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Clove flavor

Have made about 10 batches so far,all extract kits,all turned out good but have a clove flavor to them,have tried distilled water and full volume boils for 5 gallon batches,still clovey,always sanitize everything,any input will be appreciated,thanks

Clove flavor is usually caused by yeast and fermentation temps. What yeast are you using and what temps are you fermenting at

It is possible the off flavor could be from yeast stress. Are you using a pitch rate calculator to match the number of cells pitched to the OG of the beer? Do you always make a starter with liquid yeast?
Fermentation temperatures can also contribute to the problem off flavor. Fluctuating fermentation temperatures can stress the yeast. Fermenting to high or to low for a certain yeast can also produce off flavors.

This is the starter/pitch rate calculator I like to use.

Can you give some more details for the most recent brew that had this off flavor.

I use the liquid WY yeast tat is recommended for the kits and ferment in the recommended temp range,maybe the high end of temp range

• Tastes/Smells Like: Cough syrup, mouthwash, Band-
Aid™, smoke, clove-like (spicy)
• Possible Causes: A variety of different phenols are al-
most always the cause for medicinal flavors in beer.
Phenols can cause solvent, astringent, plastic and
medicinal flavors. Medicinal-tasting phenols are usu-
ally brought out during mashing and/or sparging and
are caused by incorrect pH levels, water amounts and
temperatures. Using chlorine or iodine-based sanitiz-
ers improperly can bring out Chlorophenols. Yeast
also produces phenols, and a clove-like characteristic
is deliberate in some ale, especially Hefeweizen and
other wheat beers.
• How to Avoid: Follow proper mashing and sparging
techniques and always follow the specific directions
for different sanitizers. Taking the same precautions
to avoid Chlorophenols and astringency should help
to wipe out the chances of medicinal flavors. Always
use the proper yeast for the style of beer being brewed.

To rule out some possibilities. Distilled water and a kit probably means water is not the problem. The extract should have the correct minerals and no chlorine. No mashing, sparging or PH problems either. For a typical beer the Wyeast smack pack should be enough yeast. A starter wouldn’t hurt but the packs always worked for me in a normal gravity beer. I can’t imagine all of your beers where with wheat type yeast either. Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan Weizen is indeed supposed to have clove like flavor. ( I love this yeast BTW).

High end of the temp range problems would vary depending on the yeast so that seems less than likely but it’s a place to start. Search for swamp cooler here.

Do your kits have specialty grains that are steeped? If so what temp are you using and how long. Too high can produce tannins that will give a medicinal or Band Aid taste. Not really clove like to me.

Last I can think of is the cleaning and sanitizing. What are you using and how?

I’m having this same problem. Nice to know I’m not the only one.

I have used kits with and without grains,steep for 20 minutes and have then to about 160 degrees, I use starsn and mix what it says on the bottle 1 ounce to 5 gallons haven’t tried distilled water with the sanitizer,maybe this is a place to start I use glass carboys and splash the sanitizer around in them and let them sit for a couple minutes and drain and put in carboy dryer stand,sanitize everything just by soaking for a few minutes

Are you making starters for your liquid yeast? How are you aerating the wort? Clove can be stressed yeast, either from too high of temperatures (sounds like you’ve ruled that out) or an underpitch with insufficient oxygen and nutrients in the wort to grow a population. If you’re just pitching a white labs vial or a wyeast smack pack into your wort and just shaking the fermenter to aerate… You’re going to have some yeasty off flavors, including clove.

I kind of agree. Aeration is important but the Wyeast activator smack packs should have sufficient yeast for most ales.“The Activator™ package contains a minimum of 100 billion cells in a yeast slurry… The Activator™ is designed to directly inoculate 5 gallons of standard strength ale wort (1.034-1.060 SG) with professional pitching rates.” Also yeast that is alcohol tolerant. Just read the gravity of a Belgian style ale that started at 1.074, finished at 1.010. That was with Danstar Abbaye dry yeast just sprinkled in (one for every five gallons). I did aerate it with an aquarium pump.

I guess what I’m saying is about a million kits came out just fine with the yeast included so it seems unlikely all his beers would have the same off flavor from under pitching.

[quote=“beerguy64, post:8, topic:21787”]
haven’t tried distilled water with the sanitizer
[/quote] If you are saying use distilled water to make up your sanitizer, I doubt the small amount that contacts the equipment would cause off flavors either. Especially in a sanitizer mixture. Couldn’t hurt to try though.

Ive always used tap water with sanitizer…but havent brewed with tap for over a year…havent had any off flavors either.

So on brew day at the start, I would use about 2 gallons of star san solution in the carboy. I brew in the laundry room, so I lay mine on its side. Now every so often I will shake the solution, with my hand over the opening so as not to loose any, and do turn/rotate it almost a 1/4 turn. I am trying to get the star san into contact with the sides as much as possible, even may turn/rotate the carboy a few full revolutions. Be careful and put a towel under it if you set it on a hard surface, such as the dryer, which I do. Then just before its time to rack into the carboy, drain, rinse if so desired, and let er buck. I read yer carboy cleaning up a few posts ago and wonder if you are gitting enough contact time…. Sneezles61

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