Pretty sure this is current practice. At least for beer that is genuinely conditioning in th cask. Doft spile then hard spile. Standard stuff, really.
"An automatic tilt, which will be so adjusted as to tilt the barrel forward gradually, without disturbing its contents, should be fixed behind all the casks in use, or about to be used.
All this time the beer is "working" in the cask, and strong gases are given out, by reason of the process of fermentation which is taking place. This is specially strong in the case of stout and some ales.
During the rest, it is usual to remove the bung, and insert a porous spile, which enables the gases to escape. Care is needed in removing the bung, as the contents shoot upwards with great force, covering the operator, and involving serious loss in duty and materials.
When the contents have duly settled below the point in the barrel where the tap is to be inserted, drive the tap well home. The beer thus gets perfectly clear, and is ready for use. Insert, then, a hard peg (when the beer has finished working), taking out first the porous spile. The time during which the beer keeps in good condition varies greatly."
"The Art and Practice of Innkeeping" by Alexander Francis Part, published by Heinemann London, 1922, pages 199-200.
"Thus, London mild and stout are for quick draught; country and Burton beers will keep much longer. The same may be said of London pale ale, though if the secondary fermentation is not delayed it will keep for a considerable time.Not surprised to see Mild as a quick draught, but London Stout is more of a shock.
I should explain, for the benefit of those who know nothing at all about the different classes of beer, that beers from Burton are of various kinds, but what is called by the trade name of "Burton" is usually a strong nut-brown ale, very popular in the winter.
When the latter beer is on tap, the publicans need, as the Americans say, to keep their eyes skinned, for, like the ale that Bass's call Barley Wine, it is strong and heady, especially on an empty stomach."
"The Art and Practice of Innkeeping" by Alexander Francis Part, published by Heinemann London, 1922, page 200.
It's great to see a specific reference to Burton Ale as a strong, dark beer. THough I'm not sure that the warning about its heady nature really applied after WW I. As this table demonstrating the drop in its strength across the period of the war shows.
|Draught London Burton Ale 1913 - 1922|
|Year||Brewer||Beer||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||lbs hops/ qtr||hops lb/brl|
|Whitbread brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers LMA/4453/D/01/078 and LMA/4453/D/01/087.|
|Barclay Perkins brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers ACC/2305/1/603 and ACC/2305/01/609.|
|Courage brewing records held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document numbers ACC/2305/08/247 and ACC/2305/08/253.|