Originally Posted by Maltjunkie
How about with lagers? I normally do however long in primary to ferment and diacetyl rest. Then transfer to secondary for reuse of yeast. Then I lager that for a month or two at near freezing. I'm betting if I left it in primary for that long and at those temps the yeast would be pretty stressed. Am I right? Is a secondary still required for lagers?
I always rack my lagers after the diacetyl rest. Leaving ales in primary for 2-3 weeks is fine, but I always want to get a lager off of the yeast cake after the diacetyl rest. Lagers are "clean" and crisp and without yeast character, so I do use a secondary for the lagering.
Leaving ales in primary for 2-3 weeks can impart a bit of flavor. Many people find 4 weeks in primary to give the best flavor, while others prefer a lesser amount of time. My "sweet spot" for ales is right around 2 weeks, although I have gone three weeks on several occasions.
I know that some have even lagered on the yeast cake, but I never have and I doubt I ever will.