1x2 weeks or 2x1 week fermentation?

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1x2 weeks or 2x1 week fermentation?

What's the advantage of doing two one week fermentations vs. fermenting for two weeks in one carboy?

I've tried both and I think I lose more beer by siphoning to a second carboy after a week. Also, wouldn't the sediment settle better if simply left in one carboy for two weeks?

(I'm brewing IPA's)


secondary fermentation

The real benefit of racking (siphoning) to a secondary vessel is to get a clearer liquid.

Each time you rack your beer / wine / cider, you leave behind some sediment. Not sure about the science behind it, but from experience, even racking a beer or wine that has been in the fermenter, post primary fermentation, for four weeks, into a secondary ends up further clearing the liquid. (Maybe has to do with protein solubility equilibrium and the stirring that happens during racking encouraging precipitation.)

That said, we usually don't bother for IPAs. Too clear and you have problem with low yeast count inhibiting bottle conditioning (carbonation). For those that keg, the keg acts as a secondary, although you will end up blowing off some of that sediment in the first and final pours.

Another benefit of a carboy, if you transfer carefully (minimize splashing and oxygenation), and top the liquid off with water, is that glass is not gas permeable, and the limited head space means there is very little outside oxygen in a full carboy. This is good for extended aging (more than a month in a bucket is not the best)

Secondary Fermentation

I almost always do a secondary fermentation. I don't like the beer sitting on the old yeast after 7 to 10 days, sometimes it can affect the flavors you expect form your beer. 2 weeks or more in the secondary, then I bottle. What little beer I lose at the bottom with the trub goes to the worms and bugs in the compost. If you use a 6 gallon carboy, up your recipe to 5.5 gallons, you will usually end up with 5 gallons of beer (a very little bit stronger than planned, but that's OK with me!). I do all my brews that way, a gallon is about a gallon and a quarter to half, 2 1/2 is 3, etc. I always try to plan ahead for the trub. With a beer app like Beer Smith ($27.95 last time I checked), or BrewTarget (free) you can scale your recipes with the click of a button. I'm pretty much a computer illiterate, but I've found out how to do that much with BrewTarget!
BeerSmith - http://beersmith.com/order/
BrewTarget - http://www.brewtarget.org/download.html
You might check with the HBX store, they might be able to tell you a good one to use as well.

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