ok, this was the thread i intended to finish up the k-97 recommendation at low temps. it fermented only at about 53-57F fluctuating.
attenuation was about 75% because i kept it at relatively cool temps and did not raise temps near end of fermentation. no diacetyl detected (assuming i can detect it??)
-to me the flavour is very, very clean. it has an ale character, of very light "bounciness" to me, as in to me a lager is usually just "flat" even when sweet.
-i would say it doesnt strongly emphasize malt or hops really well. i used a LOT of hops and really it seems sort of subdued, but hoppy enough.
-it is a "stronger" seeming yeast than most others ive encountered. the bottles were carbed enough after 24 hours and co2 was mostly in solution, which ive never had happen before.
common statements about k-97 from this and other forums:
1. it has a "bready taste". - i can see that, but to me it is absolutely not negative. id say just a decent maltiness with bread aspects. and i did use victory malt.
2. it will not clear - probably true, i used gelatin and cold crashed to near zero for a week and the picture below is the result. i did not get rid of the haze effectively. raising temp to really finish it off before crashing probably would have aided the clarity.
3. the yeast makes the bitterness/hopping "harsh" - i dont think so at all, i hopped it to 38 IBU and it tastes about that.
4. it is a top cropper - yes, it definitely is. i didnt intend to re-pitch it, but i was considering making just enough beer to fill the carboy 95% completely and have the krausen go into a sterile blowoff-tube and jar. but didn't.
i would absolutely use k-97 again and would unhesitatingly recommend it.