with my batches I prefer bottle. It frees up your carboy for more brew!!! plus I have had my airlocks dry up..(long time aging without checking) bottles also have the advantage of trying different tests on them..lager aging some in a fridge, some room temp and some slightly chilled 55 deg F
Good question, I was wondering that myself. I suppose if it is aged in the secondary you will have less sediment and a clearer beer since it will drop out over time before you bottle it. Not sure if there is a big difference though between 1 month secondary and 1 month bottle, as opposed to just two months in the bottle.
Since I have limited numbers of fermenters I usually go for bottle aging, though I will go with a secondary for big beers or if I got the time (and a lot of beer to be consumed)
My big beers will be in fermenters for about 2 months. This gives plenty of time for the beer to clear and condition some but ensures there is still plenty of viable yeast available in the beer for bottle conditioning. It also frees up the fermenter and space in a reasonable time.
You probably could leave it in the secondary for as long as 6months without much problem but I don't have quite that patience. I want to start sampling a couple bottles before then.
If you leave it 6months or longer you should consider adding a small amount of yeast at bottling to ensure carbonation.
I'm in the same boat as Baron. Usually at least 2 months in secondary, then after that, it's whenever I get around to bottling them. If you keep it at a good temp in the dark, it shouldn't make much of a difference.