Some beers were still vatted for long periods, but the practice, like the aged taste, was going out of fashion. It's a process that can be difficult to track down in archive records. Especially what happened at the end of the maturation process.
This, therefore, must be a very erroneous mode of treating beer. Some brewers, who have no tanks for the purpose, pump their beer from the cleansing casks again into a fermenting-tun, where it is often allowed to remain until the same indications of acidity, as above mentioned, may have taken place, when the same bad consequences may be dreaded. One great complaint is, that though ale tastes very well when first tapped, yet it very soon gets flat and forward, and will not stand the draught. How can it, we may ask, when acidification has previously commenced by long exposure to the atmosphere ?
We think enough has been said to prove that long exposure of beer to the atmosphere is the worst mode of treating it. The laws of chemical science, not less than the facts, establish this conclusion.
When beer of any kind has gone through a regular and sound process of fermentation, and has had full time to throw off its yeast and get quiet, which will always happen in a few days, any further exposure to the atmosphere is not only useless, but injurious.
The vats, when full, should be covered, and sand thrown on the cover, more effectually to exclude the atmosphere. A loaded self-acting vent-peg fixed in the top, would, however, be very desirable, so as to permit any elastic gas which may be produced to escape.
If the storehouse can now be kept at a regular temperature, no other precaution is necessary; but when liable to be affected by summer heats, the sand on the top of the vats should be sprinkled with common salt, which retains the moisture, and also be kept damp with water. This by evaporation will tend to keep the beer cool. When the beer, instead of being vatted, has to be stowed in casks proper for sending out, they should be conveyed to the storehouse, and placed upon wooden bearers; then, instead of the bung-holes being left open, which is the common practice, bungs should be inserted slightly, so as to be easily thrown out if necessary. Holes should also be bored into every cask, either through or near the bung, and spiles or pegs inserted, so as at any time to give vent, should that be required. After having given vent, however, the bungs or pegs should be immediately replaced. By this treatment the beer, if properly brewed, will very soon become quiet, and if not exposed to higher temperatures, will require no further attention until it is sent out."
"A practical treatise on brewing" by William Black, 1866, pages 141-144.
It does seem odd that all the sediment was put into the vat with the beer.Surely the whole point of cleansing was to remove all that crap?
That's probably enough from William Black. Some of his ideas are so crazy that it makes you doubt everything in his book. The stuff about electricity spoiling beer is a bout as whacky as it gets.