Originally Posted by Jayhem
3 weeks in primary minimum. Its not ready.
I disagree with the implication that there are some hard and fast rules for how long you need to leave the beer on the yeast.
Here's an idea...take a hydrometer reading. If it is steady for 3 days, the beer can be racked to a secondary vesel (unnecessary) or packaged. This assumes you had a healthy fermentation, with the proper pitch rate and O2 levels.
If you didn't ferment the beer correctly, leaving it on the yeast will aid somewhat in diminishing some off-flavors. But again, you're now trying to correct an avoidable problem on the back end.
The ever-popular "3-week primary!" that is so often parroted around here is an outgrowth of compensating for novice and/or poor fermentation practices. It is completely unnecessary for most average gravity beers, if care is taken at the start of the process.
Believe me, professional brewers don't leave their beer on the yeast for 3 weeks, and you shouldn't have to either. Why? Because they have impeccable fermentation practices. This is achievable at home.