Youngs - Harvest Bitter

Kit Brewer, Tell us what you think of the kits you are making, what's good, what's bad, and what should we avoid.

Re: Youngs - Harvest Bitter

Postby winelight » Mon Jun 23, 2014 18:05

I made this (thanks to Tesco for the cheap kit) with an extra 500g DME only, no other additions no dry hop or anything. Made it up to 21l and put it in a barrel. My goodness, it was bad. It made me feel ill and even nauseous. But then I waited a while... and wow, now it's a perfectly acceptable but basic pint. Just enough bitterness to qualify as beer, decent mouthfeel, smooth aftertaste, decent head, nice colour... no distinctive flavour of anything, it just goes down without you hardly noticing. Wouldn't object to this in a pub.
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Re: Youngs - Harvest Bitter

Postby ericmark » Sun Nov 29, 2015 14:04

I have found with the Youngs range this is middle of the road. The Young's Harvest Scottish Heavy is the least bitter, and the Young's Harvest Yorkshire bitter is the most bitter, with Young's Harvest Bitter between the two. I added same sugar for all three I misread instructions. I have made all three many times.

Temperature is important I have found a real improvement once I went to using temperature control. I found if the temperature did go over however keeping it 6 months it did improve.
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Re: Youngs - Harvest Bitter

Postby chub1 » Sun Feb 28, 2016 14:23

Just bottled up 18 litres. Brewed it with 500 grm beer enhancer and 500 grm of medium spray malt, added 15 grms of goldings at the start having steeped them for 15 minutes and added the liquid, dry hopped with 20 grms of fuggles with 5 days to go and a further 15 grams fuggles hop tea with two days to go.
On the go for 21 days.
It's very cloudy but stable for three tests at around 4.1%. Taste -mmmmmm ok ish i guess, may have overdone the hops!!!!.
Will carb it up, cool it and store it away and see how it clears.
Have to say i have been lucky so far with kit brews in as much they have cleared in the FV, so not sure about this one. :pray:
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Re: Youngs - Harvest Bitter

Postby chub1 » Sun Mar 13, 2016 14:49

chub1 wrote:Just bottled up 18 litres. Brewed it with 500 grm beer enhancer and 500 grm of medium spray malt, added 15 grms of goldings at the start having steeped them for 15 minutes and added the liquid, dry hopped with 20 grms of fuggles with 5 days to go and a further 15 grams fuggles hop tea with two days to go.
On the go for 21 days.
It's very cloudy but stable for three tests at around 4.1%. Taste -mmmmmm ok ish i guess, may have overdone the hops!!!!.
Will carb it up, cool it and store it away and see how it clears.
Have to say i have been lucky so far with kit brews in as much they have cleared in the FV, so not sure about this one. :pray:


Ok me being Mr impatient, i cracked one open today after only 14 days in the bottles. Cleared very well with a fair amount of sediment in the bottles.
Quite bitter, reasonable small head, decent colour and not a bad taste at all. Think with storage it should prove to be a reasonable pint :D
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Re: Youngs - Harvest Bitter

Postby ericmark » Tue Jun 14, 2016 11:38

I do as instructions no adding of this or that so can't comment on what extra hops, using sugar replacement, or other deviations do, only experiment was with amount of sugar. I found the more sugar one started to get a bitter after taste, I tried going up to 2.5 kg which was a failure really high ABV but taste was not how I liked it. Up to 1.5 kg not too bad, instructions say 1 kg.

I also found on bottling rather a lot of sediment so modified method. After first 10 days I transfer to clean fermentor, after another 10 days the sediment in bottom of fermentor so less so the amount of sediment which transfers into bottles is also less.

I moved to plastic pop bottles, many reasons, one less work filling, two you can test pressure without opening, three you can reseal bottle, but it does mean using 2 litre bottles after first drink is poured the sediment is disturbed so a second pint has more sediment, however the bottles with the star shaped base tend to hold the sediment better than those with the round base and a cup stuck onto base.

How with temperature control every brew near the same results, but in the past I found in the summer the brew had a similar bitter after taste to when using too much sugar. I like in North Wales so not that hot here, and did brew in kitchen which was about coolest room in the house with very well insulated roof with vents in and apple tree giving it shade. The stick on temperature strip in summer would on extreme hit the 26°C mark which I thought would have been OK.

However moving to garage and temperature control in an old fridge/freezer I realised the stick on temperature strip has a flaw, it is cooled but the air in the room, so although it showed 26°C centre of fermentor was likely at 28°C to measure fermentor temperature you need to insulated the small area where one has the probe so it measures brew temperature not an average brew to ambulant temperature.

I talk about my early errors as this would have resulted in my giving some brews a poor report, not because anything wrong with the kit, but an error in my brewing method. Also a warning to others this kit with included yeast does not like it too hot, with stick on temperature strip limit is around 22°C with insulated probe around the 24°C. I found with stick on strip bottom limit around 18°C needs to be a little warmer near the end, with insulated probe 18.5°C I set between 19 ~ 20°C with an insulated probe which works very well.

As to storage I have found it does improve with time, and brews with that bitter after taste tend to lose that bitter after taste with time, I have stored them over a year and all has been OK. When I went to brewing in the garage I found there was a problem with conditioning the beer, in kitchen I would move to shed after a week and that was great, but in winter shed and garage too cold so moving to shed it was May before the bottles had fully conditioned, so I bought a second temperature controller and in winter use the freezer compartment of the fridge/freezer to condition beer and to make the odd demijohn of wine. I used fridge for fermentor as taller so takes the air lock, and solid flat floor, and enough hight to syphon, in summer I swap to freezer for fermentor as this has fan so transfers heat from fermentor quicker, also use both temperature controllers one for heating the other for cooling so I can set a larger gap between the two.

Yes nothing to do with beer review in a way, but unless one admits any errors possible and does the kit as supplied it is not really testing the kit, I found the Geordie and Young's Harvest beer kits very similar, from supermarket the Geordie was cheaper than Young's Harvest but in local brew shop around the same price, of the two I find the Young's Harvest is slightly better so from brew shop it's Young's Harvest and from supermarket it's Geordie.

As said before Bitter middle of range, Scottish Heavy is not as bitter, and Yorkshire bitter is more bitter, with the Young's Harvest the Scottish Heavy is following instructions a higher ABV as it has 1.5 kg sugar rest have 1 kg sugar.
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