From the HBD Archive
From: Steve Dempsey <steved@longs.LANCE.ColoState.Edu>
Subject: Re: Getting that clove-like flavor from cloves
Date: 1992-07-08 17:26:38 GMT

In HBD #919, ssi! (Patrick P. Clancey) writes:
> Subject: Getting that clove-like flavor from cloves

> I enjoy the strong "clove like" flavor of certain weiss beers yet I haven't
> been happy with the results of kit weiss beers using the Wyeast wheat strain.
> ... has anyone out there tried adding cloves to either the primary or
> secondary?

I've not done this myself, but have tasted the results in competition.
The clove-*like* characteristic is a phenol compound produced by
the yeast (but you already knew that). It's called clove-like
for lack of a better interpretation of the flavor/aroma preceived
by your senses. The actual clove spice is something altogether

The competition entry I tasted was entered in a wheat beer
category, supposedly as a weizen style. The description I gave
was `potpourri'; it had a sweet spicy character similar to mixed
cooking spices. It was nothing like the genuine weizen beer character.
If you like spiced ales, use cloves. If you want a traditional weizen
with the right flavor/aroma properties, you'll have to use the right

I have used several strains of wheat beer yeasts including the
pure S. Delbrueckii sold by the now-defunct MeV labs, and
Wyeast's Bavarian Wheat. The pure culture definitely produces
a stronger clove character. The Wyeast mixed culture does
a fair job if fermented at warmer temperatures, e.g. 73-78F.
Still, the ale yeast in the mixed culture tends to take over
eventually and repitching results in progressively milder beers.

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Steve Dempsey Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO 80523
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