Originally Posted by JJL
It doesn't really matter much either way for a stout. Actually, this is the case with most ales. The benefits you gain from a secondary are mostly cosmetic. I wouldn't bother with the secondary unless you are planning to add some additional ingredients after primary fermentation or you are planning to wait a while before you are going to bottle it. I typically use a secondary, but only because I never know when I am going to get around to bottling.
Can a vanilla bean be split and added in the last 5 minutes of the boil or off heat and go into the fermentation tank, so I don't have to rack to a secondary...or should a vanilla bean only be added in secondary? I was told 7-10 days until bottling, but I see a lot of people letting it sit for 3 or 4 weeks in either primary or secondary. What do you think? Thanks!