Patent application title: Wine Vat with Straight Interchangeable Staves
Pierre-Louis Zuber (Sierre, CH)
IPC8 Class: AB65D6100FI
Class name: Wooden receptacles barrels staves
Publication date: 2009-11-26
Patent application number: 20090289036
The wine vat with straight and interchangeable staves consists in a frame
comprising elements (1,2,3,4,5) inside which straight staves (6) are
assembled and held by wedges. The frame and staves form a rectangular or
square vat. Threaded stems (9,10,11) are assembled in the frame elements
and are held by bolts and elastic washers in order to offset size
differences from the staves expansion.
5. Wine vat comprised of:a. a frame comprised of a plurality of elongated vertical and horizontal elements and a floor, wherein each vertical frame element has an upper end and a lower end and wherein through the length of each vertical element there runs a threaded stem which extends out of at least one of the ends of the vertical element through which it runs; wherein each horizontal element has two ends and wherein through the length of at least two horizontal elements there runs a threaded stem which extends out of at least one of the ends of the horizontal element through which it runs; wherein the horizontal elements are joined to the vertical elements; and wherein the floor is joined to each vertical elements near the lower ends thereof;b. a plurality of horizontal straight staves where each vertical stave has (i) two ends with a protrusion formed at each end, (ii) two faces, and (iii) two sides, and where a wall of the wine vat is formed by stacking horizontal staves so that they are abutted against each other on their sides such that a face of each stave confronts the frame;c. a plurality of vertical straight staves having two faces and two grooved sides; wherein vertical staves are placed adjacent to vertical elements of the frame such that the protrusions on the ends of the horizontal staves forming the wall of the wine vat can be closely fit into the grooved sides of the vertical staves;d. an elastic washer placed over each of the threaded stems such that the each washer is in contact with the end of one of the frame elements; ande. a nut threaded onto each of the threaded stems such that it can be tightened down over the elastic washers.
2. Wine vat, according to claim 1, further comprising wedges placed between the horizontal staves and the vertical frame elements.
This invention relates to a wine vat with straight and
interchangeable staves and more particularly to a wine vat including a
frame comprised of expanding elements and straight staves.
Several types of vats are used in the winemaking industry, i.e. stainless steel vats, concrete vats with ceramic liners, or barrels made of oak staves which are used for providing an oak and tannin taste to the wine.
Oak barrels or casks consist of arc shaped staves joined together, then strapped with steel to withstand the very strong pressures caused by expansion of the wood.
Prior art oak barrels or casks are very expensive to make. Furthermore, in order to obtain consistency in oak taste, they are usable for only three or four vinifications as subsequent vinifications no longer yield the same oak cask or tannin taste characteristics. Enologists and cellar operators are therefore often forced to buy new barrels for subsequent vinifications, which further increases the expense.
The object of this invention, therefore, is to provide a remedy to the disadvantages of the prior art oak barrels or casks.
The wine vat of the present invention is formed by abutting horizontal and vertical straight staves against each other to form the walls of a rectangular or square tank. A frame, i.e. a metallic frame, includes stationary elements as well as elements that are moveable due to the action of elastic washers in response to vertical and lateral expansions of the staves. The straight staves have interlinking tabs and grooves that enable them to attach to each other inside the frame. The straight staves are very easily interchangeable while keeping the same basic frame. The straight staves are also reversible, one face being used for a first vinification, the other face being used for a second vinification by a simple disassembly and reassembly. The staves being straight, a simple planing can bring back the same characteristics for obtaining a consistent taste.
The annexed drawings schematically illustrate, as examples, the principles of this invention.
FIG. 1 is a front view of the wine vat.
FIG. 2 is a side view of the wine vat.
FIG. 3 is a cross-section of a stave fastening mode with wedges.
FIG. 4 is a lateral cross-section view of the interlinking staves.
First, in reference to FIG. 1, the wine vat comprises a frame consisting of horizontal elements 1, 5, and vertical elements 2, 3, 4. Straight horizontal staves 6, 7 and straight vertical staves 28, 29 are assembled inside the frame. Straight staves can be made of oak and the elements constituting the frame can be made of fluid resisting materials, ferrous or non ferrous, or of composite materials. A floor 8 is assembled at the bottom of the vat. Floor 8 can be made of ferrous or non-ferrous materials or of any fluid resisting materials, or it can be made of straight staves. Threaded stems 9, 10, 11 are run through the length of the frame elements. Elastic washers 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 are placed onto the threaded stems, next to the elements constituting the frame. These washers absorb expansion caused when the staves are in contact with fluid. Nuts 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 are threaded onto the upper and lower extremities of the threaded stems. Fastening lugs 24, 25, 26, 27 are used to join the vat elements.
FIG. 2 is a side view of the vat. A threaded stem 33 is run through upper frame element 1. A nut 32 and elastic washer 31 assembly is fixed at one extremity of stem 33 which is connected to lugs 24 and 30. Elastic washer 31 absorbs the expansion of the wood staves.
FIG. 3 shows straight stave 6 held in place against frame element 4, by wedges 34. This use of wedges avoids the need for any other means of attachment that could jeopardize the perfect watertightness of the assembly.
FIG. 4 shows the joinder between horizontal staves 6 and vertical staves 28 by tabs 35 made at the extremities of a horizontal stave 6, and inserted into grooves 36 made in the vertical staves 28. Vertical stave 28 includes grooves on each side, so that vertical stave 28 is reversible.
As mentioned above, said staves can be made of oak or any other woodgrain. The staves are abutted against each other and the distortions are offset. It thus becomes possible to consider several woodgrain for the same vat according to the desired tastes.
Patent applications by Pierre-Louis Zuber, Sierre CH