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2 stage ferment vs. single stage

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sudsmonkey

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I recently brewed an English bitter . At the time, I read a discussion about the differences between single stage and two stage fermentation. I had to try it out for myself. I ran a four gallon batch through primary for a week and put it in the secondary for a week. At the same time, I let two gallons sit in the ( very small) primary for the two week period. I bottled and labled the bottles as 1 step and 2 step. The single stage, after two or three weeks in the bottle, tastes kind of unfinished, but has the lovliest head you ever saw. The two stage tastes better, cleaner, and has less sediment, but doesn't hold a head for long. I primed at the same rates, and bottled on the same day. Should I have cut the secondary time on the two stage? I'm happy with both of them. They came out as different as two children from the same family. I can't choose between them. I like the foam, but the clarity of the two stage makes me proud. Anybody else got a similar experience?
 

Sasquatch

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Hey SM... My first kit batches were in the Beer Machine, which is basically a 1 stage pressure keg. I subsequently bought a small size primary and secondary for those kits, and have been transferring into the beer machine. I have not noticed any difference in actual flavour, but clarity is better in the 3 stage beer, and head retention better in the 1, just as you found.
 

DeRoux's Broux

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remember, an ordinary bitter should not have a lot of carbonation and a lasting thick head (if you try to stay true to style). just a nice lace around the glass, and good collar of foam as the beer goes down the in the glass.
the stage 1 beer probably has more carbonation and sediment due to the proportionate amounts of the priming sugar used. how much priming sugar did you use for the 2 g batch as opposed to the 4 g batch?
just my train of thought........
 

uglygoat

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the single stage beer will most likely have more active yeasties in it than the beer you let settle in the secondary container as well...
 
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sudsmonkey

sudsmonkey

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I think it was 1/2 lb. of Munton's priming sugar(corn sugar?) or whatever the small pack is. I dissolved it in 3 cups of hot water . Put two cups in the 4 gallon, 2 stage batch and one cup in the 2 gal. 1 stage batch. If a minimally foamy beer is charactaristic ob the bitter, the two stage is it. I still marvel at the small amount of sediment in those bottles. It's really too dark to go into clarity issues, but a bottle held up to bright sunlight has no apparent suspended particles in it. I think I'll go 2 stage from here on out.
 

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