Originally Posted by CanadaBrews
oh ok cus i thouht your supposed to transfer it after the heads gone but theirs some fermentation still hapening that why iv got the air lock for the carboy?
I'm assuming that you're asking if that's why you got an airlock? Yeah, it lets CO2 out without letting air or any other impurities in. When you bottle-carbonate, you're simply making sure that the CO2 cannot escape, so it's absorbed into the beer which produces carbonation.
As for when to rack, the general rule of thumb is "1-2-3", as in, 1 week in primary, 2 weeks in secondary, 3 weeks in bottle. However, this is not a hard-n-fast rule. I've had brews a couple weeks after fermentation, and they were fine, just a little green and too much sediment in the bottle.
On the other hand, higher-gravity and/or specialty brews may require longer than that. Barleywine can sit in secondary for several months, as can some stouts and porters. Barleywine can also age in bottle for 5 years or more.
But for beginners' purposes, follow the 1-2-3 rule when in doubt.