A number of issues to address here, Dey:
- Ales differ from lagers in many ways.
- Conditioning time varies depending on the strength of the beer.
- In order for bottle carbonation to work, the bottles need to rest within the temp range of the yeast, so that bottle fermentation has a chance to take place.
First off, ales can be bottled directly from primary, but most of the time, those are wheat beers. It's better to clarify most ales in a carboy, for 2 reasons: the aging process is better done in the entire volume - there's more space and more molecules to work out; secondly, if you clarify in bottle, you end up with ALOT of sediment at the bottom of the bottles, which is a pain when pouring.
As for lagers, they can be lagered in bottle, but I suggest only doing so after they've been lagering in carboy for at least a month. The same stuff I said above for ales applies to lagers too.
Now, of course, especially with ales, the higher the gravity of a beer, the longer it needs to age. I still recommend doing alot of it in carboy.
Lastly, if you bottled your lager and immediately dropped the bottles down to 36f, you didn't give them a chance to have a bottle fermentation. They need to sit, in this case, in the mid 50's or higher, so that the lager yeast can eat the priming sugar and thus carbonate your bottles. What I'd do, in your situation, is give each of your bottles a good swirl to rouse the yeast. Put them in a place where the temps are in the 60's. Leave them there for 2 weeks, then open a bottle and see if it's carbonated. If not, swirl the bottles again, give them another week or two, and try again. Once you have carbonated bottles, then
you can refrigerate them at 36f or so.