To Secondary or Not to Secondary, need 2nd opinion

Hey guys,
Sort of a noob brewer, going to brew the Alt Bier extract kit from this website, this will be my third overall brewing endeavor. The recipe calls for 1-2w primary, 2-4 w secondary and 1-2 bottle condition. I was going to go ahead and invest in a glass carboy to use as a secondary for this recipe. A buddy of mine who has been brewing for about 10 years told me that for this recipe I could probably just skip the secondary.

 His justification for this is that I am not dry hopping or adding anything to the beer, so by siphoning into a secondary I just open of a greater chance of contaminating the brew.  He says that I could just as easily let it sit in the primary for up to four weeks, then bottle and still turn out with the same result.  I tried using fancy terms and phrases like, 'but I get the beer off the yeast cake', and he was still certain that for this particular recipe, a secondary was just an extra step that was really not going to impact the overall product.  Thoughts on this?  I don't plan on brewing until next weekend.      -Kenobi

If you search there are alot of topics on this on here. I dont ever secondary anymore I leave my beer on the yeast for 2-3 weeks then keg. I also dry hop in primary.

You will get lots of different answers on this. I have to say your brewing buddie is right skip the secondary and drink your beer sooner.

I’d say your friend’s concern about contaminating the beer by syphoning is stretching it a little. But the basic concept is correct. You don’t have to go to a secondary.

+1 with Golden child - 2-3 weeks and bottle. If you are bottle conditioning you want that yeast as fresh as possible - as long as the beer is finished and clear the sooner the better.

My major reasons for going to a secondary:

  1. I want to start more beer and need the primary.

  2. I want to use the yeast cake from batch #1 to start batch # 2.

  3. I am kegging and want to remove beer from the yeast ahead of time to cut down on the amount of sediment I rack into the keg.

A good argument for not going to the secondary: If you are bottle conditioning the yeast at the bottom of the primary is going to be very fresh and healthy. If I were still bottling I might tend to take a good tablespoon of the cake along into the bottle bucket so I know the bottle fermentation is going to work very effectively.

Don’t want to start a range war or something, but one pro for doing a secondary for this one is that it’s an Altbier.They are usually lagered(conditioned at cold temp) for 3-4 weeks post fermentation.

This. That was my thought as well. An Altbeir is usually lagered.

If it were my beer I would transfer to a secondary for lagering.

Personally, I still secondary for lagers and some stronger beers that I plan to age for 1 month +.