This section is from the book "A Treatise On Beverages or The Complete Practical Bottler", by Charles Herman Sulz. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise On Beverages.
"The powdered substance to be percolated (which must be uniformly of the fineness directed in the formula, and should be perfectly air-dry before it is weighed) is put into a basin, the specified quantity of menstruum is poured on, and it is thoroughly stirred with a spatula or other suitable instrument until it appears uniformly moistened. The moist powder is then passed through a coarse sieve - No. 40 powders and those that are finer requiring a No. 20 sieve, while No. 30 powders require a No. 15 sieve for this purpose. Powders of a less degree of fineness usually do not require this additional treatment after the moistening. The moist powder is now transferred to a sheet of thick paper and the whole quantity poured from it into the percolator. It is then shaken down lightly, and allowed to remain in that condition for a period varying from fifteen minutes to several hours, unless otherwise directed, after which the powder is pressed, by the aid of a plunger of suitable dimensions, more or less firmly in proportion to the character of the powdered substance and the alcoholic strength of the menstruum, strongly alcoholic menstrua, as a rule, permitting firmer packing of the powder than the weaker. The percolator is now placed in position for percolation, and the rubber tube having been fastened at a suitable height, the surface of the powder is covered by an accurately-fitting disk of filtering-paper or other suitable material, and a sufficient quantity of the menstruum poured on through a funnel reaching nearly to the surface of the paper. If these conditions are accurately observed, the menstruum will penetrate the powder equally until it has passed into the rubber tube and has reached in this the height corresponding to its level in the percolator,- which is now closely covered to prevent evaporation, and the apparatus allowed to stand at rest for the time specified in the formula.