I brewed a 1.080 Tripel last week and pitched a large starter of Wyeast 3522, Belgian Ardennes. I chilled the wort a bit more than I had planned, so it spent the first 24 hours after pitching inching slowly from 60F up to 65F. After that, fermentation progressed according to plan, raising a degree each day.
It's been a strong fermentation, especially after a simple sugar addition on day 3, when kreusen bubbled through the airlock and I had to install a blowoff for a day. Currently the yeast are working away at 71F. I'm not worried about stuck fermentation or low attenuation.
I *am* a bit worried about the flavor profile, because of the low temp during the yeast's growth stage. I have read that low temps favor production of phenols with this yeast, to the point of harshness. I've also read the opposite--that cooler temps result in a "mild" Belgian character. I suppose the worst outcome, for me, would be a totally clean fermentation, with no Belgian character at all.
This is my first Belgian beer, other than a couple of Saisons I made with the DuPont strain. Is there anyone who has experience with Tripels and with the Achouffe strain in particular who can tell me what flavors I might expect from a fermentation profile that started five degrees below the yeast's recommended temperature range?
Thanks in advance.