Originally Posted by kevinrobinson
How long do you usually leave your big beers in primary?
The shortest amount of time I leave a beer on the yeast is a month. I've gone far longer - I brewed a Belgian dark strong ale that I left in the primary for something like 10 weeks. I brewed a giant imperial stout last week that will sit for at least a month, maybe two and then aged on oak chips for probably 6 months. Honestly, most of the fears that used to surround an extended time in the primary are no longer valid - do a forum search on "extended primary".
The only exception to this are dry hopped IPAs - I will typically leave them on the yeast for 2 weeks and then transfer to another fermenter to dry hop for 7-10 days and then bottle. If I were kegging, I'd probably try and get it into a keg after 2 weeks and then dry hop in the keg.
A lot of kit instructions preach the whole "1-2-3" thing. 1 week in primary, 2 weeks in secondary, and 3 weeks in bottles, but it really doesn't yield the best results.