Reportin' for duty.
Bee Barf Brown was racked to secondary yesterday, roughly three weeks after pitching with Fermentis/Safbrew Abbaye.
While the smell was definitely off-putting during week 1, things improved vastly later on. Two weeks at 75F, and another week ramping down and steadied at 40F made for a very clear beer, with a yeastiness which is certainly nothing like the horror stories I've been hearing about this yeast. The beer's still green, but the honey played through nicely, with some malts kicking in in the back. El Dorado doing something almondy-biscotti-ish which somehow works kinda well.
Through it all, an subtle estery yeast presence amalgamates the lot into something which I suppose could be called borderline Belgian if one were so inclined.
Is it an abbaye yeast? Nah. Perhaps if used in a really warm fermentation, it might bump those typical esters, but no way this will turn into a Belgian Banana Bomb without some severe tweaking.
Apparent attentuation would be around 85% for me. Lively, happy yeast which never stalled, but took its own sweet time to complete primary.
Firm, dense cake which made racking super smooth; I'd say this is the first yeast I've tried since I started using my fermentation fridge which I could see myself even skipping secondary and bottle directly from primary. Something I'll keep in mind when I want to brew something that doesn't need extra lagering.
I'd use it again for a dubbel or a brown. Perhaps, for funz&lolz, I might blend it with some other yeast to complement or boost its subdued esters.
Overall, despite initial misgivings and its misleading marketing as an abbaye yeast, I'd use this again.