Title:
Chime for an Alcohol Containing Cask
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
There is disclosed a chime for an alcohol containing cask. The chime has an annular rim portion that is secured by snap fitting with a groove of the cask. The chime further includes a pair of opposing wing portions that extend outwardly from the rim portion beyond the cask. Each of the wing portions has a central portion and two side portions. Each of the side portions has an outer edge portion that slopes in a concave curvature of predetermined radius from the central portion to the rim portion.



Inventors:
Anderson, Ian (Cambridge, GB)
Grimwade, Stephen J. (Cambs, GB)
Application Number:
11/597129
Publication Date:
01/17/2008
Filing Date:
05/20/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D21/032; B65D21/02
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Primary Examiner:
VOLZ, ELIZABETH J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Levy & Grandinetti (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A chime for an alcohol containing cask, said chime comprising: an annular rim portion adapted for being secured with the cask, a pair of opposing wing portions extending from the rim portion beyond the cask, each of the wind portions having a central portion and two side portions, each of the side portions having an outer edge portion that slopes from the central portion to the rim portion.

2. The chime of claim 1 wherein the outer edge portion has a concave curvature of predetermined radius.

3. The chime of claim 1 wherein each of the central portions of the chime has an elongated aperture defining a handle portion in the central portion.

4. The chime of claim 1 wherein the central portion has a supporting edge portion with a stepped ridge portion for supporting other casks.

5. The chime of claim 1 wherein each of the wing portions are co-extensive and curve with the annular rim portion around the cask.

6. The chime of claim 1 wherein the chime comprises a plastic material.

7. The chime of claim 2 wherein each of the central portions of the chime has an elongated aperture defining a handle portion in the central portion.

8. The chime of claim 3 wherein the central portion has a supporting edge portion with a stepped ridge portion for supporting other casks.

9. The chime of claim 7 wherein each of the wing portions are co-extensive and curve with the annular rim portion around the cask.

10. The chime of claim 7 wherein the chime comprises a plastic material.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a novel chime adapted for use with an alcohol beverage cask or keg.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is known to contain alcohol, such as wine in bags contained in a cardboard type container. Further, it is known to use a bag inserted into a cask for storing beer in the bag. The use of this type of beer cast is becoming more common as a component part inserted into a home beer dispensing appliance. The home dispensing appliance typically has one or more doors through which the cask is inserted into the appliance. The dispensing appliance is primarily intended for use in domestic kitchens and lends itself to being readily placed on a kitchen counter top. Because kitchen counter top space is at a premium in most households, the appliance is constructed to minimize on the counter top space room required by the appliance. As a consequence, the clearance within the appliance for receiving the cask is not large making the insertion and removal of the cask cumbersome.

To complicate the space requirements further, the casks are typically provided with upper and lower chimes that extend beyond the cask. The chimes are used to support and protect the casks when the casts are stacked on top of each other for shipping and storage. The chimes have a rectangular profile when viewed from the side and have an annular ring form. These chimes make the fitting of the cask into the appliance difficult, as the cask and chimes have a small clearance with the cavity of the appliance. Accordingly, there is a need to facilitate the insertion and removal of the cask into and out of the appliance.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Present invention relates to a chime for an alcohol containing cask wherein the chime has sloping outer edge portions providing a tapering profile when viewed from the side. In particular, the chime normally attached to the top portion of the cask has the tapering profile. The sloping edge portions of the chime effectively shorten the longest diagonal direction across the chime and cask. This allows the cask and chimes to be tilted and rotated to facilitate insertion and removal of the cask and chimes into and out of dispensing appliance. Further, the tapering profile facilitates connection of a tap adapter of the appliance to the cask.

The chime with the tapering side profile has an annular rim portion that is adapted to be secured with the cask. The chime further comprises a pair of opposing wing portions that extend from the rim portion beyond the cask. Each of the wing portions has a central portion and two side portions that have an outer edge portion that slopes from the central portion to the rim portion of the chime to provide the tapering effect.

In one embodiment, the outer edge portion of the chime has a concave curvature of a predetermined radius whereby the outer edge portion generally slopes from the central portion to the rim portion.

In one embodiment to assist in the movement of the cask, each of the central portions of the chime has an elongated aperture that defines a handle portion in the central portion. Further, the central portion may have a supporting edge portion with a stepped ridge portion for assisting in the locating and supporting of other casks in a stacking fashion. The wing portions are considered to be coextensive and curve in the same direction with the annular rim portion about the cask. It should be understood that the chime may comprise a plastic material and the cask may comprise a metallic material and preferably is a stainless steel.

In accordance with an aspect of the present invention there is provided a chime for an alcohol containing cask. The chime has an annular rim portion adapted for being secured with the cask and a pair of opposing wing portions extending from the rim portion beyond the cask. Each of the wind portions has a central portion and two side portions where each of the side portions has an outer edge portion that slopes from the central portion to the rim portion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a better understanding of the nature and objects of the present invention reference may be had to the accompanying diagrammatic drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a front elevation view of a home beer dispensing apparatus in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of the home beer dispensing apparatus;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the chime of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a side view profile of the chime of the present invention; and,

FIG. 5 is an elevational view of the alcohol cast with the chime of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2 there is shown a home beer dispensing apparatus, appliance or unit 10. The dispensing apparatus 10 is primarily intended for use in domestic kitchens but may also be used in utility rooms, garages, domestic bars, caravans etc. While the preferred embodiment relates to dispensing beer, alternatively carbonated solutions or other alcohol beverages may be dispensed by apparatus 10.

The home beer dispensing apparatus 10 has a front wall 12 and a dispensing tap 14 protruding forward of the front wall 12. A drip tray 16 also protrudes forward of the front wall 12 and is adapted to support an open glass cask 18 below the dispensing tap 14. The home beer dispensing apparatus 10 further has a base 21 adapted to rest on a counter top in a kitchen. The front wall 12 is formed as an extension of two pivoting side walls 20 which may be moved between closed and open positions to allow the cask or cask 22 (see FIG. 2 in broken lines) to be inserted into the housing of the home beer dispensing apparatus 10. The housing of the home beer dispensing apparatus 10 further includes a top wall 24 and a rear wall 26. The rear wall 26 has a grill 30 that permits for air circulation within the home beer dispensing apparatus 10. An electrical cord 32 extends through the rear wall 26 of the apparatus 10 to provide a connection into a main electrical supply to supply electrical power to the electrical components housed within the dispensing apparatus 10. Alternatively, a 12 Volt DC supply input may be used.

The dispensing apparatus 10 has a cooling system 23 located behind and below cask 22 that is adapted to cool the cask 22 of beer when placed in dispensing apparatus 10. The dispensing apparatus 10 also dispenses the beer by providing a pressurized air supply (not shown).

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 5, the cask 22 is shown to have an upper chime 40 and a lower chime 42. The lower chime 42 has a rectangular shaped profile as shown in FIG. 5. The upper chime 42 has a tapering profile as shown in FIG. 5. The upper portion 38 of the cask 22 is provided with a groove 39 and a lower portion 37 of the cask 22 is also provided with a groove 39. Each of the chimes 40 and 42 has an inwardly directed flange 41 that is adapted to slide over the cask 22 and be snap fitted into securing relation with the groove 39.

In accordance with the present invention, the upper chime 40 is provided with curved tapering surfaces 52 such that the diagonal length from one bottom corner of the chime 42 and cask 22 shown in FIG. 5 to the tapered opposite corner is less than that of two chimes of rectangular shape in side profile attached to opposing ends of the cask.

The upper chime 40 has an annular rim portion 44 which carries the flange 41 so as to secure the annular rim portion 44 with the cask 22. A pair of opposing wing portions 46 extend outwardly from the rim portion 44 beyond the cask 22. The wing portions are shaped to curve and to be coextensive with the annular rim portion 44. Each of the wing portions has a central portion 44 and two side portions 50. Each of the side portions 50 has an outer edge portion 52 that slopes from the central portion 48 to the rim portion 44 with a concave curvature radius to provide the tapering effect.

Each of the central portions of the chime 40 has an elongated aperture 60 that defines a handle portion 62 for facilitating the movement of the cask 22. Additionally, the central portion 48 has a supporting edge portion 70 with a stepped ridge portion 72. The supporting edge portion 70 and stepped ridge portion 72 co-operate for the stacking of casks one upon the other for the purposes of storage or shipping. In particular, a corresponding cask having a lower chime similar to that of lower chime 42 is stacked on the upper chime 40. The step ridge portion 72 of the upper chime 40 is adapted to provide an inner support while the supporting edge portion 70 of the upper chime 42 is adapted to provide a horizontal support for the lower chime 42 of the cask 22.

The chime 40 preferably comprises a molded plastic material molded as a single part.