Originally Posted by nicklawmusic
Thanks everyone. That's helpful.
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There have been a ton of posts on this forum both pro and con regarding the use of a secondary vessel. And you'll probably hear strong opinions from both sides.
The idea of 10-14 days primary then 10-14 days secondary is an old technique. It was probably useful 20 years ago because the malts that were available weren't as well developed as what we now have. Lately, though, some of the prominently published brewing gurus have gone on record as saying it is not necessary and probably not particularly helpful, especially with the excellent malts we have to work with now.
I like to use a secondary vessel, especially with lighter colored beers such as APA, Cream Ale, etc. but not in the way your kit called for. Once fermentation is completed (usually 8-14days) I will rack the beer to a 5 gal. carboy and drop the temperature to 38-40F for 3-5 days. This cold crashing causes most of the chill haze and other proteins that make your beer cloudy to drop to the bottom of the carboy. When you rack your beer off of this last bit of trub into the bottling bucket or keg you end up with a very clear beer and a minimum of trub in the bottom of the bottle or keg.