I'm brewing my first batch of home brew, 'Hank's Hefeweizen' from Norther Brewer (extract). The instructions say 2 weeks primary, 2 weeks secondary, and 2 weeks bottle conditioning. I did not check my OG, but the kit states that it should be 1.052.
I am on day 10 of fermentation. I checked the SG at days 8 and 10, and it has not changed from day 8 to 10. It's sitting at 1.010. I tried the beer on both days and it tastes like beer (it's really good) and is somewhat carbonated. It's cloudy, but not more cloudy that some hazy IPAs I've had recently and doesn't have anything floating around I wouldn't want to drink. I do not plan on doing secondary fermentation as I keep reading that it's really not required unless you are making a strong beer, dry hopping or adding fruit.
I also plan on kegging instead of bottling. Luckily I already have a corney keg and kegerator from when I used to make carbonated water, so I plan on skipping bottling and kegging/force carbonating.
A few questions:
I was originally planning on leaving the beer in the primary fermenter for 4 weeks (2 weeks primary, plus the 2 weeks that should/could have been in secondary, but in the primary since I chose not to do secondary fermentation).
If the beer tastes good now, why wouldn't I be able to keg it right now? I'm not in a hurry, I'm just wondering what the point of waiting is if the fermentable sugar is gone and there are no off flavors that will be reduced. It does not seem that further conditioning is necessary.
If I'm at the point I can keg it, do I need to 'cold crash' in the primary fermenter before moving to the keg?
When I move the beer from the primary fermenter to the keg, can I use the spigot that's on the bucket or do I need to siphon it? I would have used the spigot if I was moving from primary to a secondary fermenter, but is there a reason I should siphon if I'm skipping secondary fermenting? Perhaps using a siphon help me avoid all of the gunk on the bottom of the bucket? That being said, the gunk seems to be below my spigot anyway.
Priming sugar is not necessary if I'm kegging and force carbonating, is that correct? Could I use priming sugar to cause carbonation in the corney keg and only use CO2 to push the beer to the tap? i.e. naturally carbonate in keg and then serve with CO2.
If I'm indeed ready to keg this, why is my beer ready in 10 days vs the 4 week recommendation that the kit states (2 primary, 2 secondary). To be fair, the kit instructions say 'timing is somewhat flexible' during secondary fermentation, but that timing is still technically at least a week or two away. It seems strange that the beer is drinkable so far ahead of schedule.
EDIT: A few additonal questions that arose after an answer was given:
When I rack to the corney keg, am I ok to use the large hole on the top? It seems like lots of oxygen could be introduced going this route. Or is it necessary to go through the whole process of filling the corney keg with sanitizer, then CO2, then filling via the liquid out post (while releasing venting the gas post)? Or is that overkill?
Is it safe to say that in general kegging/bottling can commence when the beer tastes good? I don't need to worry about sticking too much to a schedule? It seems like conditioning is more of a matter of personal preference? I don't see how much my beer could change in flavor at this point by waiting a few more weeks.