preventing entry of unwanted materials through the cap.

11. A cap apparatus as recited in claim 10, further comprising: means for securing the means for preventing entry of wanted materials onto the cap.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims benefit to provisional application No. 60/538,548, filed on Jan. 26, 2004, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present general inventive concept relates generally to the field of homebrewing alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages for retaining carbonation during the home brewing process. Moreover the present general inventive concept pertains specifically to such apparatus for screwing onto a Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottle, thereby keeping contaminants out of the bottle while maintaining sufficient carbon dioxide (CO2) produced during fermentation to carbonate the beverage.

2. Description of the Related Art

Currently, when a beverage is contained in a bottle with a standard cap, excess carbonation may accumulate in the bottle. This can cause unwanted side effects such as affecting the flavor of the beverage as well as causing the beverage to be more volatile when the cap is opened.

What is needed is a way to regulate and discharge excess carbonation from a bottle.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an aspect of the present invention to provide an apparatus and method related to a bottle cap that can allow discharge of excess (some or all) carbonation or other gases from the bottle while retaining the liquid.

The above aspects can be obtained by an apparatus that includes: (a) a cap; (b) a hole in a top of the cap; (c) a liner inside the cap fitting under the top of the cap; and (d) a slit in the liner.

The above aspects can also be obtained by a method that includes (a) a cap with a ¼ inch thick hole in a top of the cap; (b) a liner made of buna rubber inside the cap fitting under the top of the cap; (c) a ⅛ inch thick slit in the liner that fits into a threaded member inside the cap; and (d) a bottle sealed to the cap, the bottle comprising a home-brewed beverage.

The above aspects can also be obtained by an apparatus that includes (a) a cap; (b) means for providing an opening in the cap to allow discharge of gas; and (c) means for preventing entry of unwanted materials through the cap.

These together with other aspects and advantages which will be subsequently apparent, reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further features and advantages of the present invention, as well as the structure and operation of various embodiments of the present invention, will become apparent and more readily appreciated from the following description of the preferred embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings of which:

FIG. 1 is a top view of a cap, according to an embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a top view of a liner, according to an embodiment;

FIG. 3 is a perspective outside view of a cap and liner, according to an embodiment;

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the cap and liner, according to an embodiment; and

FIG. 5 is a perspective inside view of a cap and liner, according to an embodiment.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Reference will now be made in detail to the presently preferred embodiments of the invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to like elements throughout.

The present general inventive concept provides an apparatus and method that can be used in the homebrewing alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages as well as non-homebrewed beverages.

The present general inventive concept can include a round 28 mm polypropylene screw-on beverage cap fitted with a round 27.5 mm wide, 1/16th inch thick buna rubber or nitrile liner fitted against the 28 mm end of the cap, although other materials can be used for the liner as well. The 28 mm beverage cap can have an approximately 19/64 inch (or a ¼ inch or any size) diameter hole in the center. The buna liner can have a ⅛th inch slit (or any shape) in the center. The polypropylene cap serves to attach the liner to a standard PET bottle, although it can also be used for any type of bottle. The liner allows some carbon dioxide gas emitted during beverage fermentation to escape the bottle while simultaneously keeping contaminants out. The invention allows the fermentation of beers, wines, ciders, soft drinks, and other beverages in a contaminant-free environment, releasing some carbon dioxide gas, while maintaining enough carbon dioxide to provide carbonation to the beverage. The present general inventive concept can be easily adapted to other sizes of bottles and caps.

The liner can be held into place on the cap by fitting inside the threading of the cap, or any other attaching mechanism.

The cap can be hand-tightened by the user onto a PET bottle. The cap can be used during the homebrewing process of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages. A user can also place fruit juices or other ingredients into a PET bottle, add yeast, and screw on the invention. As the juices or other ingredients are fermented by the yeast, carbon dioxide gas is produced. The invention maintains some of the carbon dioxide gas inside the PET bottle, while releasing the excess that would otherwise cause the bottle to burst.

FIG. 1 is a top view of a cap, according to an embodiment. A cap 100 has a hole 102 in a center of the cap 100.

FIG. 2 is a top view of a liner, according to an embodiment. The liner 104 has a slit 106 in a center of the liner 104.

FIG. 3 is a perspective outside view of a cap and liner, according to an embodiment.

The cap 100 has a hole 102 in the center of the cap 100. the liner 104 is behind a top portion of the cap 100. The liner 104 has a slit 106 in the liner 104. As can be appreciated by the figures, gas can exit the cap through the slit 106 and the hole 102. However, the liner 104 can prevent entrance of unwanted materials into the cap 100.

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the cap and liner, according to an embodiment. The liner 104 has the slit 106 in a center of the liner 104 (although the slit does not have to be in the center). The hole 102 is not visible from the bottom of the cap.

FIG. 5 is a perspective inside view of a cap and liner, according to an embodiment. The cap 100 has a liner 104 inserted thereupon. The liner 104 can stay attached to the cap 100 by fitting into a threaded member on an inside of the cap. The liner 104 can snugly fit between a bottom of a top of the cap (not visible in FIG. 5 but behind the liner 104) and a first thread 105. This can avoid using glue, a washer, or other attaching mechanisms. A slit 106 in the liner 104 and a hole 102 in the cap 100 allow gas inside a bottle to escape.

When the liner is placed inside the cap, and the cap securely fitted to a PET bottle (or any other type of bottle), the invention serves to maintain carbonation to a fermenting or fermented beverage, simultaneously keeping contaminants out, and preventing the PET bottle from bursting.

It can also be appreciated that, in addition to a pressure regulating beverage cap, the device can be used for any other uses that require a bottle or other container, beverage or otherwise, to retain a certain level of gasses while expelling the excess. Modifying any combination of the hole in the polypropylene cap, the size of the polypropylene cap, the size or width of the buna liner, or the slit in the buna liner easily adapts the invention to different levels of carbonation or other form(s) of pressure retention.

It is also noted that any type of cap, bottle, or beverage can be used. Further, different sizes can be used for the hole and the slit, and the hole and the slit do not necessarily have to be placed in the center of the cap and/or liner but can be located in other locations as well besides the center.

Thus, embodiments described herein can overcome deficiencies of the prior art devices for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Additionally, stable levels of carbonation of the beverage can be easily maintained at a low cost per unit, using materials that may be FDA approved.

It is further intended that any other embodiments of the present invention that result from any changes in application or method of use or operation, method of manufacture, shape, size, or material which are not specified within the detailed written description or illustrations contained herein yet are considered apparent or obvious to one skilled in the art are within the scope of the present invention. The many features and advantages of the invention are apparent from the detailed specification and, thus, it is intended by the appended claims to cover all such features and advantages of the invention that fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation illustrated and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.





 
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