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Old 02-08-2009, 07:35 PM   #1
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Default Can anyone point me to or offer more information on the Scottish "Tall Font"

Was reading this great book:


And it mentions that traditionally Scottish ales are served with a "tall font" which is distinctive from English hand pumped beer engines. Unfortunately it offers not too much info and no photos. The basics are it uses air pressure pushed directly into the cask (water turbine driven pump originally, electric compressor more modern) to drive the beer up to the faucet. There is also a sparkler as the "Scots unlike the English, favor a head on their ales." And lastly the flow rate is adjustable on the font to create a creamy head.

I would love to hear more information about this and definitely to see photos. Real ale really intrigues me sadly I do not get much opportunity to sample it commercially. It would love to learn about the Scottish variations on it.

Be cool to attempt to create a system like this some day too...

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Old 02-09-2009, 01:57 AM   #2
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I wish I could help you with that, but I can't. Sorry, I will keep an eye out though. I would like the author of that book though.
I also wanted to tell you that, it seems that you and I have the same taste in beer. I'm doing the same thing you are doing with brewing the an entire series of Scotch Ales. I started with 2 wee heavies and am working my way down.

I really wouldn't mind if Scotch Ale is all I ever drank

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Old 02-09-2009, 08:44 PM   #3
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Went top down eh?

Any reason why? Part of my whole project was to build the yeast with each succeeding brew. I have only used one propagator pack of Wyeast 1728 for the whole series. I actually made a starter from the original pack. Pitched it in the 60/- then I washed the yeast from that batch. I ended up with 4 mason jars with some yeast slurry. I then pulled one out of the fridge before each brew and made a starter. Kind of wishing I had done the same on the 70/- to see how long i could keep this yeast going. I may try it on the 80/- as it is still a fairly moderate brew.


Anybody out there from Scotland? Been to Scotland? Man, I have searched but I cannot find much at all.

Not to mention anytime you use the term font you get digital typography hits... It is a typeface you pixel brains! A font is a complete set of letters, or numbers and characters within a certain TYPEFACE and point size! Not what you call the design of the particular TYPEFACE! /end rant
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:49 PM   #4
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Sounds like you could rig up a regular party tapper, then instead of pouring out of the attached tap, link it to your kegerator or to a custom swan neck faucet. Doesn't sound too tough actually....

Groove puppy is Scottish, he might know.

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Old 02-09-2009, 10:01 PM   #5
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I'm a Yorkshireman in Scotland and have to take exception to the sparkler comment. They are the norm in Yorkshire I'd say, but in Scotland I don't think it is so common. I still recall asking a barmaid with some bemusement why there was no proper head on the pint she'd sloshed with indecent ease into the glass for me. It was a supposed real ale pub too. Much stereotypical Yorkshire grumbling ensued.

Actually, isn't the only difference between a hand pump and a tall fount that the fount uses air pressure, not the lever pulling the beer up through a pump? Might account for the apparent ease it is poured with in some pubs, tho I'm willing to be corrected...

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Old 02-09-2009, 10:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zymurgrafi View Post
Went top down eh?
Any reason why?
The only reason was aging. I figured to get the heavy's out of the way
and let them sit around 42-45 for a couple of months or more. You had me searching for hours last night

Quote:
Originally Posted by danlad View Post
Actually, isn't the only difference between a hand pump and a tall fount that the fount uses air pressure, not the lever pulling the beer up through a pump? Might account for the apparent ease it is poured with in some pubs, tho I'm willing to be corrected...
That's kind of the impression I was getting while researching. I never did find a picture or any schematics. I was wondering how large the container was for holding the water to create steam for pressure.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danlad View Post
I'm a Yorkshireman in Scotland and have to take exception to the sparkler comment. They are the norm in Yorkshire I'd say, but in Scotland I don't think it is so common.
Hey, I was just quoting the book.

My only info is from reading not experience. Never been to the UK. From what I understand CAMRA frowns on sparklers so the above quoted comment seemed to be valid. Hey, I have been know to use the cheap trick of using a "flavor injector" syringe to whip up the head a bit on my low gravity ales...

I'm just trying to figure it all out. Really need to go on a research trip...
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:11 PM   #8
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Yeah, maybe you can get a beer grant form Siebel?

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Old 02-09-2009, 11:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zymurgrafi View Post
Really need to go on a research trip...
You can start at this B&B (At least to your wife, it's a B&B) Bed and breakfast accommodation at Traquair House, oldest inhabited Castle in Scotland.
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschatz View Post
Yeah, maybe you can get a beer grant form Siebel?
Nah, that would require writing and thinking...

I just want it to be a sensory research trip for my own edification.

er, meaning I just want to drink my way through!
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