I went to my Sister and Brother-in-Law (BiL)'s place to exchange gifts Christmas eve with my lovely girl friend Katie, and found a large box in an even larger red Christmas sack. Inside the magical box was a beer brewing kit! Woo Hoo! Laura and BiL Trey definiately win a prize for awesome christmas present givers. The kit includes a 7 gallon bucket and lid with air lock to be used as a primary fermenter, another 7 gallon bucket to be used during the bottling process, equipment to rack (transfer) the beer and an ingredient kit to make a batch of what the box said was "Beartooth Stout," which is an Irish style Stout.
The Complete Joy of Home Brewing by Charlie Papazian says the follow about Stouts:
"Stouts are black ales that owe their character to roasted barley and a flavorful hop rate. There are several styles of stout: imperial, sweet, oatmeal, and the more commerically popular dry stout.
Dry Stout - Draft versions of Irish-style dry stout are usually surprisingly low in alcohol and often brewed from original specific gravities of 1.038-1.048 99.5-12), The classic Guiness Stout, as brewed and served in Dublin, Ireland, is low in alcohol, dry, and has a clean bitterness but no hop flavor or aroma; part of the bitter character is contributed by roasted barley. Its rich foamy head is enhanced by using nitrogen gas when it is dispensed from teh cask or a package containing a nitrogen releasing "widget." THe degree of sweetness and dryness with vary in stouts, yet they are all top fermented and have the singularly unique and special character of roasted barely.