(19)
(11)EP 3 705 561 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
09.09.2020 Bulletin 2020/37

(21)Application number: 20170406.1

(22)Date of filing:  18.06.2018
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
C12C 13/08(2006.01)
C12C 11/00(2006.01)
C12C 13/10(2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 26.06.2017 KR 20170080651

(62)Application number of the earlier application in accordance with Art. 76 EPC:
18178279.8 / 3421585

(71)Applicant: LG Electronics Inc.
07336 SEOUL (KR)

(72)Inventors:
  • Hong, Jinpyo
    08592 Seoul (KR)
  • Min, Dullae
    08592 Seoul (KR)
  • Lee, Daewoong
    08592 Seoul (KR)

(74)Representative: Ter Meer Steinmeister & Partner 
Patentanwälte mbB Nymphenburger Straße 4
80335 München
80335 München (DE)

 
Remarks:
This application was filed on 20-04-2020 as a divisional application to the application mentioned under INID code 62.
 


(54)BEVERAGE MAKER


(57) A beverage maker according to an embodiment of the present invention includes a fermentation tank having an inner space, a water tank in which water is accommodated, and a supplier disposed between the fermentation tank and the water tank to accommodate a beverage ingredient. At least one accommodation space in which at least a portion of the fermentation tank or at least a portion of the water tank is accommodated is recessed in the supplier.




Description

BACKGROUND



[0001] The present invention relates a beverage maker, and more particularly, to a beverage maker including a supplier in which a material for making a beverage is contained.

[0002] Beverages are collectively referred to as drinkable liquids such as alcohol or tea. For example, beverages may be divided into various categories such as water (a beverage) to solve thirst, juice beverages with unique flavour and taste, refreshing beverages giving refreshing sensation, favourite beverages with an arousal effect, or alcoholic beverages with an alcohol effect.

[0003] Representative examples of such a beverage is beer. The beer is an alcoholic beverage produced by making juice of malt, which is made by sprouting barley, filtering the juice, adding hop, and fermenting yeast.

[0004] Consumers may purchase ready-made products made and sold by a beer maker or take home beer (or handmade beer) produced by directly fermenting beer ingredients at home or in a bar.

[0005] House beer may be made in a variety of types rather than ready-made products and may be made to better suit the consumer's taste.

[0006] The ingredients for making beer may include water, liquid malt, hop, yeast, flavouring additive, and the like.

[0007] Leaven, which is called yeast, may be added to liquid malt to ferment the liquid malt and assist production of alcohol and carbonic acid.

[0008] The flavour additives are additives that enhance the taste of beer, such as fruit, syrup, vanilla beans, and the like.

[0009] Generally, the house beer may include three stages, namely, a wort production step, a fermentation step, and an aging step, and it may take about two to three weeks from the wort production step to the aging step.

[0010] It is important for the house beer to maintain an optimum temperature during the fermentation stage, and the more the beer is more simply made, the more user's convenience is improved.

[0011] In recent years, a beverage maker capable of easily making a beer-like beverage in a home or a bar has been gradually used, and it is preferable that such a beverage maker is configured to be convenient.

SUMMARY



[0012] A problem to be solved by the present invention is to realize a compact beverage maker by optimizing a shape of a supplier disposed between a fermentation tank and a water tank.

[0013] Another object of the present invention is to provide a beverage maker which is capable of easily locking and unlocking a lid module of a supplier to an ingredient accommodation body.

[0014] Said objects have been adressed by the independent claim. Advantageous embodimentments are described in the dependent claims.

[0015] It is proposed a beverage maker comprising a fermentation tank having an inner space; a water tank in which water is accommodated; and a supplier physically disposed between the fermentation tank and the water tank to accommodate a beverage ingredient, wherein the supplier comprises an ingredient accommodation body in which an ingredient accommodation part in which the beverage ingredient is accommodated is disposed; a lid opening/closing the ingredient accommodation part; and a locking module locking the lid to the ingredient accommodation body, wherein the locking module is configured for unlocking the lid by a translational operation.

[0016] For example, a user may push an element of the locking module for unlocking the lid. Alternatively, a user may slide an element of the locking module for unlocking the lid. A translational operation may be more user-friendly than a rotational operation for unlocking the lid. The translational movement may be a translational movement in one single direction. It is also conceivable that the translational movement comprises a first translational movement in a first direction and a subsequent translational movement in a second direction. The first direction and the second direction may enclose an angle, in particular an angle of about 90° (ninty degree).

[0017] A beverage maker according to an embodiment includes a fermentation tank having an inner space, a water tank in which water is accommodated, and a supplier disposed between the fermentation tank and the water tank to accommodate a beverage ingredient, wherein at least one accommodation space in which at least a portion of the fermentation tank or at least a portion of the water tank is accommodated is recessed in the supplier to minimize a spaced distance between the fermentation tank and the water tank.

[0018] According to an embodiment, each of the fermentation tank and the water tank has a cylindrical shape, and a first accommodation space, in which a portion of the fermentation tank is accommodated, of the at least one accommodation space may have a curvature equal to or less than that of the fermentation tank, and a second accommodation space in which a portion of the water tank is accommodated may have a curvature equal to or less than that of the water tank.

[0019] According to an embodiment, the supplier may include a plurality of ingredient accommodation parts in which a plurality of ingredients are accommodated to be divided into each other, and the plurality of ingredient accommodation parts may be arranged in a line in a direction perpendicular to a first direction in which the water tank and the fermentation tank are spaced apart from each other to minimize the spaced distance between the fermentation tank and the water tank.

[0020] According to another aspect of the present invention for solving the problems, a supplier provided in a beverage maker may include an ingredient accommodation body in which an ingredient accommodation part is disposed, a lid opening/closing the ingredient accommodation part, and a locking module locking the lid to the ingredient accommodation body.

[0021] According to an embodiment, the supplier may further include a hinge part comprising a hinge shaft disposed on one of the lid and the ingredient accommodation body and a hinge shaft connection part disposed on the other one of the lid and the ingredient accommodation body and rotatably supported by the hinge shaft, and a torsion spring pressing upward rotation of the lid when the lid is unlocked. Thus, when the lid is unlocked, the lid may be automatically opened.

[0022] According to a further aspect the disclosure relates to a beverage maker comprising a fermentation tank having an inner space; a water tank in which water is accommodated; and a supplier disposed between the fermentation tank and the water tank to accommodate a beverage ingredient, wherein at least one accommodation space in which at least a portion of the fermentation tank or at least a portion of the water tank is accommodated is recessed in the supplier.

[0023] In an embodiment, the supplier comprises a first surface facing the fermentation tank and a second surface facing the water tank, the at least one accommodation space comprises a first accommodation space defined in the first surface to be recessed to accommodate a portion of the fermentation tank and a second accommodation space defined in the second surface to be recessed to accommodate a portion of the water tank.

[0024] In a further embodiment, the first accommodation space has a curvature equal to or less than that of the fermentation tank, and/or the second accommodation space has a curvature equal to or less than that of the water tank.

[0025] In an additional embodiment, a maximally spaced distance between the first surface and the second surface is greater than a minimally spaced distance between the water tank and the fermentation tank.

[0026] In a further embodiment, a maximally spaced distance between the first surface and the second surface is greater than a minimally spaced distance between the first accommodation space and the second accommodation space.

[0027] In an additional embodiment, the supplier comprises a plurality of ingredient accommodation parts in which the beverage ingredient is accommodated, and the plurality of ingredient accommodation parts are arranged in a line in a first direction perpendicular to a second direction in which the water tank and the fermentation tank are spaced apart from each other.

[0028] In a further embodiment, the supplier comprises an ingredient accommodation body in which an ingredient accommodation part in which the beverage ingredient is accommodated is disposed; a lid opening/closing the ingredient accommodation part; and a locking module locking the lid to the ingredient accommodation body.

[0029] In an additional embodiment, the locking module is disposed at the front of an extension line connecting a central axis of the fermentation tank to a central axis of the water tank.

[0030] According to a further embodiment, the beverage maker further comprises a dispenser dispensing a beverage stored in the fermentation tank, wherein a lever provided on the dispenser and manipulated to dispense the beverage is disposed at the front of the locking module between the fermentation tank and the water tank.

[0031] In an additional embodiment, the supplier further comprises a hinge part comprising a hinge shaft disposed on one of the lid and the ingredient accommodation body and a hinge shaft connection part disposed on the other one of the lid and the ingredient accommodation body and rotatably supported by the hinge shaft, and the lid rotates upward with respect to the hinge part to open the ingredient accommodation part.

[0032] In a further embodiment, the ingredient accommodation part is disposed between the locking module and the hinge part.

[0033] According to an additional embodiment, the hinge part is disposed on one side of the supplier, and the locking module is disposed adjacent to a side different from the one side on which the hinge part is disposed.

[0034] In a further embodiment, the beverage maker further comprises a fermentation module cover covering the fermentation tank and a fermentation module hinge part disposed between the fermentation module cover and the fermentation tank to rotate the fermentation module cover and thereby to open the fermentation tank; and/or a water tank cover covering the water tank and a water tank hinge part disposed between the water tank cover and the water tank to rotate the water tank cover and thereby open the water tank.

[0035] According to an additional embodiment, the hinge part, the fermentation module hinge part, and the water tank hinge part are disposed in parallel to each other.

[0036] In a further embodiment, the locking module comprises a button part protruding from a top surface of the lid and disposed to be pushed and/or a fermentation module cover locker locking the fermentation module cover to the fermentation tank is disposed on a top surface of the fermentation module cover and/or a water tank cover locker locking the water tank cover to the water tank is disposed on a top surface of the water tank cover.

[0037] According to a further aspect, it is proposed a beverage maker comprising: a fermentation tank having an inner space; a water tank in which water is accommodated; and a supplier disposed between the fermentation tank and the water tank to accommodate a beverage ingredient, wherein the supplier comprises a first surface facing the fermentation tank and a second surface facing the water tank.

[0038] In an embodiment, the supplier comprises an ingredient accommodation body in which an ingredient accommodation part in which the beverage ingredient is accommodated is disposed; a lid opening/closing the ingredient accommodation part; a hinge shaft disposed on one do the lid module and the ingredient accommodation part; and a locking module locking the lid to the ingredient accommodation body.

[0039] According to a further embodiment, the ingredient accommodation part is disposed between the hinge shaft and the locking module.

[0040] In another embodiment, the ingredient accommodation part comprises a plurality of ingredient accommodation parts, and the plurality of ingredient accommodation parts is arranged in a line in a first direction perpendicular to a second direction in which the water tank and the fermentation tank are spaced apart from each other.

[0041] According to a further embodiment, the beverage maker further comprises a dispenser dispensing a beverage stored in the fermentation tank,
wherein a lever provided on the dispenser and manipulated to dispense the beverage is disposed at the front of the locking module between the fermentation tank and the water tank.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0042] 

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a capsule in which a beverage ingredient is contained and a beverage maker having the capsule according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a view illustrating an overall configuration of the beverage maker according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the beverage maker of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a plan view of a supplier according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a plan view illustrating an ingredient accommodation body of the supplier when a lid module of the supplier is unlocked according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 6 to 7 are perspective views of the lid module of the supplier when the lid module is locked and unlocked according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a view of a locking module provided in the supplier according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the locking module when the lid module of the supplier is locked according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view illustrating an operation of unlocking the lid module of the supplier according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a supplier including a locker according to another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 12 is a partial exploded perspective view of the supplier of FIG. 11.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS



[0043] Reference will now be made in detail to the embodiments of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

[0044] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a capsule in which a beverage ingredient is contained and a beverage maker having the capsule according to an embodiment of the present invention, and FIG. 2 is a view illustrating an overall configuration of the beverage maker according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0045] The configuration view and the perspective view of FIGS. 1 to 2 are merely examples for convenience of explanation, and thus, a configuration and outer appearance of the beverage maker including the capsule according to the present invention is not limited thereto.

[0046] Also, it is assumed that the beverage made by using the beverage maker is beer in this specification, but types of beverages that are capable of being made by using the beverage maker may vary.

[0047] As illustrated in FIG. 2, the beverage maker includes a fermentation module 1, a supplier 3 connected to the fermentation module 1 through a main passage 2, a water supply module 5 connected to the supplier 3 through a water supply passage 4, and a beverage dispenser 6 for dispensing a beverage fermented in the fermentation module 1 to the outside.

[0048] The fermentation module 1 includes a fermentation tank assembly 11 having an inner space S1.

[0049] The fermentation tank assembly 11 may include a fermentation tank 112 in which an opening 111 is defined in an upper portion, and the space S1 is defined therein and a fermentation tank cover 114 covering the opening 111.

[0050] The fermentation tank 112 may be provided as an assembly of a plurality of members.

[0051] The fermentation tank cover 114 may seal the inside of the fermentation tank 112 and be disposed on the fermentation tank 112 to cover the opening 111. The fermentation tank cover 114 may include a main passage connection part 115 connected to the main passage 2.

[0052] Also, the fermentation module 1 may further include a beverage making pack 12 inserted into and accommodated in the fermentation tank assembly 11. The beverage making pack 12 may be a pack containing an ingredient for making a beverage.

[0053] The beverage making pack 12 may have a size less than that of the space S1 defined in the fermentation tank assembly 11. The beverage making pack 12 may be inserted into and accommodated in the fermentation tank assembly 11 in the state in which the ingredient is contained in the beverage making pack 12. The beverage making pack 12 may be inserted into and accommodated in the fermentation tank 112 in the state in which the opening of the fermentation tank 112 is open. The fermentation tank cover 114 may cover the opening 111 of the fermentation tank 112 after the beverage making pack 12 is inserted into the fermentation tank 112. The beverage making pack 12 may assist fermentation of the ingredient in the state in which the beverage making pack 12 is accommodated in the space S1 that is sealed by the fermentation tank 112 and the fermentation tank cover 114. The beverage making pack 12 may be expanded by a pressure therein during the making of the beverage.

[0054] According to an embodiment, the beverage made by the beverage maker may be made without performing a fermentation process. For example, a specific beverage may be made by putting water and an ingredient into the beverage making pack 12 and mixing the water and the ingredient. In this case, the fermentation tank 112 may function as a storage container for accommodating and storing the beverage making pack 12 containing the made beverage.

[0055] An example of the beverage that is capable of being made by the beverage maker is beer. The ingredient for making the beer may include water, malt, yeast, hop, flavouring additive, and the like.

[0056] The beverage maker may include both, the supplier 3 and the beverage making pack 12. The ingredient for making the beverage may be divided to be accommodated in the supplier 3 and the beverage making pack 12. A portion of the ingredient for making the beverage may be accommodated in the beverage making pack, and the remaining portion of the ingredient may be accommodated in the supplier 3. The remaining ingredient accommodated in the supplier 3 may be supplied to the beverage making pack together with water supplied from the water supply module 5 and mixed with the portion of the ingredient accommodated in the beverage making pack 12.

[0057] A main ingredient that is essential for making the beverage may be accommodated in the beverage making pack 12, and an additive added to the main ingredient may be accommodated in the supplier 3. In this case, the additive accommodated in the supplier 3 may be mixed with the water supplied from the water supply module 5 and supplied to the beverage making pack 12 and then be mixed with the main ingredient accommodated in the beverage making pack 12.

[0058] The main ingredient accommodated in the beverage making pack 12 may have a capacity greater than that of the other ingredient. For example, when the beer is made, the main material may be the malt of the malt, the yeast, the hop, and the flavouring additive. Also, the additive accommodated in the supplier 3 may be the other ingredient except for the malt of the ingredients for making the beer, for example, the yeast, the hop, and the flavouring additive.

[0059] The beverage maker may include only one of the beverage making pack 12 and the supplier 3. That is, only the supplier 3 may be provided without providing the beverage making pack 12, and all the ingredients for making the beverage may be accommodated in the supplier 3. In this case, all the ingredients accommodated in the supplier 3 may be supplied into the fermentation tank assembly 11 together with the water supplied from the water supply module 5. The main ingredient and the additives may be accommodated together in the supplier 3. The main ingredient and the additives may be accommodated in the supplier 3 may be supplied into the fermentation tank assembly 11 at the same time or successively supplied at a time interval.

[0060] Also, the beverage maker may not include a separate beverage making pack 12. Thus, a user may directly put a portion of the ingredients for making the beverage into the fermentation tank assembly 11, and remaining ingredients for making the beverage may be accommodated in the supplier 3. In this case, the user may directly put the main ingredient into the fermentation tank assembly 11, and the additive may be accommodated in the supplier 3. The additive accommodated in the supplier 3 may be mixed with the water supplied from the water supply module 5 and supplied to the fermentation tank assembly 11 and then be mixed with the main ingredient put into the fermentation tank assembly 11.

[0061] If the beverage maker includes both, the supplier 3 and the beverage making pack 12, the beverage may be more easily made. Hereinafter, the case, in which the beverage maker includes all of the supplier 3 and the beverage making pack 12, will be described as an example. However, the present invention is not limited to the case in which the beverage maker includes all of the supplier 3 and the beverage making pack 12.

[0062] The ingredient put into the beverage making pack 12 may be fermented as time elapses. The beverage completely made in the beverage making pack 12 may flow to the main passage 2 through the main passage connection part 115 and then flow from the main passage 2 to the beverage dispenser 6 and be dispensed from the beverage dispenser 6.

[0063] The fermentation module 1 may further include a temperature controller for changing a temperature of the fermentation tank assembly 11. The temperature controller may heat or cool the fermentation tank assembly 11 to adjust a temperature of the fermentation tank assembly 11 at an optimal temperature for fermenting the beverage.

[0064] The controller may include a refrigerant cycle device 13 including a compressor 131, a condenser 132, an expansion mechanism 133, and an evaporator 134. One of the condenser and the evaporator may be disposed in the fermentation tank assembly 11.

[0065] When the condenser 132 is disposed to come into contact with the fermentation tank 112, the refrigerant cycle device 13 may heat the fermentation tank 112 to adjust a temperature of the fermentation tank 112. In this case, the condenser 132 may be disposed to come into contact with an outer surface of the fermentation tank 112. The condenser 132 may include a condensation tube wound around the outer surface of the fermentation tank 112.

[0066] When the evaporator 134 is disposed to come into contact with the fermentation tank 112, the refrigerant cycle device 13 may cool the fermentation tank 112 to adjust a temperature of the fermentation tank 112. In this case, the evaporator 134 may be disposed to come into contact with the outer surface of the fermentation tank 112. The evaporator 134 may include an evaporation tube wound around the outer surface of the fermentation tank 112.

[0067] The temperature controller may further include a heater 14 for heating the fermentation tank assembly 11. The heater 14 may be installed to come into contact with the outer surface of the fermentation tank 112. The heater 14 may be provided as a heat generation heater that generates heat when power is applied. The heater 14 may include a line heater and be wound around the outer surface of the fermentation tank 112.

[0068] The refrigerant cycle device 13 may include a heat pump. The refrigerant cycle device 13 may include a flow switching valve (not shown). The flow switching valve may include a four-way valve. The flow switching valve may be connected to each of a suction passage of the compressor 131 and a discharge passage of the compressor 131. Also, the flow switching valve may be connected to the condenser 132 through the condensation connection passage and be connected to the evaporator 134 through the evaporator connection passage.

[0069] When the fermentation tank 112 is cooled, the flow switching valve guides a refrigerant compressed in the compressor 131 to the condenser 132 and guides a refrigerant discharged from the evaporator 134 to the compressor 131.

[0070] When the fermentation tank 112 is heated, the flow switching valve guides the refrigerant compressed in the compressor 131 to the evaporator 134 and guides the refrigerant discharged from the condenser 132 to the compressor 131.

[0071] Hereinafter, the supplier 3 will be described as follows.

[0072] The supplier 3 may be connected to a water supply heater 53 through the water supply passage 4 and be connected to the fermentation tank assembly 11 through the main passage 2.

[0073] The ingredient that is necessary for making the beverage may be accommodated in the supplier 3, and the water supplied from the water supply module 5 may pass through supplier 3. For example, when the beverage made in the beverage maker is beer, the ingredient accommodated in the supplier 3 may be yeast, hop, flavouring additive, and the like.

[0074] The ingredient accommodated in the supplier 3 may be directly accommodated into an ingredient accommodation part provided in the supplier 3. At least one ingredient accommodation part may be provided in the supplier 3. The ingredient accommodation part may be provided in plurality in the supplier 3. In this case, the plurality of ingredient accommodation parts may be partitioned with respect to each other.

[0075] The ingredient accommodated in the supplier 3 may be accommodated in a capsule. At least one ingredient accommodation part in which the capsule is accommodated may be provided in the supplier 3. When the ingredient is accommodated in the capsule, the supplier 3 may be configured so that the capsule may be seated and withdrawn. The supplier 3 may be provided as a capsule kit assembly in which the capsule is separably accommodated. The capsule may represent a capsule containing the ingredient for making the beverage.

[0076] The supplier 3 may be connected to each of the main passage 2 and the water supply passage 4. The water supplied into the water supply passage 4 may be mixed with the ingredient while passing through the ingredient accommodation part or the capsule, and the ingredient accommodated in the ingredient accommodation part or the capsule may flow to the main passage together with the water.

[0077] A plurality of additives different from each other may be accommodated to be divided in the supplier 3. The plurality of additives accommodated in the supplier 3 may be the yeast, the hop, and the flavouring additive, which are accommodated to be divided from each other.

[0078] When the plurality of ingredient accommodation parts are provided in the supplier 3, each of the ingredient accommodation parts may be connected to the water supply passage 4 through a supplier water supply passage and be connected to the main passage 2 through a supplier outlet passage.

[0079] The ingredient accommodation part of the supplier 3 and the capsule accommodation part of the supplier 3 may be substantially the same constituent. When the capsule is inserted into the supplier 3 in the state in which the ingredient is accommodated in the capsule, the capsule may be called an ingredient accommodation part. When the ingredient is directly accommodated in the supplier 3 in the state in which the ingredient is not contained in the capsule, the supplier 3 may be called an ingredient accommodation part. Since the ingredient accommodation part and the capsule accommodation part have substantially the same constituent, the case in which the ingredient accommodation part is provided in the supplier 3 will be described as an example for convenience of description.

[0080] The ingredient accommodation part in which the capsule containing the additives are detachably accommodated are provided in the supplier 3. The supplier 3 may be connected to the water supply passage 4 through the supplier water supply passage and be connected to the main passage 2 through the supplier outlet passage.

[0081] An opening/closing valve for opening and closing the supplier water supply passage may be installed in the supplier water supply passage.

[0082] A check valve for preventing a fluid of the main passage from reversely flowing to the ingredient accommodation part may be installed in the supplier outlet passage.

[0083] A plurality of ingredient accommodation parts 31, 32, and 33 may be provided in the supplier 3, and the plurality of ingredient accommodation parts may be provided to be divided into each other. Each of the plurality of ingredient accommodation parts may be connected to the supplier water supply passage and the supplier outlet passage.

[0084] Hereinafter, a first additive, a second additive, and a third additive may be accommodated in the supplier 3. For example, when the beer is made by using the beverage maker, the first additive may be yeast, the second additive may be hop, and the third additive may be a flavouring additive.

[0085] The supplier 3 may include a first ingredient accommodation part 31 in which a first capsule C1 containing the first additive is accommodated, a second ingredient accommodation part 32 in which a second capsule C2 containing the second additive is accommodated, and a third ingredient accommodation part 33 in which a third capsule C3 containing the third additive is accommodated.

[0086] The first ingredient accommodation part 31 may be connected to a first supplier water supply passage 311 guiding water or air to the first ingredient accommodation part 31 and may be connected to a first supplier outlet passage 312 guiding the water discharged from the first ingredient accommodation part 31, a mixture of the water and the first additive, and the air. A first opening/closing valve 313 for opening and closing the first supplier water supply passage 311 may be installed in the first supplier water supply passage 311. A first check valve 314 for preventing the fluid of the main passage 2 from reversely flowing to the first ingredient accommodation part 31 while a fluid of the first ingredient accommodation part 31 flows to the main passage 2 may be installed in the first supplier outlet passage 312. Here, the fluid may be the water discharged from the first ingredient accommodation part 31, the mixture of the water and the first additive, and the air.

[0087] The second ingredient accommodation part 32 may be connected to a second supplier water supply passage 321 guiding the water or the air to the second ingredient accommodation part 32 and may be connected to a second supplier outlet passage 322 guiding the water discharged from the second ingredient accommodation part 32, the mixture of the water and the second additive, and the air. A second opening/closing valve 323 for opening and closing the second supplier water supply passage 321 may be installed in the second supplier water supply passage 321. A second check valve 324 for preventing the fluid of the main passage 2 from reversely flowing to the second ingredient accommodation part 32 while a fluid of the second ingredient accommodation part 32 flows to the main passage 2 may be installed in the second supplier outlet passage 322. Here, the fluid may be the water discharged from the second ingredient accommodation part 32, the mixture of the water and the second additive, and the air.

[0088] The third ingredient accommodation part 33 may be connected to a third supplier water supply passage 331 guiding the water or the air to the third ingredient accommodation part 33 and may be connected to a third supplier outlet passage 332 guiding the water discharged from the third ingredient accommodation part 33, the mixture of the water and the third additive, and the air. A second opening/closing valve 333 for opening and closing the third supplier water supply passage 331 may be installed in the third supplier water supply passage 331. A third check valve 334 for preventing the fluid of the main passage 2 from reversely flowing to the third ingredient accommodation part 33 while a fluid of the third ingredient accommodation part 33 flows to the main passage 2 may be installed in the third supplier outlet passage 332. Here, the fluid may be the water discharged from the third ingredient accommodation part 33, the mixture of the water and the third additive, and the air.

[0089] The beverage maker may include a bypass passage 34 that allows the water supplied from the water supply passage 4 to bypass the ingredient accommodation parts 31, 32, and 33 so as to be supplied to the main passage 2.

[0090] The bypass passage 34 may be connected to the water supply passage 4 and the main passage 2, and the water or the air may bypass the ingredient accommodation parts 31, 32, and 33 and thus be guided to the bypass passage 34 to flow the main passage 2.

[0091] The bypass passage 34 may be connected in parallel to a passage of the first ingredient accommodation part 31, a passage of the second ingredient accommodation part 32, and a passage of the third ingredient accommodation part 33.

[0092] A bypass valve 35 for opening and closing the bypass passage 34 may be installed in the bypass passage 34.

[0093] The main passage 2 may be connected to the first supplier outlet passage 312, the second supplier outlet passage 322, the third supplier outlet passage 332, and the bypass passage 34. The main passage 2 may include a common tube connected to the fermentation tank assembly 11 and a combination tube connected to the first supplier outlet passage 312, the second supplier outlet passage 322, the third supplier outlet passage 332, the bypass passage 34, and the common tube.

[0094] The main passage 2 may be connected to the fermentation tank assembly 11 and be connected to the fermentation tank cover 114 of the fermentation tank assembly 11. The main passage 2 may be connected to the main passage connection part 115 provided in the fermentation tank cover 114.

[0095] The water supply passage 4 may be connected to the first supplier water supply passage 311, the second supplier water supply passage 321, the third supplier water supply passage 331, and the bypass passage 34.

[0096] The water supply passage 4 may include a common tube connected to the water supply module 5 and a plurality of branch tubes connected to the first supplier water supply passage 311, the second supplier water supply passage 321, the third supplier water supply passage 331, and the bypass passage 34.

[0097] The water supply module 5 may include a water tank 51 containing water, a water supply pump 52 pumping the water within the water tank 51, and a water supply heater 53 heating the water pumped by the water supply pump 52.

[0098] The water tank 51 may be connected to a water tank outlet passage 54, and the water supply pump 52 may be connected to the water tank outlet passage 54.

[0099] The water supply pump 52 may be connected to a water supply pump outlet passage 55, and the water supply heater 53 may be connected to the water supply pump outlet passage 55.

[0100] A flowmeter 56 measuring a flow rate through the water supply pump outlet passage 55 may be installed in the water supply pump outlet passage 55.

[0101] The water supply heater may be a mold heater and include a heater case through which the water pumped by the water supply pump 52 passes and a heat generation heater installed in the heater case to heat the water introduced into the heater case. A thermistor 57 measuring a temperature of the water supply heater 53 may be installed in the water supply heater 53. Also, a thermal fuse 58 for interrupting a circuit to cutoff current applied to the water supply heater 53 when a temperature is high may be installed in the water supply heater 53.

[0102] When the water supply pump 52 is driven, the water within the water tank 51 may be guided to the water supply heater 53 through the water tank outlet passage 54, the water supply pump 52, and the water supply pump outlet passage 55, and the guided water may be heated in the water supply heater 53 and then be guided to the water supply passage 4.

[0103] The beverage dispenser 6 may be connected to the main passage 2. The beverage dispenser 6 may include a beverage dispensing passage 61 which is connected to the main passage 2 and to which the beverage of the main passage 2 is guided. The beverage dispenser 6 may further include a dispenser 62 connected to the beverage dispensing passage 61.

[0104] An anti-foaming path 63 may be provided in the beverage dispensing passage 61, and an amount of foam of the beverage flowing from the main passage 2 to the beverage dispensing passage 61 may be minimized while passing through the anti-foaming path. A mesh filtering the foam may be provided in the anti-foaming path 63.

[0105] For example, as shown in Fig. 1, the dispenser 62 may include a lever 620 manipulated by the user and a tap valve including a micro switch for detecting the user's manipulation, but is not limited thereto.

[0106] The beverage maker may further include a main valve 9 for opening and closing the main passage 2.

[0107] The main valve 9 may be installed between a connection part 91 between the main passage 2 and the beverage dispensing passage 61 in the main passage 2 and between a connection part 92 between the main passage 2 and the fermentation tank assembly 11.

[0108] The main valve 9 may be opened to open the main passage 2 when hot water is injected into the beverage making pack 12. The main valve 9 may be closed to close the main passage 2 when the fermentation tank assembly 11 is cooled. The main valve 9 may be opened to open the main passage 2 when air is injected into the beverage making pack 12. The main valve 9 may be opened to open the main passage 2 when an additive is supplied into the beverage making pack 12. The main valve 9 may be closed to seal the inside of the beverage making pack 12 during the fermentation of the ingredient. The main valve 9 may be closed to seal the inside of the beverage making pack 12 when the beverage is aged and stored. The main valve 9 may be opened to open the main passage 2 when the beverage is dispensed by the beverage dispenser 6.

[0109] The beverage maker may further include a base 100 as shown in Fig. 1. The base 100 may constitute an outer appearance of a bottom surface of the beverage maker and support the fermentation tank assembly 11, the compressor 131, the water supply heater 53, the water supply pump 52, and the water tank 51, which are disposed thereabove.

[0110] The beverage maker may include an insulation wall surrounding the fermentation tank 112 and the evaporator 134 together. The insulation wall may be made of foamed polystyrene that is capable of absorbing vibration with high heat insulation performance.

[0111] The beverage maker may include an insulation wall cover 104 surrounding a circumferential surface of the insulation wall and a top surface of the insulation wall.

[0112] The insulation wall cover 104 may be provided as one cover or provided as an assembly of a plurality of covers.

[0113] A lower portion of the insulation wall cover 104 may be mounted on the base 100.

[0114] The insulation wall cover 104 may protect the insulation wall and define a portion of the outer appearance of the beverage maker.

[0115] The insulation wall cover 104 may surround the entire circumferential surface of the insulation wall or may surround only a portion of the circumferential surface of the insulation wall.

[0116] The insulation wall cover 104 may have a side opening in a surface facing the water tank 51. An extension tube of the evaporator 134 may be disposed through the side opening.

[0117] An opening through which the user puts the beverage making pack 12 into the fermentation tank 112 may be defined in an upper portion of the insulation wall cover 104 and an upper side of the fermentation tank 112, and a fermentation module cover 105 may be disposed to cover the opening. The fermentation module cover 105 may be integrated with the fermentation tank cover 114 of FIG. 2 or may be provided as a separate part. When the fermentation module cover 105 and the fermentation tank cover 114 are integrated with each other, the fermentation module cover 105 and the fermentation tank cover 114 may be collectively defined as a fermentation tank cover. When the fermentation module cover 105 and the fermentation tank cover 114 are provided as separate parts, the fermentation module cover 105 may have a dual structure covering an upper portion of the fermentation tank cover 114.

[0118] According to an embodiment, a fermentation module cover locker 109 may be disposed on the upper portion of the fermentation module cover 105. For example, the fermentation module cover locker 109 may be rotatably disposed on the upper portion of the fermentation module cover 105. When the user rotates fermentation module cover locker 109 in one direction, the fermentation module cover 105 may be locked to the fermentation tank 112 or the fermentation tank cover 114. When the user rotates the fermentation module cover locker 109 in the other direction, the fermentation tank module cover 105 may be unlocked.

[0119] The fermentation module cover 105 may be hinge-coupled to the fermentation tank 112 or the insulation wall cover 104. When the fermentation module cover 105 is unlocked, the fermentation module cover 105 may rotate upward with respect to a hinge part (see reference numeral 105A of FIG. 3) and then be opened. The hinge part 105A may have substantially the same constituent as hinge parts 38A, 38B, and 38C, which will be described below in FIG. 7. That is, the hinge part 105A may include a hinge shaft, a hinge shaft connection part, and a torsion spring.

[0120] The water tank 51 may be disposed above the base 100 and spaced apart from the base 100. The water tank 51 may be vertically spaced apart from the base 100. A space in which at least one of the compressor 131, the water supply heater 53, and the water supply pump 52 is accommodated may be defined between the water tank 51 and the base 100. Also, the water tank 51 may be horizontally spaced apart form the insulation wall.

[0121] The beverage maker may further include a water tank support 106 supporting the base 100 to be spaced apart from each other. The water tank support 106 may be disposed on the base 100 and support the water tank 51 so that the water tank 51 is spaced apart from the base 100 above the base 100. A lower end of the water tank support 106 may be mounted on the base 100, and the water tank 51 may be mounted on the water tank support 106.

[0122] A water tank cover 108 for opening and closing the water tank 51 with respect to the outside may be disposed at an upper side of the water tank 51 and on an upper portion of the water tank support 106. Similar to the fermentation module cover 105, a water tank cover locker 110 may be disposed on the upper portion of the water tank cover 108. For example, the water tank cover locker 110 may be rotatably disposed on the upper portion of the water tank cover 108. When the user rotates water tank cover locker 110 in one direction, the water tank cover 108 may be locked to the water tank 51 or the water tank support 106. When the user rotates the water tank cover locker 110 in the other direction, the water tank cover 108 may be unlocked.

[0123] The water tank cover 108 may be hinge-coupled to the water tank 51 or the water tank support 106. When water tank cover 108 is unlocked, the water tank cover 108 may rotate upward with respect to a hinge part (see reference numeral 108A of FIG. 3) and then be opened. The hinge part 108A may have substantially the same constituent as hinge parts 38A, 38B, and 38C, which will be described below in FIG. 7. That is, the hinge part 108Amay include a hinge shaft, a hinge shaft connection part, and a torsion spring.

[0124] The supplier 3 may be disposed between the fermentation module 1 and the water tank 51. In particular, the supplier 3 may be physically disposed between the fermentation module 1 and the water tank 51. In this case, when compared with a case in which the beverage maker is disposed at a position except between the fermentation tank cover 114 and the water tank 51, the beverage maker may be more compact, and the supplier 3 may be protected by the fermentation tank cover 114 and the water tank 51. Also, when each of the fermentation module 1 and the water supply module 5 has a cylindrical shape, a potion of a side surface of the supplier 3 disposed between the fermentation module 1 and the water supply module 5 may be rounded inward along the fermentation module 1 and the water supply module 5, thereby realizing the compact beverage maker. This will be described in more detail with reference to FIGS. 3 to 5.

[0125] The supplier 3 may be disposed above the base 100 and vertically spaced apart from the base 100.

[0126] The supplier 3 may include an ingredient accommodation body (see reference numeral 36 of FIG. 5) in which the beverage ingredient is accommodated, or the capsule 7 containing the beverage ingredient is detachably accommodated and a lid module 37 covering the ingredient accommodation part.

[0127] The lid module 37 may include a lid 38 covering the ingredient accommodation body 36. The lid 38 may be slidably disposed or rotatably disposed on the ingredient accommodation body 36. The lid 38 may be hinge-coupled to the ingredient accommodation body 36.

[0128] The supplier 3 may be installed in an approximately central upper portion of the beverage maker, and the user may rotate the lid module 37 of the supplier 3 to easily mount or separate capsules C1, C2, and C3.

[0129] The beverage maker may have an accommodation space in which a plurality of parts is accommodated. Here, the accommodation space may be a space between the insulation wall 104 and the water tank 51 in a horizontal direction and between the supplier 3 and the base 100 in a vertical direction.

[0130] It is preferable that the plurality of parts of the beverage maker are accommodated in the accommodation space. In this case, the beverage maker may be compact. The plurality of parts accommodated in the accommodation space may be protected by being surrounded by the insulation wall and the water tank 51, the base 100 and the supplier 3, and a center cover 66 and a rear cover 107.

[0131] The opening/closing valves 313, 323, and 333 respectively installed in the supplier water supply passages 311, 321, and 331 to open and close the supplier water supply passage 311, 321, and 331 may be disposed below the ingredient accommodation body 36.

[0132] The dispenser 62 may be mounted on the center cover 66. The dispenser 62 may be mounted to protrude forward from the center cover 66.

[0133] The center cover 66 may be provided as a front cover that is integrated with the insulation wall cover 104 and the water tank support 106. In this case, the front cover and the rear cover 107 may be coupled to each other to define front and rear outer appearances of the beverage maker.

[0134] The capsule 7 of FIG. 1 may represent the capsules C1, C2, and C3 of FIG. 2.

[0135] The capsule 7 may include a capsule body 71, an upper cover 72, and a lower cover 73. The capsule body 71, the upper cover 72, and the lower cover 73 may seal the inside of the capsule from the outside to prevent the beverage ingredient accommodated in the capsule from being deteriorated or preventing the beverage ingredient from leaking to the outside.

[0136] The capsule body 71 may define the inner space of the capsule 7 and also define a side surface of the capsule 7. The capsule body 71 may be made of a plastic material such as polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and the like to effectively protect the inside of the capsule, thereby preventing the capsule from being damaged or broken down by a predetermined impact. According to an embodiment, the capsule body 71 may be made of aluminum.

[0137] The capsule body 71 may include an upper bonding part to which the upper cover 72 is bonded, a body part disposed below the upper bonding part to define the side surface of the capsule 7, and a lower bonding part which is disposed below the body part to provide an opening in a lower portion of the capsule 7 and to which the lower cover 73 is bonded.

[0138] The upper bonding part and the lower bonding part may have a predetermined length in a horizontal direction so that the upper cover 72 and the lower cover 73 are effectively bonded to each other.

[0139] For example, in order to allow the user to more easily separate the capsule from the ingredient accommodation part, the upper bonding part may have an outer diameter greater than that of an upper end of the body part.

[0140] According to an embodiment, in order to minimize a loaded space of the capsule 7, and reduce an amount of lower cover 73 to be used when being manufactured, the lower bonding part may have the same outer diameter as that of a lower end of the body part, and the lower bonding part may have an inner diameter (or a diameter of the opening) less than an inner diameter or a minimal inner diameter of the lower end of the body part.

[0141] The body part may have a width that gradually decreases downward. For example, the body part may have a cylindrical shape having a width of each of the outer and inner diameters, which gradually decreases downward, but is not limited thereto.

[0142] Since the capsule 7 according to an embodiment of the present invention is provided with the lower cover 73 so that the lower portion of the capsule 7 is more easily punched (cut), the beverage ingredient within the capsule may be more easily discharged.

[0143] The upper cover 72 and the lower cover 73 may be made of a material that is easily punched by an upper punching member and a lower punching member, respectively. For example, each of the upper cover 72 and the lower cover 73 may be made of a soft material such as aluminum foil or a polyethylene (PE) film. Each of the upper cover 72 and the lower cover 73 may have strength less than that of the capsule body 71. In this case, when each of the upper cover 72 and the lower cover 73 is punched by the punching member, a portion coming into contact with the punching member as well as a portion adjacent thereto may be cut. Also, when water is introduced through the cut upper cover 72, the cut area of each of the upper cover 72 and the lower cover 73 may be expanded by a pressure of the introduced water. As a result, water or air may be more easily introduced into the capsule 7 through the upper portion of the capsule 7, and thus, the beverage ingredient may be more easily discharged through the lower portion of the capsule 7.

[0144] The beverage ingredient may be accommodated in the capsule 7. The beverage ingredient accommodated in the capsule 7 may be in a liquid or powder phase. When the upper cover 72 and the lower cover 73 are cut, the beverage ingredient may be discharged to supplier extraction passages 312, 322, and 332 through the lower portion of the capsule 7.

[0145] FIG. 3 is a plan view of the beverage maker of FIG. 1, FIG. 4 is a plan view of the supplier according to an embodiment of the present invention, and FIG. 5 is a plan view illustrating the ingredient accommodation body of the supplier when the lid module of the supplier is unlocked according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0146] Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, the fermentation tank 112, the insulation wall cover 104 surrounding and the fermentation tank 112, and the fermentation tank assembly 11 including the fermentation module cover 105 covering the fermentation tank 112 may be disposed on one side (for example, a left side with respect to a front surface of the beverage maker) of the beverage maker. Also, the water tank 51, the water tank support 106 surrounding the water tank 51, and the water tank assembly including the water tank cover 108 covering the water tank 51 may be disposed on one side, i.e. the other side (for example, a right side with respect to the front surface of the beverage maker) of the beverage maker.

[0147] In this case, it is preferable that the supplier 3 in which the beverage ingredient or the capsule 7 containing the beverage ingredient is accommodated is disposed between the fermentation tank assembly 11 and the water tank assembly in consideration of the overall balance and the beauty of the beverage maker.

[0148] Each of the fermentation tank 112 and the water tank 51 may have an inner space. In this specification, although it is assumed that each of the fermentation tank 112 and the water tank 51 has the cylindrical shape to provide the inner space, the present invention is not limited to the cylindrical shape of each of the fermentation tank 112 and the water tank 51.

[0149] When each of the fermentation tank 112 and the water tank 51 has the cylindrical shape, each of the insulation wall cover 104 surrounding the fermentation tank and the water tank support 106 surrounding the water tank 51 may also have a cylindrical shape. That is, the overall shape of each of the fermentation tank assembly 11 and the water tank assembly may have the cylindrical shape.

[0150] When the supplier 3 is disposed between the fermentation tank assembly 11 and the water tank assembly, the fermentation tank 112 and the water tank 51 may be spaced apart from each other. The more a spaced distance between the fermentation tank 112 and the water tank 51 increases, the more the whole size of the beverage maker may increase.

[0151] When the supplier 3 is disposed at a rear side of the fermentation tank assembly 11 and the water tank assembly, the spaced distance between the fermentation tank 112 and the water tank 51 may be reduced. However, in this case, the convenience when the user inserts the beverage ingredient or the capsule 7 containing the beverage ingredient into the supplier 3 may be deteriorated. Also, a length between the front and rare surfaces of the beverage maker may increase to increase the whole size of the beverage maker.

[0152] To solve the above-described problems, the supplier 3 according to an embodiment of the present invention may be disposed between the fermentation tank assembly 11 and the water tank assembly and have a shape that is capable of reducing the spaced distance between the fermentation tank 112 and the water tank 51.

[0153] When the supplier 3 is disposed between the fermentation tank assembly 11 and the water tank assembly, the supplier 3 may include first surfaces 371A and 372A facing the fermentation tank 112 as well as second surfaces 371B and 372B facing the water tank 51.

[0154] The first surfaces 371A and 372A may include a first accommodation space 372A in which at least a portion of the fermentation tank 112 or the fermentation tank assembly 11 is accommodated, and the second surfaces 371B and 372B may include a second accommodation space 372B in which at least a portion of the water tank assembly is accommodated. The first accommodation space 372A and the second accommodation space 372B may be recessed inward.

[0155] Referring to FIG. 3, a curvature of the fermentation tank 112 or the fermentation tank assembly 11 having the cylindrical shape may be a first curvature R1, and a curvature of the water tank 51 or the water tank assembly may be a second curvature R2. In this case, each of the first accommodation space 372A and the second accommodation space 372B may be recessed inward at a predetermined curvature. When the curvature of the first accommodation space 372A is defined as a third curvature R3, and the curvature of the second accommodation space 372B is defined as a fourth curvature, the third curvature R3 may be equal to or less than the first curvature R1, and the fourth curvature R4 may be equal to or less than the second curvature R2. When considering the overall appearance of the beverage maker or a foreign substance trapping phenomenon, it is preferable that the third curvature R3 is equal to the first curvature R1, and the fourth curvature R4 is equal to the second curvature R2.

[0156] In this case, a maximally spaced distance L1 between the first surfaces 371A and 372A and the second surfaces 371B and 372B may be greater than a minimally spaced distance L2 between the first accommodation space 372A and the second accommodation space 372B. Also, the maximally spaced distance L1 may be greater than a minimally spaced distance L3 between the fermentation tank 112 or the fermentation tank assembly 11 and the water tank 51 or the water tank assembly.

[0157] That is, the supplier 3 disposed between the fermentation tank assembly 11 and the water tank assembly may have a space for reducing the spaced distance between the fermentation tank assembly 11 and the water tank assembly to realize the more compact beverage maker.

[0158] Also, the lever 620 provided in the dispenser 62 for dispensing the beverage may be disposed at a front side between the fermentation tank 112 and the water tank 51. Thus, the user may conveniently manipulate the lever 620 and also maintain the entire balance of the outer appearance of the beverage maker.

[0159] Referring to FIG. 5, the ingredient accommodation body 36 of the supplier 3 may include at least one or more ingredient accommodation parts 31, 32, and 33 for distinguishing at least one or more ingredients from each other to accommodate the ingredients. The ingredient accommodation parts 31, 32, and 33 may have accommodation spaces for accommodating the beverage ingredient or the capsule containing the beverage ingredient and include punching pars 31A, 32A, and 33A and lower guides 312A, 322A, and 332A for guiding the beverage ingredient to the main passage 2.

[0160] As illustrated in FIG. 5, the ingredient accommodation parts 31, 32, and 33 may be disposed in a line in a direction perpendicular to the direction in which the fermentation tank 112 and the water tank 51 are spaced apart from each other. Thus, the spaced distance between the first surfaces 371A and 372A and the second surfaces 371B and 372B may be minimized to realize the compact beverage maker.

[0161] FIGS. 6 to 7 are perspective views of the lid module of the supplier when the lid module is locked and unlocked according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0162] Before describing locking and unlocking of the lid module, the supplier 3 of FIGS. 6 and 7 will be described first.

[0163] Referring to FIGS. 6 and 7, the supplier 3 may includes an ingredient accommodation body 36 in which the ingredient accommodation parts 31, 32, and 33 in which the beverage ingredient or the capsule containing the beverage ingredient is accommodated are provided and a lid module 37 covering the ingredient accommodation parts 31, 32, and 33.

[0164] The lid module 37 may include a lid 38 covering the ingredient accommodation body 36. The lid 38 may be slidably disposed or rotatably disposed on the ingredient accommodation body 36. The lid 38 may be hinge-coupled to the ingredient accommodation body 36.

[0165] The lid 38 may be provided as an assembly of a plurality of members. For example, the lid 38 may include a lower lid 39 and an upper lid 40. At least one of the lower lid 39 and the upper lid 40 may be connected to the ingredient accommodation body 36.

[0166] For example, the lid 38 may be hinge-coupled (38A and 38B) to the ingredient accommodation body 36. A hinge shaft 38A may be disposed on one of the lid 38 and the ingredient accommodation body 36. The hinge shaft 38A may be horizontally disposed with respect to one of the lid 38 and the ingredient accommodation body 36. A hinge shaft connection part 38B rotatably supported by the hinge shaft 38A may be disposed on the other one of the lid 38 and the ingredient accommodation body 36. The lid 38 may vertically rotate with respect to the horizontally oriented hinge shaft 38A. The lid 38 may have an area greater than the sum of areas of the ingredient accommodation parts 31, 32, and 33 and rotate about the hinge shaft 38A to open or close all of the ingredient accommodation parts 31, 32, and 33. According to an embodiment, the hinge shaft 38A may further include a torsion spring 38C that surrounds the outside of the hinge shaft 38A to induce the upward rotation of the lid 38.

[0167] When the user pushes a button 812, the lid 38 may be unlocked. Thus, unlocking the lid 38 may be performed by a translational operation. As the lid 38 is unlocked, the lid 38 hinge-coupled to the ingredient accommodation body 36 may rotate to the upper side of the ingredient accommodation body 36. When the lid rotates upward, the ingredient accommodation parts 31, 32, and 33 provided in the ingredient accommodation body 36 may be opened to the outside. The ingredient accommodation parts 31, 32, and 33 may provide the ingredient accommodation space in which the beverage ingredient is accommodated or the capsule accommodation space in which the capsule containing the beverage ingredient is accommodated.

[0168] Referring to FIG. 5, the ingredient accommodation parts 31, 32, and 33 may be disposed between the locking module 8 including the hook 822 and the hinge parts 38A and 38B. The locking module 8 may be disposed adjacent to a side (a spaced side) different from a side, on which the hinge parts 38A and 38B are disposed, on the ingredient accommodation body 36. Thus, the locking of the locking module 8 may be more stable, and magnitude of the force required for locking may be reduced.

[0169] Also, referring to FIG. 3, the locking module 8 may be disposed on the supplier 3 so that the locking module 8 is disposed at the front of an extension line LE connecting a central axis A1 of the fermentation tank 112 and a central axis A2 of the water tank 51. Thus, the user may more conveniently manipulate the button 812 of the locking module 8.

[0170] According to an embodiment, the hinge part 105A provided in the fermentation module 1, the hinge part 108A provided in the water supply module 5, and the hinge parts 38A and 38B provided in the supplier 3 may be disposed in parallel to each other. That is, the hinge shaft of the hinge part 105A of the fermentation module 1, the hinge shaft of the hinge part 108A of the water supply module 5, and the hinge shaft 38A of the hinge parts 38A and 38B of the supplier 3 may be disposed in parallel to each other.

[0171] Also, the fermentation module cover 105, the water tank cover 108, and the lid module 37 may rotate upward with respect to each of the hinge parts and thus be opened. That is, the fermentation module cover 105, the water tank cover 108, and the lid module 37 may rotate in the same direction and thus be opened.

[0172] To supply water or air into the ingredient accommodation parts 31, 32, and 33, the lid module 37 may include at least a portion of the supplier water supply passages 311, 321, and 331 of FIG. 2. For example, at least a portion of the supplier water supply passages 311, 321, and 331 may be disposed in a space between the lower lid 39 and the upper lid 40. Also, the lid module 37 may include a water supply body connected to the supplier water supply passages 311, 321, and 331 to inject the water or the air supplied from the supplier water supply passages 311, 321, and 331 into the ingredient accommodation part.

[0173] The water supply body may be provided for each of the ingredient accommodation parts 31, 32, and 33 so that one water supply body corresponds to one ingredient accommodation part.

[0174] A lower portion of the water supply body may have a circular plate shape. A plurality of upper punching parts 441, 451, and 461 for punching the upper cover 72 of the capsule 7 and a plurality of water supply holes 442, 452, 462 for guiding the fluid (the water or the air) to the ingredient accommodation part 31 may be provided in the bottom surface of the water supply body.

[0175] Each of the plurality of water supply holes may be provided as a hole having a predetermined size in the bottom surface of the water supply body. The fluid introduced into the water supply body may be supplied to the upper surface of the capsule through the plurality of water supply holes, and the fluid supplied to the upper surface of the capsule may be guide to the inside of the capsule through the hole defined by the plurality of upper punching parts 441, 451, and 461.

[0176] The lid module 37 may include at least one sealing member disposed between the top surface of the ingredient accommodation body 36 and the bottom surface of the lid module 37. Sealing members 47A, 47B, and 47C disposed between the bottom surface of the water supply body and the top surface of the ingredient accommodation body 36 may be disposed between the ingredient accommodation body 36 and the lid module 37. The sealing members 47A, 47B, and 47C may prevent the water or the beverage ingredient from reversely leaking to the outside when the fluid is introduced.

[0177] The plurality of upper punching parts 441, 451, and 461 and the sealing members 47A, 47B, and 47C may use at least one of the capsules C1, C2, and C3 and the ingredient accommodation parts 31, 32, and 33 as a pressing part when the lid module 37 is closed. Meanwhile, if the number of the punching parts is insufficient, the water cannot be sufficiently introduced into the capsule, and the water accumulates inside the lid module 37 or on the capsule. The punching parts 441, 451, 461 according to the embodiment of the present invention includes a plurality of punching parts arranged in a circle so that the water can be sufficiently introduced into the capsule.

[0178] Hereinafter, constituents related to the locking and unlocking of the lid and an operation thereof according to an embodiment of the present invention will be described in more detail with described with reference to FIGS. 8 to 10.

[0179] FIG. 8 is a view of a locking module provided in the supplier according to an embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the locking module when the lid module of the supplier is locked according to an embodiment of the present invention, and FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view illustrating an operation of unlocking the lid module of the supplier according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0180] The views of FIGS. 8 to 10 correspond to a front view and a cross-sectional view of the locking module when viewed from a point P of FIG. 6.

[0181] Referring to FIGS. 8 to 10, the locking module 8 may lock and unlock the lid 38 to the ingredient accommodation body 36. The locking module 8 may include an upper locking module 81 mounted on the lid 38 and a lower locking module 82 mounted on the ingredient accommodation body 36.

[0182] The upper locking module 81 may include a button part 810 for unlocking the lid 38 on the basis of the user's manipulation and a button spring 814 for elastically supporting the button part 810.

[0183] The button part 810 may include a push button 812 that is pressed to the lid 38, a push pin 813 that presses a contact part 823 of the lower locking module 82 to be described later when the button 812 is pressed, and a spring support plate 819 supported by the button spring 814. Each of the constituents of the button part 810 may be integrally formed or may be formed in the form of being connected or assembled with each other.

[0184] The button spring 814 may restore the button 812 to its original position (or height) when external force acting on the button 812 is removed after the button 812 is pressed. For this, the button spring 814 may be realized by a compression spring.

[0185] According to an embodiment, the upper locking module 81 may further include a spring sheet 811 which is mounted on the lid 38 and on which the button spring 814 is seated. Since the button spring 814 is seated on the spring sheet 811, the button part 810 supported by the button spring 814 may also be indirectly seated on the spring sheet 811. The spring sheet 811 may further include at least one coupling part 815 to be mounted or coupled to the lid 38.

[0186] According to an embodiment, as illustrated in FIG. 9, when the spring sheet 811 is disposed on a lower portion of the button part 810, the spring sheet 811 may include a push pin through-hole 811A through which the push pin 813 passes.

[0187] A hook part 816 locked to and unlocked from a hook 822 of the lower locking module 82, which will be described later, may be disposed on at least one of the lid 38 and the upper locking module 81. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 9, the hook part 816 may have the form of a protrusion.

[0188] The lower locking module 82 may include a locking body 824. The locking body 824 may include a hook 822 locked to and unlocked from the hook part 816 and a contact part 823 coming into contact with the push pin 813 when the push pin 813 descends.

[0189] The locking body 824 may be hinge-connected to the ingredient accommodation body 36 to rotate.

[0190] Also, the lower locking module 82 may include a locking spring 827 for rotating the locking body 824 in a direction in which the hook 822 is locked to the hook part 816.

[0191] The locking spring 827 may have one end connected to or hooked to the ingredient accommodation body 36 and the other end connected to the locking body 824. For this, the locking body 824 may further include a locking spring hook part 825 connected to the other end of the locking spring 827 or having the other end that is hooked to the locking body 824. The locking spring 827 may be realized by a tension spring.

[0192] According to an embodiment, the lower locking module 82 may include a lower body 821 mounted thereon. The lower body may be coupled to the ingredient accommodation body 36 through a lower body coupling part 828 and thus be fixed to the ingredient accommodation body 36. In this case, the locking body 824 may be hinge-coupled to the lower body 821, and the locking spring 827 may have one end connected to the lower body 821 or hooked to the lower body 821.

[0193] When the lid 38 cover the ingredient accommodation parts 31, 32, and 33, a bottom surface of the hook part 816 and a top surface of the hook 822 may come into contact with each other. An inclined surface along which the hook 822 passes over the hook part 816 may be disposed on at least one of the bottom surface of the hook part 816 and the top surface of the hook 822. That is, when the bottom surface of the hook part 816 and the top surface of the hook 822 come into contact with each other, the locking body 824 may rotate to allow the hook 822 to pass over the hook part 816. When the hook 822 passes over the hook part 816, the locking spring 827 may rotate the locking body 824 in the direction in which the hook 822 is locked to the hook part 816. As a result, the hook 822 may be locked to the hook part 816 to allow the lid 38 to be locked to the ingredient accommodation body 36.

[0194] That is, although the user presses the lid 38 to perform only the operation of covering the ingredient accommodation parts 31, 32, and 33, the lid 38 may be locked to the ingredient accommodation body 36 to improve the user's convenience.

[0195] The unlocking of the lid 38 will be described with reference to FIG. 10.

[0196] Referring to FIG. 10, when the user presses the button part 810 or the button 812 downward, the button spring 814 may be compressed to allow the button part 810 to move downward. While the push pin 813 of the button part 810 moves downward, the contact part 823 of the lower locking module 82 may be pressed. As the contact part 823 is pressed, the locking body 824 may rotate in a direction in which the hook 822 is unlocked from the hook part 816, and the locking spring 827 connected to the locking body 824 may be extended.

[0197] As the locking body 824 rotates in the unlocking direction, the lid 38 may be unlocked from the ingredient accommodation body 36.

[0198] As the lid 38 is unlocked from the ingredient accommodation body 36, the torsion spring 38C surrounding the outside of the hinge shaft 38A of FIG. 7 may press the upward rotation of the lid 38. When the lid rotates upward by the torsion spring 38C, the ingredient accommodation parts 31, 32, and 33 of the ingredient accommodation body 36 may be opened.

[0199] That is, since the lid 38 automatically rotate upward to be opened when the lid 38 is unlocked, the user's convenience may be improved without performing a separate operation for opening the lid 38.

[0200] When the lid 38 rotates upward, the push pin 813 and the contact part 823 may not come into contact with each other any more. In this case, the locking spring 827 may press the locking body 824 in the direction in which the locking spring 827 is compressed, and the locking body 824 may rotate by the pressing of the locking spring 827 to return to its original position.

[0201] FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a supplier including a locker according to another embodiment of the present invention, and FIG. 12 is a partial exploded perspective view of the supplier of FIG. 11.

[0202] Referring to FIGS. 11 and 12, a lid module of a supplier 3A may include an ingredient accommodation body 36 rotatably disposed on a lid 38A and at least one or more lockers 90, 91, and 92 that are locked to or unlocked from the ingredient accommodation body 36.

[0203] Although one lid 38A is illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12, the lid 38A according to an embodiment may include an upper lid and a lower lid as described above with reference to FIG. 6.

[0204] At least one or more water supply bodies 41, 42, and 43 may be disposed on the lid 38A, and the at least one or more lockers 90, 91, and 92 may be rotatably disposed. The lid 38A may be provided as an assembly of a plurality of members.

[0205] A through-hole through which a lower portion of each of the lockers 90, 91, and 92 passes and a support wall surrounding at least a portion of an outer surface of each of the lockers 90, 91, and 92 may be disposed in/on the lid 38A.

[0206] The water supply bodies 41, 42, and 43 may be connected to a water supply passage 4 through supplier inlet passages 311, 321, and 331. The water supply bodies 41, 42, and 43 may include a body 41A in which an inner water supply passage is provided and a connection part 41B guiding water to the inner water supply passage.

[0207] The body 41A may have a circular plate shape and be disposed in the locker. The connection part 41B may be disposed on the body 41A to protrude. The connection part 41B may protrude from a circumferential surface of the body 41A. The connection part 41B may be connected to the supplier inlet passages 311, 321, and 331.

[0208] At least one or more sealing members 47A, 47B, and 47C closely attached to the top surface of the ingredient accommodation body 36 and the bottom surface of the water supply bodies 41, 42, and 43 may be disposed between the ingredient accommodation body 36 and the water supply bodies 41, 42, and 43.

[0209] The lid module may include at least one or more lockers 90, 91, and 92.

[0210] The lockers 90, 91, and 92 may be disposed to rotate about a center of a vertical central axis. When the user rotate the lockers 90, 91, and 92 in the locking direction, the lockers 90, 91, ad 92 may press the water supply bodies 41, 42, and 43 in a direction that is close to the ingredient accommodation parts 31, 32, and 33, and the water supply bodies 41, 42, and 43 may be pressed to a capsule accommodated in each of the ingredient accommodation part 31, 32, and 33.

[0211] The lockers 90, 91, and 92 may include a hollow box 90A that provides a space in which the water supply body is accommodated and surrounds an outer circumferential surface of the water supply body and an upper plate part 90B disposed on an upper portion of the hollow box 90A. The lockers 90, 91, and 92 may further include a handle part 90C protruding from the upper plate part 90B.

[0212] The hollow box 90A may be inserted into a hook part disposed on the ingredient accommodation body 36 and thus be locked to or unlocked from the hook part. When the hollow box 90A is restricted on the hook part, the lid module may be locked. When the restriction of the hollow box 90A is released, the lid module may be unlocked.

[0213] An avoid hole 90E for avoiding the connection part 41B disposed on the water supply body may be lengthily defined in the hollow box 90A. The avoid hole 90E may be defined in a portion of the hollow box 90A or be lengthily defined in a circumferential direction along the hollow box 90A.

[0214] A tops surface of the upper plate part 90B and the handle part 90C may be exposed to the outside of the lid 38A. The user rotates the handle part 90C in a clockwise direction or counterclockwise direction to allow the lockers 90, 91, and 92 to be locked to or unlocked from the ingredient accommodation body 36.

[0215] The lid module may further include a spring 901 disposed between the water supply body and the upper plate part 90B of each of the lockers 90, 91, and 92. When external force is not applied to the spring 901, the upper plate part 90B of each of the lockers 90, 91, and 92 and the water supply body may be pushed in directions opposite to each other. The spring 901 may be provided as a plate sparing having a ring shape on the whole.

[0216] According to the embodiment of the present invention, the supplier may be disposed between the fermentation tank and the water tank to minimize the spaced distance between the fermentation tank and the water tank, thereby realizing the beverage maker having the more compact size and providing the positive effects in terms of the overall balance and the beauty of the beverage maker.

[0217] Also, the plurality of ingredient accommodation parts provided in the supplier may be disposed to be minimized in spaced distance between the fermentation tank and the water tank, thereby realizing the beverage maker having the compact size.

[0218] In addition, the beverage maker may provide the locking structure in which the lid is capable of automatically locked on the ingredient accommodation body when the lid provided in the supplier covers the ingredient accommodation part, and thus, the separate additional operation for locking the lid by the user may be removed to improve the convenience in use.

[0219] Also, the hinge structure in which the lid automatically opened when the lid is unlocked may be provided to remove the separate additional operation for opening the lid by the user, thereby improving the convenience in use.

[0220] The passages such as the main passage 2, the water supply passage 4, the beverage dispensing passage 61, the gas dispensing passage, the air injection passage 81, and the like may be realized by a hose or tube through which a fluid passes or may be realized by a plurality of hoses or tubes that are continuous in a longitudinal direction. In addition, the passage may be realized by two hoses or tubes disposed with other constituents such as the control valve therebetween.

[0221] The above-disclosed subject matter is to be considered illustrative, and not restrictive.

[0222] It follows a list of examples:
  1. 1. A beverage maker comprising:

    a fermentation tank (112) having an inner space (SI);

    a water tank (51) in which water is accommodated; and

    a supplier (3) physically disposed between the fermentation tank (112) and the water tank (51) to accommodate a beverage ingredient,

    wherein the supplier (3) comprises:

    an ingredient accommodation body (36) in which an ingredient accommodation part (31) in which the beverage ingredient is accommodated is disposed;

    a lid (38) opening/closing the ingredient accommodation part (31); and

    a locking module (8) locking the lid (38) to the ingredient accommodation body (36),

    wherein the locking module (8) is configured for unlocking the lid (38) by a translational operation.

  2. 2. The beverage maker according to example 1, wherein at least one accommodation space (372A, 372B) in which at least a portion of the fermentation tank (112) or at least a portion of the water tank (51) is accommodated is recessed in the supplier (3).
  3. 3. The beverage maker according to example 1 or 2, wherein the supplier (3) comprises a first surface (371A) facing the fermentation tank (112) and a second surface (371B) facing the water tank (51),
    the at least one accommodation space (372A, 372B) comprises a first accommodation space (372A) defined in the first surface (371A) to be recessed to accommodate a portion of the fermentation tank (112) and/or a second accommodation space (372B) defined in the second surface (371B) to be recessed to accommodate a portion of the water tank (51).
  4. 4. The beverage maker according to example 3, wherein the first accommodation space (372A) has a curvature (R3) equal to or less than that of the fermentation tank (112), and/or
    the second accommodation space (372B) has a curvature (R4) equal to or less than that of the water tank (51).
  5. 5. The beverage maker according to example 3 or 4, wherein a maximally spaced distance (L1) between the first surface (371A) and the second surface (371B) is greater than a minimally spaced distance (L3) between the water tank (51) and the fermentation tank (112).
  6. 6. The beverage maker according to any one of examples 3 to 5, wherein a maximally spaced distance between the first surface (371A) and the second surface (371B) is greater than a minimally spaced distance (L2) between the first accommodation space (372A) and the second accommodation space (372B).
  7. 7. The beverage maker according to any one of examples 1 to 6, wherein the supplier (3) comprises a plurality of ingredient accommodation parts (31) in which the beverage ingredient is accommodated, and the plurality of ingredient accommodation parts (31) are arranged in a line in a first direction perpendicular to a second direction in which the water tank (51) and the fermentation tank (112) are spaced apart from each other.
  8. 8. The beverage maker according to any one of examples 1 to 7, wherein the locking module (8) is disposed at the front of an extension line connecting a central axis of the fermentation tank (112) to a central axis of the water tank (51).
  9. 9. The beverage maker according to any one of examples 1 to 8, further comprising a dispenser (6) dispensing a beverage stored in the fermentation tank (112),
    wherein a lever provided on the dispenser (6) and manipulated to dispense the beverage is disposed at the front of the locking module (8) between the fermentation tank (112) and the water tank (51).
  10. 10. The beverage maker according to any one of examples 1 to 9, wherein the supplier (3) further comprises a hinge part comprising a hinge shaft disposed on one of the lid (38) and the ingredient accommodation body (36) and a hinge shaft connection part disposed on the other one of the lid (38) and the ingredient accommodation body (36) and rotatably supported by the hinge shaft, and
    the lid (38) rotates upward with respect to the hinge part to open the ingredient accommodation part (31).
  11. 11. The beverage maker according to example 10, wherein the ingredient accommodation part (31) is disposed between the locking module (8) and the hinge part.
  12. 12. The beverage maker according to example 10 or 11, wherein the hinge part is disposed on one side of the supplier (3), and
    the locking module (8) is disposed adjacent to a side different from the one side on which the hinge part is disposed.
  13. 13. The beverage maker according to example 10, further comprising:

    a fermentation module cover covering the fermentation tank (112);

    a fermentation module hinge part disposed between the fermentation module cover and the fermentation tank (112) to rotate the fermentation module cover and thereby to open the fermentation tank (112);

    a water tank cover covering the water tank (51); and

    a water tank hinge part disposed between the water tank cover and the water tank (51) to rotate the water tank cover and thereby open the water tank (51).

  14. 14. The beverage maker according to example 13, wherein the hinge part, the fermentation module hinge part, and the water tank hinge part are disposed in parallel to each other.
  15. 15. The beverage maker according to example 13, wherein the locking module (8) comprises a button part protruding from a top surface of the lid (38) and disposed to be pushed, and/or
    a fermentation module cover locker locking the fermentation module cover to the fermentation tank (112) is disposed on a top surface of the fermentation module cover, and/or
    a water tank cover locker locking the water tank cover to the water tank (51) is disposed on a top surface of the water tank cover.



Claims

1. A beverage maker comprising:

a fermentation tank (112) having an inner space (SI);

a water tank (51) in which water is accommodated; and

a supplier (3) physically disposed between the fermentation tank (112) and the water tank (51) to accommodate a beverage ingredient,

wherein the supplier (3) comprises:

an ingredient accommodation body (36) in which an ingredient accommodation part (31) in which the beverage ingredient is accommodated is disposed;

a lid (38) opening/closing the ingredient accommodation part (31); and

a locking module (8) locking the lid (38) to the ingredient accommodation body (36),

wherein the locking module (8) is configured for unlocking the lid (38) by a translational operation.


 
2. The beverage maker according to claim 1, wherein at least one accommodation space (372A, 372B) in which at least a portion of the fermentation tank (112) or at least a portion of the water tank (51) is accommodated is recessed in the supplier (3).
 
3. The beverage maker according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the supplier (3) comprises a first surface (371A) facing the fermentation tank (112) and a second surface (371B) facing the water tank (51),
the at least one accommodation space (372A, 372B) comprises a first accommodation space (372A) defined in the first surface (371A) to be recessed to accommodate a portion of the fermentation tank (112) and/or a second accommodation space (372B) defined in the second surface (371B) to be recessed to accommodate a portion of the water tank (51).
 
4. The beverage maker according to claim 3, wherein the first accommodation space (372A) has a curvature (R3) equal to or less than that of the fermentation tank (112), and/or
the second accommodation space (372B) has a curvature (R4) equal to or less than that of the water tank (51).
 
5. The beverage maker according to claim 3 or 4, wherein a maximally spaced distance (L1) between the first surface (371A) and the second surface (371B) is greater than a minimally spaced distance (L3) between the water tank (51) and the fermentation tank (112).
 
6. The beverage maker according to any one of claims 3 to 5, wherein a maximally spaced distance between the first surface (371A) and the second surface (371B) is greater than a minimally spaced distance (L2) between the first accommodation space (372A) and the second accommodation space (372B).
 
7. The beverage maker according to any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the supplier (3) comprises a plurality of ingredient accommodation parts (31) in which the beverage ingredient is accommodated, and the plurality of ingredient accommodation parts (31) are arranged in a line in a first direction perpendicular to a second direction in which the water tank (51) and the fermentation tank (112) are spaced apart from each other.
 
8. The beverage maker according to any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein the locking module (8) is disposed at the front of an extension line connecting a central axis of the fermentation tank (112) to a central axis of the water tank (51).
 
9. The beverage maker according to any one of claims 1 to 8, further comprising a dispenser (6) dispensing a beverage stored in the fermentation tank (112),
wherein a lever provided on the dispenser (6) and manipulated to dispense the beverage is disposed at the front of the locking module (8) between the fermentation tank (112) and the water tank (51).
 
10. The beverage maker according to any one of claims 1 to 9, wherein the supplier (3) further comprises a hinge part comprising a hinge shaft disposed on one of the lid (38) and the ingredient accommodation body (36) and a hinge shaft connection part disposed on the other one of the lid (38) and the ingredient accommodation body (36) and rotatably supported by the hinge shaft, and
the lid (38) rotates upward with respect to the hinge part to open the ingredient accommodation part (31).
 
11. The beverage maker according to claim 10, wherein the ingredient accommodation part (31) is disposed between the locking module (8) and the hinge part.
 
12. The beverage maker according to claim 10 or 11, wherein the hinge part is disposed on one side of the supplier (3), and
the locking module (8) is disposed adjacent to a side different from the one side on which the hinge part is disposed.
 
13. The beverage maker according to claim 10, further comprising:

a fermentation module cover covering the fermentation tank (112);

a fermentation module hinge part disposed between the fermentation module cover and the fermentation tank (112) to rotate the fermentation module cover and thereby to open the fermentation tank (112);

a water tank cover covering the water tank (51); and

a water tank hinge part disposed between the water tank cover and the water tank (51) to rotate the water tank cover and thereby open the water tank (51).


 
14. The beverage maker according to claim 13, wherein the hinge part, the fermentation module hinge part, and the water tank hinge part are disposed in parallel to each other.
 
15. The beverage maker according to claim 13, wherein the locking module (8) comprises a button part protruding from a top surface of the lid (38) and disposed to be pushed, and/or
a fermentation module cover locker locking the fermentation module cover to the fermentation tank (112) is disposed on a top surface of the fermentation module cover, and/or
a water tank cover locker locking the water tank cover to the water tank (51) is disposed on a top surface of the water tank cover.
 




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Search report