Originally Posted by JiveTurkey
From what I've gathered a major disadvantage to a secondary is that if you take the beer off the yeast cake prior to fermentation being complete, there may not be enough yeast left to fully attenuate. This risk can be pretty much eliminated by racking to secondary after fermentation is complete.
Feel free to use a secondary, just make sure the primary has done its job to completion.
Right, and the amount of time (or attenuation) one ought to look for before deciding when to rack varies wildly from source to source. My LHBS' suggestion was OG - 30+%, I've seen it recommended here that one ought to be as close to the expected attenuation of the given yeast as possible, Papazian recommends a different value, as does Palmer
1.055 to 1.009 is definitely at the upper range of the supposed capabilities of my yeast, and when I popped the lid off there was no krausen floating, so I think my racking was pretty well in line with the recommendations of all of the above. I'm definitely not a seasoned
homebrewer by any stroke of the imagination, and I appreciate the input for sure. It gives me things to think about for future brews, of which there will be many.