I've got a wonderful smelling IPA bubbling away in primary fermentation. It's 5 gallons in a glass carboy. I'd like to do secondary fermentation so I get some clarity and so I get a chance to dry-hop, but I have concerns about the way I plan to do it. Specifically, I'm worried about oxidation and timing.
Oxidation: I only own one glass carboy. I have a bottling bucket, with a spigot, without a cover. I was thinking about racking into the bucket, covering the bucket with foil or plastic wrap while I clean out my carboy (to avoid unnecessary exposure to oxygen, and then gently draining the beer back into the original carboy for secondary, using appropriate hosing so that there's little to no splashing. Still, I'd rack yet again for bottling. With all these transfers, I'm worried about oxidation. Thoughts?
Timing: How soon should I go secondary? I've seen some folks say 3-5 days, others say as soon as fermentation slows, others say as much as 14 days. I've also heard that, although fermentation is complete, yeasts perform important flavor refinement duties after fermentation. This could cut both ways: (1) I should go secondary later rather than sooner to allow the yeasts to do their flavor refinement job now, or (2) I should rack sooner rather than later so that when I do so, I transfer a healthy amount of the yeast before most if it gets stuck in the trub. Thoughts?
I'm I getting too neurotic about this step?