Clove-like characteristic are produced by Bavarian Wheat or Weihenstephan Yeast as well as the wild yeast, saccharomyces diastaticus. It is a result of increased production of 4-vinyl guaiacol. It is said that wheat produces more than barley. Clove-like characteristic can also be a result of small amounts of chlorine from residual bleach sanitizer or adding municipal tap water which has been treated with chlorine to the fermenter.
When not desired, clove-like characteristic can be prevented by choosing a different yeast and reducing fermentation temperature. When clove is desired, warmer temperature will produce more clove-like characteristics and cooler temperature will produce less. Reducing the percentage of wheat in the grain bill can also reduce clove-like production.
Wine and beer makers alike can reduce unwanted clove-like characteristic by reviewing sanitizing procedure. Always rinse chlorine sanitizer well. If adding water with chlorine to the fermenter, boil it first. If the water has chloramines, charcoal filter or add Campden Tablets (1 tablet per 20 gallons of water).
Clove-like characteristics are only appropriate in Bavarian Wheat, Many Belgian Ales, spiced or mulled wines and ciders.